KINGSWAY International Christian Centre (KICC) founder Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo has joined the thousands of Nigerians in the UK who have signed a petition asking the British government to condemn the recent killing of unarmed protesters at Lekki.
Later today, members of Britain’s House of Commons will debate the Lekki Toll Gate massacre in Nigeria, having received in excess of 200,000 signatures on the matter. Under UK parliamentary rules, once a petition receives in excess of 100,000 signatures, the House of Commons is compelled to debate the matter.
After the Nigerian Army opened fire on innocent and unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, the diaspora community in the UK swung into action, launching a petition. Given the strength of feeling, the petition calling on the UK government to debate the matter attracted 219,978 signatures and was submitted to Parliament.
On Saturday October 24, thousands of Nigerians marched to Number 10 Downing Street to submit the petition to Prime Minister Boris Johnson. Titled Implement Sanctions Against the Nigerian Government and Officials, the petition called on the British government to introduce visa bans against any Nigerian officials found culpable of the massacre.
Pastor Ashimolowo, whose London-based church attracts thousands of Nigerians, has confirmed that he was one of those who appended his name to the petition. He then charged Nigeria’s youth not to wait for the government to get things done, explaining that it is time for the youths, 35 and below to ensure they get things done regardless.
“Many of the people saying I have no man, are wearing mask of laziness, incapacity. Stop saying I have no man, throw yourself to it, there is greatness in you.”
“If they want to get me, let them get me, I am one of the people that signed the petition in London on #EndSARS protest and the Parliament will start hearing this week and if found guilty, Nigeria might be sanctioned. However, the youth must arise and not expect things to be done. Do not chase after money, chase your purpose, everything will follow suit.” Pastor Ashimolowo added.
Speaking the KICC church in the Lagos suburb of Maryland after a lengthy absence due to the lockdown, Pastor Ashimolowo said that so far, about 220,296 people have signed the petition. He added: “We were concerned by violence during recent protests and await the outcome of Nigerian investigations into reports of police brutality.”