Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, an umbrella body of civic society organisations in Zimbabwe, implores Nigerian authorities to desist from the use of excessive force as citizens protest against police brutality.
We note with concern that the Nigerian authorities have unleashed the army against citizens protesting against the brutality of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) and resultantly, at least 12 people have lost their lives at the hands of the military.
The protestors in Nigeria are demanding good governance and an end to police brutality and it is highly irresponsible for the Nigerian government to use the gun to silence dissenting voices.
The move to deploy the army against unarmed civilians is an act of State-sponsored terror which has no place in a modern democracy. Deploying the military against citizens calling for an end to harassment, extrajudicial killings, torture and extortion can only amount to authoritarianism and military rule.
It is imperative for Nigerian authorities to prove that the country has departed from its sad past of military rule and we are further concerned that despite overwhelming evidence, the Nigerian government has vehemently denied responsibility for the death of the protestors.
As we make this call for Nigerian authorities to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with dissenting voices, we would also want to make a clarion call to protestors to exercise peace during the demonstrations against police brutality.
In light of the protests in Nigeria, Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition urges the Nigerian government to;
-refrain from the use of excessive force against civilians
– ensure justice for victims as well as compensation of victims of the barbaric acts by the army
We also call upon the African Union and the international community to mediate in resolving the Nigerian crisis.