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A coalition of women groups, Mothers United and Mobilised (MUM), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute a transparent panel of inquiry into alleged shooting of unarmed EndSARS protesters in Lekki on Tuesday.
The coalition made the call in a statement issued on Thursday by its Convener and Co-convener, Dr Boluwaji Onabolu and Mrs Sonye Allanah, respectively.
MUM is a group of Nigerian mothers from all walks of life, ethnic and religious groups, based in Nigeria and in Diaspora.
The Mothers United and Mobilised said that the probe should unravel “who ordered the shootings, who carried it out and how are they being held accountable.”
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari as Father of the Nation to cease and desist from the use of live bullets and teargas against our children, your children,” MUM said.
The coalition decried the infiltration of the peaceful EndSARS protests by thugs and hoodlums to attack, pollute and bury the messages of these young ones.
The women groups asked President Buhari to give a “clear and time bound response” to how government intended to end police brutality and implement requested interventions for police reform in Nigeria.
They also demanded compensation for each of the families of those killed by SARS/police and footing of medical bills of those injured.
The groups urged government to create the safe space necessary for the youth to sit at a discussion table with government with no fear of reprisal.
“Never again should we argue about whether our children are ‘merely’ shot at for asking that the knees on their neck to be removed and they be allowed to breath, survive and thrive,” the coalition said.
The women also appealed to the protesting youth to retreat, calm down, apply wisdom and re-strategise so as to achieve a better Nigeria of their dream.
“Do not face the bullets with your barebodies, do not lose hope. You will birth a new nation but not with your blood.
“We are Mothers United and Mobilised, Nigerian mothers from all walks of life, ethnic and religious groups, based in Nigeria and in diaspora, mothers of both the police and ‘the EndSARS protesters.
“We are united in one purpose and one mission only – the protection of our children, the amplification of their voices and mediation between the Father of the nation and the youth of the nation,” the women said.
The group called for the release of all those youths who have been detained for protesting peacefully and put a stop to the hunting for others.
“Our children, we speak to you, we your mothers stand with you, we cry with you, and ask for calm, wisdom and restrategising.
“We your mothers are united and mobilised in our resolve and determination to midwife this birth with you by speaking and acting.
“Never again will anyone with earthly power have the unconscionable audacity to order that our children be shot at by those in uniform for speaking up in the land of their birth,” they said.
According to the statement, the youth spoke up with one voice peacefully asking that no more should the nation watch while those given uniforms and arms for protection, kill, maim and extort money and their lives from them.
The groups said that Oct. 20 was a date embedded in their hearts forever and that never again will the group watch those entrusted to protect children try to stop their voices with bullets.
The group said that the president’s response to their requests would determine next steps to secure the peace they seek for their children, the President’s children and the land.