The Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA) has roundly condemned the Shooting of unarmed protesters in Lekki, Lagos by the Military.
In a joint press release by the president of ANA and secretary, Camillus Ukah and Maik Ortserga, it was expected that the leadership of the country would have handled the situation with utmost care, caution against the use of force.
According to them “With massive protests that have moved swiftly across the land for many days bewailing the brutality of the police and calling for reforms in the sector with a frenzy surpassing any in recent years, it was expected that the leadership of the country would handle the situation with utmost care, cautioning against the use of force, knowing that such approach may inflame the already volatile situation. ANA regrets that over the years there have been so many contradictions within the polity, which great writers such as Chinua Achebe, Wole Soyinka, Ken SaroWiwa and others have always decried.
“Indeed the story of contemporary Nigeria, which has always had an angle of violence and threat to human life, has been the worry of all Nigerian writersand many books of prose, poetry, drama and even prison memoirs have been written on that. Unfortunately, every stratum of our lopsided demography shares part of the culpability in this depressing story until this uplifting moment when a semblance of purpose is seen among our peacefully protesting youths. ”
ANA noted that it is terrifying the numbers of unemployed youths that have been produced in this country, noting while ANA feel that protesting youths are expressing their right to speak out against injustice, they should always do so strictly within the letter and spirit of the law, ANA maintains that the dastardly act of use of brute force on unarmed, national flag flying youths by the soldiers should be condemned by all well- meaning Nigerians.
ANA called on all aggrieved youths and the security forces to sheath their swords and urge the government to honestly address both the kernel of the protests and the cause of the escalation of peaceful protests into violence.
“In so doing the authorities must bear in mind that another name for a lasting peace is crystal clear justice.We therefore insist that those who shot mindlessly at defenceless youths exercising their fundamental human rights to peaceful protest and assembly must be brought to swift justice by the government and the victims identified and duly compensated. “