Former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the defunct Lagos State-owned newspaper, Eko Today, Prince Uthman Shodipe-Dosunmu has called for the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the killing of innocent youths at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos Tuesday night, describing the incident as outrageous, sickening and unacceptable.
This was just as he expressed deep pains while sympathizing with the families of those who had lost their loved ones in this avoidable tragedy, praying God to grant them strengthen “in this harrowing period.”
Shodipe-Dosunmu made the call in a signed release, saying though the military high command had denied any involvement in such, the killings of innocent, peaceful #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in the middle of the night flew in the face of all military norms and traditions.
The media guru, who is also the Oloriekun of Olowogbowo, while recalling covering two theatres of war, both in Liberia and Sierra Leone as a journalist, said the military rules of engagement “is anchored on three major pillars.”
According to him, the rules are threat assessment, moral persuasion and moral conviction, saying it is when all these had failed that there might be a graduation to another level of moderation, but never to shoot unarmed peaceful protesters.
“The killings of innocent, peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in the middle of the night fly in the face of all military norms and traditions. It is outrageous, sickening and unacceptable. As a journalist, I have been in two theatres of war, both in Liberia and Sierra Leone.
“With the deepest pain in my heart, I hereby sympathize with the families of those who have lost their loved ones in this avoidable tragedy. May the good Lord strengthen them in this harrowing period.
“While the military high command has denied any involvement in this dastardly act, those who are responsible, whether they were freelancing or acted on their own, should be arrested and prosecuted for murder.
“The military rules of engagement is anchored on three major pillars: Threat assessment, moral persuasion and moral conviction. It is when all these have failed that there may be a graduation to another level of moderation. But never to shoot unarmed peaceful protesters. Never,” he said.
Shodipe-Dosunmu posited that the nation needed general healing as rules had been broken while the youth were angry and desperate, noting that the leadership in the state, by not coming out clean and truthful, had indeed complicated matters.
He, however, appealed to the angry youths “out there to stand down” and “return to the peace of the round table,” saying looting and destruction were no panacea to the problems on the ground chaos, as anarchy was also not a tool of progression.
Speaking further, the former CEO of defunct Eko Today newspaper, enjoined both the Federal and state governments to improve on their pacifying interventions, saying denials and outright falsehoods of the current narratives were counterproductive.
He particularly charged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who he said presides over the very epicentre of the protests, show more empathy in the management of all these howling iniquities.
Besides, Shodipe- Dosunmu demanded that restitution must be paid to the injured and the dead in the sad incident, saying the toll gates at both ends of Lekki be dismantled, while massive youth empowerment programme is put in place as well.
He also demanded that university lecturers should be paid their seized wages to ensure that the youths go back to school, declaring that the enabling list was endless.
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