MARTIN Luther King’s son Martin Luther King III has added his voice to the condemnation of stifling demonstrations in Nigeria calling on the federal government to guarantee the freedom of peaceful protesters involved in the #EndSARS protests.
On Tuesday last week, the men of the 81 Division of the Nigerian Army opened fire on unarmed protesters at the toll gate, in what is being referred to as Nigeria’s Sharpeville Massacre. Over the last three weeks, the young and peaceful protesters had been demonstrating against police brutality and had been calling for the dissolution of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (Sars) police unit.
Early last week, however, the nationwide protests descended into violence as government-sponsored thugs attacked protesters. In response, hoodlums attacked police stations and officers of the force, sending the whole nation up in flames, to which Governor Sanwoolu responded with a curfew due to start at 4pm in Tuesday.
As dusk approached, workers at the toll gate began removing the CCTV cameras at the facility, so what was being planned would not be recorded. Then, under the cover of darkness, the Nigerian Army attacked shooting at unarmed civilians, killing dozens and injuring scores.
There has been widespread condemnation and home and abroad over the killings and now Martin Luther King III has added his voice to the suppression. Mr. King joins other US political figures including presidential candidate Joe Biden and senate leader Elizabeth Warren in condemning the attacks on the peaceful protesters.
He said: “I appeal to President Muhammadu Buhari to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of peaceful protesters in Nigeria, including their right to protest. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, so we must stand with those protesting to #EndSARS.”