Chairman of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Lagos Chapter, Dr. Qasim Akinreti has condemned the Tuesday massacre of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos by security operatives.
Akinreti who condemns the attack in strong terms in a release, said, “I strongly condemn the reports of shootings and killings of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate by security agents yesterday evening.”
Consoling family members of the victims, Akinreti who is preparing for a reelection for another term in office, said, “My condolences to the family of those affected by this conflict. I pray for the repose of the souls of the dead and wishing quick recovery for those in the hospitals.”
He added that, “This ugly development puts Nigeria again on the global map of a nation where human rights are being abused and not respected.”
According to him, “Protests are essential ingredients of a democracy. It must be handled with utmost sense of responsibility and tact.
“I equally condemn the arson, looting and destruction of public properties, police stations and other acts of criminality.”
He however appealed to journalists to be professional in reporting the crisis.
“I appeal to my colleagues to uphold the tenets of reporting conflicts as earlier advised and stay safe.
“Finally, I urge protesters to be ready for dialogue on their demands as espoused by Mr. Ebun Adegoruwa, a civil rights lawyer on Channels Television and other well meaning Nigerians this morning.”
Commending the Lagos State government for setting up a commission to investigate alleged human right abuses by the police, Akinreti said, “I strongly commend the Lagos State government for setting up a commission of inquiry into the human rights abuses and police brutality.
“The Governor of Lagos State has shown statemanship in bringing the demands of protesters to the Nigerian President and the police high command. I appeal to the Governor to ensure that the committee delivers appropriately on the terms of reference,” he said.