The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC), an umbrella body of civil society organisations in Zimbabwe is imploring Nigerian authorities to desist from the use of excessive force as citizens protest against police brutality.
The coalition notes with concern that the Nigerian authorities have unleashed the army against citizens protesting against the brutality of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) that left at least 12 people dead at the hands of the military.
CiZC said 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 that 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,” CiZC said in a statement
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
– investigate the extra judicial killings and bring perpetrators to book
– reform the police service as a matter of urgency
– ensure justice for victims as well as compensation of victims of the barbaric acts by the army.