Vatican News English Africa Service – Vatican City.
In a statement, the Chairperson of the African Union (AU) Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, condemned the violence of 20 October 2020 during protests in Lagos, Nigeria. Amnesty International said at least 12 people were killed, by the military, in the violence. There were also several injuries.
The AU offers condolences
Moussa Faki Mahamat offered the AU’s condolences to families of those who lost loved ones and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
Several eyewitnesses told the media that members of the Nigerian military shot directly at protesters in Nigeria’s most populous city of Lagos, on Tuesday, about 19.00 hours.
The Chairperson of the AU has appealed to “all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law.” He further urged all parties “to privilege dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation and find concrete and durable reforms.”
The AU welcomed a decision by the government of President Muhammadu Buhari in disbanding the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Initially, the mostly young protesters, demanded the disbanding of the infamous police unit but later widened their demands to include governance and economic challenges that they face.
Commonwealth Secretary-General, Patricia Scotland also condemned the killings in Nigeria describing the violence on unarmed demonstrators as cowardly.
Nigerian Minister says soldiers had no instructions to shoot
Nigeria’s Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo, visited injured demonstrators in hospital. He promised justice for those killed or wounded. Nigerian Police Minister, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, told the BBC that soldiers were not instructed to shoot at protesters.