The opposition African Action Congress (AAC) on Wednesday berated Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, over his utterances on the #EndSARS movement and the #lekkitollgateshootings in 2020.
The AAC decried that the statement credited to the Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, issued in Abuja on Wednesday, to mark the anniversary of the grossly unfortunate Lekki shooting that claimed lives of over 50 Nigerians, left many young Nigerians permanently injured and threw many homes into a grieving mood for life.
The party declared that “rather than share consolations and seek restitution, after accepting the ignominious role it played in quelling the most organized civil disobedience in recent history, as it is expected of a government in the 21st century, the regime has shown maximum recalcitrance; such that reeks of corruption and a megalomaniac posture.”
The AAC emphasised that reading through the gaffe Lai Mohammed issued as a statement, no one would argue that the sole intention of the Minister was to protect, by all means necessary, the face of the regime from local and international shame because it has lost out on the debate, declaring “He failed woefully.”
According to AAC: “The description of the massacre as “phantom” by the infamous Minister of “misinformation” is the highest form of insensitivity and irresponsibility any government official could show at a time like this.
“Not even on a day when the largest demography- the youths, are remembering their loved ones who were slain for standing up for their fundamental human rights; in particular, their right to life.”
The AAC in a statement by the National Publicity Secretary, Femi Adeyeye, maintained that as a revolutionary party, it would do all that is possible not to allow history to be distorted.
The party stated that #EndSARS protest that lasted over 12 days witnessed massive participation from both the young and elderly, wherein the young people showed to the world how organized Nigerians are, when there is a unity of purpose. “Rallies, marches, even concerts were held nationally peacefully until the government, Lai represents, showed up in its usual oppressive and suppressive style.
“We all saw how government vehicles ferried armed thugs to disrupt the protest grounds across states after the Police failed in the assigned repression. “In Lagos, air-conditioned buses were used to move those who would cause a mayhem and despite their faces being exposed everywhere on social media, no arrest was made.
“Vehicles with FGN-number plate were offloading thugs while men dressed in outfits similar to the DSS’s were seen supervising their onslaught on protesting citizens. “This brings us to the conclusion that the government was the sole purveyor of violence during EndSARS protests. This remains so, even today,” AAC declared.
The African Action Congress (AAC), therefore, condemned in strongest terms the statement of the Minister; describing it as insensitive, irresponsible and a concoction of cheap lies.
the party then made demands as follows:
1. We ask that the Minister withdraws his gaffe and start preparing his resignation letter, as the party would not hesitate to mobilize Nigerians far and wide to force such. Nigerians have had enough of the insults from Alhaji Lai Mohammed and his goons.
2. That the National Economic Council chaired by the Vice President start without any further delay, the compensation to victims of SARS brutality as recommended by the State panels.
3. Immediate arrest and open prosecution of erring SARS officers including one CSP James Nwafor who has been on the run since the protests started.
4. That the Lekki Massacre Panel report should be concluded and made public in the shortest possible time by the Lagos Restitution Panel.
5. That all EndSARS and Post-EndSARS protesters (over 300 of them) including political prisoners be released immediately and unconditionally. This executive rascality must not be allowed to continue in a democracy.
6. An apology to be made by President Muhammadu Buhari to all Nigerians who participated in #EndSARS for the role his regime played in disrespecting the rights to associate and express opinions freely; without intimidation and violent repression, as seen one year ago.