Kwara Must Change have petitioned relevant authorities to seek justice for youths brutally murdered by soldiers in Lafiaji Town, Edu Local Government, Kwara State.
The petition addressed to president Muhammadu Buhari was also copied to the Inspector General of Police, Chief of Army Staff, DG of SSS, Both Chambers of National Assembly, Chairman of APC and PDP, Chairman of Nigeria’s Governors Forum and other relevant institutions.
Below is the full text.
President Muhammadu Buhari,
Aso Rock Presidential Villa,
Federal Republic of Nigeria, Abuja.
20th November, 2017
DEMAND FOR JUSTICE OVER EXTRA-JUDICIAL KILLINGS OF PROMISING YOUTHS IN LAFIAJI, KWARA STATE BY SOLDIERS DEPLOYED BY SEN. SHAABA LAFIAJI
Kwara Must Change writes to demand justice for the five (5) promising youths from Lafiaji town, Kwara State Nigeria, who were brutally murdered by soldiers through the order of Senator Muhammed Sha’aba Lafiaji on 17th November, 2017.
The five (5) victims include:
1. Abubakar Halassan (Confirmed Dead)
2. Ndigi Manyisa (Confirmed Dead)
3. Ladan Emisantali (Critical Condition)
4. Manko Bindofu (Critical Condition)
5. Musa Abdullahi (Confirmed Dead)
On Friday, 17th November 2017, the five (5) bright and promising young men were shot by soldiers attached to Senator Sha’aba Lafiaji for exercising their fundamental human rights of peaceful protest to demand accountability from the senator representing their senatorial district, Senator Muhammed Sha’aba Lafiaji. The victims were students of Lafiaji College of Education, Kwara State.
On the faithful day, youths stopped the senator from entering the town because of a dilapidated culvert on Lafiagi Road, around Sodo River, about four kilometres to Lafiagi town. Many people have died on this road in the past and more recently, the youths complained that the place had recorded about four accidents within a short time.
A couple had been killed as a result of the bad culvert. A herdsman that was riding a motorcycle ran into the bad culvert and died. There was also a family traveling from Lagos to Abuja that drove into the culvert and died from the accident.
As a result of witnessing all these avoidable deaths, the youths decided to mobilize resources from among themselves to fix a portion of the culvert, which they did, without any contribution or support from the senator. The uncle to one of the victims, Mallam Ndaman told Kwara Must Change that, one of the youths also fell into the culvert and died while trying to fix it months ago.
After fixing a portion, the youths requested that the senator fix the other portion with is constituency allowances, but they got no response from him. They further complained that he always leaves the town after election and never returns, until during another election period. So, as the Kwara State local government election approaches, they resolved and were determined to hold him accountable when he comes into town.
Realizing that the youths had planned to protest against the senator and hold him accountable when he visits the community for election, some politicians loyal to the senator called to inform him of the intention of the youth and rather than reach out to the youths for dialogue, he employed the service of fully armed soldiers to intimidate them.
Upon getting to the community, the youth’s demanded that before Senator Shaaba Lafiagi would be allowed into the town , he should tell them when the other portion of the culvert will be fixed to save people from unnecessary death.
However, instead of placating the youths by showing maturity and leadership, Senator Mohammed Sha’aba Lafiagi called on upon trigger happy soldiers, who opened fire on the peaceful demonstrators, thereby instantly killing four (2), while others sustained various degrees of injury. Another victim died while receiving treatment at the hospital and 2 others are still lying in critical condition.
We make bold to say that, the brutal killing of these defenseless youths was a needless waste of human life, engineered by a politician, who was once the Kwara State Governor and feels that he is above the laws of the land.
It is our candidate view that, the supposed lawmaker has thus become a law breaker and must not escape from the wrath of the law.
We are aware that it is unconstitutional for Senator Shaaba Lafiaji to deploy soldiers as personal security and more importantly, to cause the soldiers to open fire at peaceful, unarmed and civil protesters who are merely asking him to own up to his responsibility.
In view of this, Kwara Must Change demand as follows:
1. Government urgent intervention is required, so as to provide proper medical attention for the remaining victims lying in critical conditions.
2. Immediate arrest and prosecution of Senator Shaaba Lafiaji by the police for ordering brutal killing of innocent citizens over demand for accountability.
3. Immediate arrest and prosecution of the soldiers deployed to carry out this heinous act against unarmed innocent citizens by the police.
4. Investigation of how Senator Shaaba Lafiaji could have access to deploy soldiers as personal security in total violation of the laws of the country.
5. Adequate compensation to the families of deceased victims and those still lying in critical condition.