Legal icon and Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), Afe Babalola, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians.
He made the call while reacting to the recent happenings across the country following the recent #EndSARS protests.
“Protests against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, otherwise known as SARS or FSARS, have spread to all parts of Nigeria and beyond.
“The deployment of soldiers to the streets is not the answer. The imposition of curfews is certainly not the answer,” Babalola said in a statement.
He added, “I remember that as soon as the protests began, I had issued a press release in a similar vein on the issue appealing to the President to please address the issue at that time.
“I now again plead with him to address the root causes of the pain which the youths are complaining about.”
Youths in various parts of the country have embarked on peaceful protests in the last two weeks to demand an end to police brutality.
While the demonstrations have enjoyed the support of many political, traditional, and religious leaders, some of the protests were hijacked by thugs.
However, it was a black Tuesday on October 20, 2020, when soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters in the Lekki toll gate axis of Lagos State.
This led to the death of some protesters while at least 28 others were injured, triggering condemnation from well-meaning Nigerians and members of the international community.
“The use of live bullets and other lethal weapons against protesting youths is not the answer. The killing of protesting youths is also not the answer.
“A protest both in fact and in law is analogous to a message which an injured toe sends to the brain complaining about unbearable pain,” said Babalola in his reaction to the shooting of the protesters.
He added, “The response by the brain and the head is normally to take steps to treat the pain to the toe.
“Any injured person who refuses to take steps to treat pains to any part of the body does so at his own peril.”
The legal icon described the President as the head of the nation, stressing that the youths were parts of the body – the nation.
He, therefore, urged President Buhari as the head to address the youths and offer remedial steps to be taken to alleviate their pains.