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#EndSARS: There Were Human Rights Violations, But Massacre Is Debatable – Baba-Ahmed

Baba Ahmed said people would have to be killed in “their areas” before it could be termed massacre.

Yusuf Baba-Ahmed, the vice-presidential candidate of the Labour Party (LP), has reacted to the controversy trailing the shooting incident that occurred during the #EndSARS protests at lekki toll gate in Lagos.

#EndSARS: There Were Human Rights Violations, But Massacre Is Debatable - Baba-Ahmed

Baba-Ahmed Speaks On Lekki Shooting During EndSARS Protest

On October 20, 2020, Nigerian soldiers opened fire on peaceful protesters, who had converged at the Lekki tollgate to protest against police brutality.

While a judicial panel set up to probe the Lekki shooting described the incident as a “massacre”, the federal government insisted that no protester was killed at the tollgate.

Speaking about the incident during an interview on Channels Television, Baba-Ahmed said the use of the word ‘massacre’ for the Lekki shooting during the #EndSARS protests is debatable.

Baba-Ahmed people would have to be killed in “their areas” before it could be termed massacre, asserting that the killing of the #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate was simply an abuse of procedure by the military.

He also dismissed the insinuations that his party is the “direct” beneficiary of the protest owing to the LP’s growing support among youths.

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“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.”

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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”.

Baba-Ahmed said, “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.

“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.”

KanyiDaily had shared a video showing the moment a young man, Jacob Desmond broken down in tears while recounting how he survived the shooting incident at lekki toll gate in Lagos.

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