United States Democratic Presidential candidate, Joe Biden, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria to desist from using brute force on peaceful protesters.
Unarmed protesters who have been marching round the country and staging sit-ins under the ‘End SARS’ banner, were shot at in Lekki, Lagos, with live bullets on the night of Tuesday, October 20, 2020, after security personnel turned off the lights and switched off the cameras.
At least 50 persons have been reported dead and injured from the incident.
SARS is an acronym for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a notorious police unit that has long been accused of human rights abuses, profiling of young men and extra-judicial killings.
“I urge President Buhari and the Nigerian military to cease the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria, which has already resulted in several deaths. My heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one in the violence,” Biden said in a statement.
“The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy.
“I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria,” he added.
Former Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, has also condemned the Lekki shooting.
Even though SARS has since been scrapped by the presidency in the wake of the nationwide protests, the protesters are demanding for an execution plan and deeper, holistic police reforms.
Latest reports say gunshots are still being heard in the Lekki area.