President Muhammadu Buhari’s Speech did not address directly the killings of the peaceful protestors in early October 2020, and Nigerian citizens were not happy about it. Some of them feel that he came across as the dictator that his reputation has made him to be, and that he showed no compassion for those innocent people who lost their lives at the hands of soldiers.
According to Amnesty International (a global human rights organization of seven million people who take injustice seriously), CCTV (closed-circuit television) in the area was “dismantled to cover the murder”. Also, according to their October 21st report that stressed the fact that the horribly bloody event needs to be continually investigated, they found that at least a dozen people had been killed in the senseless shooting and that hundreds more were injured as a result of it.
In the speech that President Buhari made on October 22nd, 2020, he failed even to mention what had happened, which was when Nigerian soldiers started shooting into a crowd of peaceful protestors at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos.
Quartz Africa, a well-trusted and respected news publication in the region, recently reported how Nigerians feel like their President Buhari let them down in his speech, and didn’t display any empathy as the African country’s national protests continue through the month of October 2020. The End SARS protests had been going on for two weeks before President Buhari gave the speech. And, when he did sit down to read it, he seemed uncaring and cold in the opinions of most of the citizens.
What Did Nigerian President Buhari Say In His Speech?
Nigerians are seemingly losing more faith in their governmental leaders as the days go on. For example, according to the Sahara Reporters newspaper, many citizens there see President Buhari’s speech as “12 minutes of nonsense”, where he claimed to have heard their voices “loud and clear”.
“As democratic goment,” he said according to BBC, “we listen to, and carefully evaluate di five-point demands of di protesters. And, afta we accept dem, we immediately scrap Special Ant Robbery Squad [SARS] and put measures in place to address di oda demands of our youth. Afta approving di scrapping of SARS I already make am clear say e dey in line with our commitment to implement serious Police reforms….We don hear una voice loud and clear and we don dey respond.”
What he is referring to is what All Africa reported in one October 14th, 2020 report, where the Presidential Panel on Police Reforms looked at the five-point demands put forth by protestors involving stopping police force against them, as well as for the release of peaceful protesters who’d been arrested.
Justice for The Killings of Nigerian Protestors
As the anger in Nigeria continues to build after President Buhari seemed unwilling to show empathy for those who were wrongly murdered while protesting, tensions between locals and government continue to rise. The investigation into the murders continues, and the public there (as well as worldwide) will know more about what will be done legally about the horrific event in the coming weeks.