US spits fire over Lekki killing, attacks on #EndSARS protesters
* Says army must produce soldiers behind attack to face the music
* Trump’s delegation meets VP, Osinbajo
By Steve Oko
At last, the United States of America has spoken up on the killing of peaceful protesters in Lekki, Lagos State by security operatives suspected to be soldiers and the violent clamp down on #EndSARS protesters in different parts of the country.
The US has also warned of serious consequences on all those who authorised or were involved in the killing of peaceful protesters.
US also raised concerns over the escalating violence and human rights violations, religious freedom and human trafficking in Nigeria.
The US delegation sent by President Donald Trump came to find out what the Nigerian authorities were doing about the security concerns in the country.
This was made know Thursday after Senior officials of the US Government met with Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo in Abuja.
The US delegation expressed displeasure over the shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll plaza and violent clamp down by security operatives against the protesters .
The US demanded that the soldiers behind the shootings must be brought to book.
In a statement issued after the meeting with Osinbajo US said citizens had the right to protest.
The statement signed by the Spokesperson for the State Department, Morgan Ortagus, said that the officials were led by Counselor of the US State Department, Ulrich Brechbühl.
Others at the meeting include: Assistant Secretary Robert Destro and Assistant Secretary Denise Natali.
The officials, according to the statement, raised concerns over the ongoing violence in Nigeria as well as human rights violations and human trafficking.
The statement obtained by Wawa News Global read in part: “Counselor T. Ulrich Brechbühl met with Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo today in Abuja, Nigeria as part of a previously scheduled delegation, which included Assistant Secretary Robert Destro and Assistant Secretary Denise Natali, to raise US concerns about ongoing violence in Nigeria, human rights, religious freedom, and trafficking in persons, and to hear from senior Nigerian government officials how they are addressing those issues.
“The counselor expressed the US condemnation of the use of excessive force by military forces that fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos. He expressed condolences to the victims of these shootings and urged the government of Nigeria to abide by its commitment to hold those responsible accountable under the law.”
According to the statement, Osinbajo as well as the counselor noted that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles.
“Counselor Brechbühl and Vice President Osinbajo emphasised the importance of US and Nigerian collaboration on common goals of improving security cooperation and strengthening economic partnership to foster mutual prosperity,” the statement read.
The Nigerian Army had on repeatedly denied that soldiers were at the toll plaza despite video evidence showing soldiers shooting.
President Muhammadu Buhari has also failed to mention the Lekki incident in his nationwide broadcast on Thursday.
Some critics had criticized President Trump for not at least tweeting about the Nigeria matters since it started about two weeks ago but the visit by the State Department has sent strong signals that Trump may be up for something more significant.
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