A former vice president, Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the shooting of protesters in Lagos on Tuesday, saying he was “heartbroken”.
Mr Abubakar said this on Wednesday via a post on his Facebook page.
“For over a week, our young people have been trying to draw our attention to their grievances of the #EndSARS movement, sadly it reached a violent crescendo yesterday, with the unprovoked killing of unarmed and peaceful protesters,” Mr Abubakar said.
“Even while they demonstrated their patriotism by singing the national anthem. I am heartbroken at this turn of events and deeply condole with the families of the victims. I feel their pains and the pains of the injured and maimed.”
Soldiers opened fire on peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate on Tuesday evening, killing many, according to witnesses. The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said at least 25 people sustained gunshot wounds.
The governor, however, said no fatality was recorded in the shooting.
Apart from the Lagos shootings, protesters have also been shot in Ondo, Oyo, and Delta States.
Several prominent persons have also reacted to the shooting.
Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, described the incident as reminiscent of the “Abacha days.”
In his speech, Mr Abubakar, who was the presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party in the 2019 general election, called on the armed forces to show restraint.
He said, “There are reports of hospitals refusing to treat the injured from this horrendous incident, I urge all hospitals, private and public to prioritise the Hippocratic oath and treat every and all the injured to save their lives. (It) is a task that must be prioritised.
“I call on our armed forces to show restraint that no more lives must be lost. Absolutely none.
“We must face our common enemies, not our brothers and sisters. And our foes are the terrorists and insurgents who seek to end the Nigerian way of life.
“Finally, I urged President Muhammadu Buhari to speak to the nation even as he speedily implements the demands laid out by our young compatriots.”