“Amnesty international is calling on all Nigerian authorities to demonstrate commitment to protect the right to peaceful protest.”
Amnesty International has advised the Nigerian authorities against attacking #OcuppyLekkiTollGate protesters when they converge on Saturday.
The international rights body’s caution comes following threats by information and culture minister Lai Mohammed that the protest won’t be allowed to hold based on some “intelligence report”.
The minister said Thursday that federal authorities would not allow a resurgence of the violence that marred the historic #EndSARS protests which rocked most parts of the country last year.
The police in Lagos also warned that no form of protests will be allowed to take place in the state on Saturday.
However, a statement by @AmnestyNigeria, the official Twitter page of Amnesty International in Nigeria asked the Buhari administration to demonstrate commitment to protect citizen’s right to protest peacefully.
“Amnesty international is calling on all Nigerian authorities to demonstrate commitment to protect the right to peaceful protest,” the statement by AI read. “Previous attempts by security agents to repress peaceful protests have led to human rights violations and abuses.”
The statement added “The Nigerian govt. must ensure that when protesters exercise their right to freedom of assembly, it must be without fear of harassment or attacks by hoodlums or others opposed to the protests. Security operatives must refrain from excessive use of force on protesters,” the statement said.
The Lekki toll plaza, a major revenue contributor to the Lagos government, has been shut since October 20 after the fatal shooting of many unarmed #EndSARS protesters by Nigerian soldiers.
A Lagos judicial panel investigating cases of brutality and the October 20 shooting incident by the army had recently voted to reopen the tollgate, to the chagrin of many Nigerians sympathetic to the #EndSARS movement.
Unhappy with reopening of the toll plaza, individuals and groups have begun mobilising for a protest on February 13.