Public Services International and its affiliates (Public Sector Unions) in Nigeria have been following the unfolding events in various parts of the country on the #EndSARS protest which started peacefully with genuine demands but unfortunately turned sour and have resulted into the use of live bullets killing and injuring some of the young protesters. The aftermath of the use of brute force on the protesters have sent a wave of violence and wanton destruction of lives and both public and private properties across the Nation, the worst-hit state being Lagos state.
We join the Nigeria Labour Congress and other well-meaning organizations in condemning the unprofessional act of use of force on peaceful protesters, but also condemn in its entirety the wave of destructions currently ongoing in some states of the country.
We call on the Government of Nigeria to act swiftly in guaranteeing the safety of protesters now and in the future, and at the same time appeal to other highly provoked youth outside the #EndSARS protesters to eschew violence and stop the destructions of properties.
We wish to maintain that the right to peaceful assembly is guaranteed by Section 40 of Nigeria's Constitution, the United Nations Universal Declarations on Human Rights, the African Union Charter on Human and Peoples Rights and other relevant international conventions.
The use of live bullets to disperse protesters in this century is condemnable and those found guilty of committing this heinous crime must be brought to justice and families of those killed or injured adequately compensated.
Protests and demonstrations have been ongoing in many countries of the world within the ambit of global best practices and we have seen the show of decorum by leaders in those countries to manage or give in to such demands.
Finally, we hope the Judicial Panels of inquiry established in all states of the Federation and in Abuja will have representation from all shades of opinions and will be able to put a final stop to similar incidents in the future.
Regional Secretary for Africa & Arab Countries