Saraki said what happened in Lekki was nothing but a massacre.
Former Senate President, Bukola Saraki, has condemned the shooting of unarmed protesters in the Lekki area of Lagos on the night of Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
Security personnel dressed in military attire arrived the sit-in protest venue two hours before a state-imposed curfew was billed to kick off, and opened fire on the peaceful protesters.
The street lights were turned off and security cameras switched off before the shooting began.
More than 10 people were reported dead on the night with scores left badly injured.
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the killings were orchestrated by forces beyond his control.
The protests calling for an end to police brutality and demanding holistic police reforms under the ‘End SARS’ umbrella, were reignited on October 4 in Lagos, before spreading to other cities in the country.
“I have watched with horror the use of force against the Lekki #EndSARS protesters. My heart bleeds for the country. It is sad and disheartening that this is happening,” Saraki said in a statement he sent to Pulse.
“These are peaceful youth protesting to express legitimate concerns. It is unacceptable for any government to turn its weapons on its own young people. What has happened in Lekki tonight is nothing but a massacre
“This shooting must stop immediately and the security agents who carried out this exercise should be ordered to stop. No life of any Nigerian youth taking part in a peaceful protest deserves to be taken,” he said.
The former senate president added that; “this is not the Nigeria that we hope to leave for the next generation. Our young people are the future of our country. This is not the Nigeria we have worked for, striven for, prayed for and have sacrificed for.
“Dialogue is the only logical option in the current situation and not violence. Dialogue may take a longer time to work and it may appear frustrating. Still, as a leading member in the comity of nations, violent silencing of protesting youths cannot be an option for Nigeria.
“I appeal to the government to put an end to this shooting of protesters by security agents. We need to exercise great patience, restraint and compassion in handling the demands of these youths as they represent more than 50 percent of the population.
“We must take a quick walk away from this. We must do all that is necessary to protect and engage with the youths on all issues. Let the shooting stop and let fruitful dialogue commence. Mr. President, this is what needs to be done. I appeal to you to do the right thing.”
Protesters have been attacked by thugs in Abuja, Lagos and elsewhere across the country; and their cars burnt.
More than 30 persons have now been reported dead nationwide since the protests began.