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Lekki shooting: Use of ‘massacre’ highly debatable, says Datti Baba-Ahmed

Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), says it is debatable to describe the October 2020 Lekki shooti...


Yusuf Datti Baba-Ahmed, vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), says it is debatable to describe the October 2020 Lekki shooting as a massacre.

 

Baba-Ahmed spoke on Thursday during an interview on Channels Television.

 

On October 20, 2020, in what appeared to be an attempt to disperse the #EndSARS protesters, officers of the Nigerian Army stormed the Lekki tollgate and shot sporadically.

 

In November 2021, a judicial panel set up by the Lagos government to probe cases of police brutality — including the Lekki shooting — said protesters were killed at the tollgate in what could be described in the context of a “massacre”.

 

However, the Lagos state government rejected the findings of the judicial panel.

 

Commenting on the #EndSARS protests, Baba-Ahmed dismissed the insinuations that his party is the “direct” beneficiary owing to the LP’s growing support among youths.

 

“There was abuse of human rights, procedures and if some people interpret it as massacre, then yes. However, massacre has different technical meanings. I can’t say I know all of it,” he said.

 

 “First of all, no advance notice was given before the attack. The victims must have been attacked in their own areas.

 

“These are well-meaning Nigerians who brought themselves out in the public area and were attacked by security forces who are meant to be protecting their lives and properties.

 

“The use of ‘massacre’ is highly debatable, but I can say for sure that there were abuses of procedures and civil rights violations.”

 

Asked if his administration will allow Nigerians to protest in a civil manner if elected into office, the LP vice-presidential candidate said: “Absolutely yes.”

 

 “Put this on record. I wouldn’t as a leader invite people to come out to protest but whenever there is a legitimate, good, peaceful rally or demonstration, I will be proud as a leader,” he added.

 

“I will welcome the fellow citizens, speak with their leaders, bring them out of the streets, go to a roundtable, discuss; we will come out and jointly address the crowd.

 

“I’m fully in support of people claiming and taking their legitimate rights. I will be in support of it if elected as a leader.

 

“I assure you that Peter Obi is also like that. He has encouraged us in his team to be like that so long as rules are followed.” 

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