By Oluwakemi Ishola
The Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, has defended his principal over the national broadcast to the Nigerian people on Thursday.
Adesina, who was a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Friday, said President Buhari’s speech did not omit the Lekki shooting.
The presidential spokesman said contrary to the belief that Buhari did not talk about the tragic incident in Lagos, the President’s message to the international community was on Lekki shooting.
“It was not omitted. That message to the international community was on Lekki shooting,” the presidential spokesman insisted.
“It is not true. Somewhere in that speech, the President spoke to the international community. He thanked those who had sought understanding before they made comments.
“He was also telling those who were hasty in their judgement to seek more information. He didn’t miss out anything.”
Speaking also on a virtual meeting President Buhari held earlier today with former Nigerian presidents, Adesina said the ex-leaders praised his principal for addressing the shooting in Lagos.
Many had believed that the Buhari’s speech came late and rather lacked empathy, however, the president’s spokesman quoted Obasanjo as saying, “I commend the speech of last night. The nation had been waiting. You made points that I believe need to be commended.
“Peaceful demonstration is part of democratic practice. The demands of the genuine protesters were accepted, and you are working on implementation. We commend you.”
Adesina’s reaction comes three days after several people were killed and others injured after security operatives opened fire at #EndSARS protesters in Lekki.
Security operatives had stormed the scene of the protest on Tuesday night hours after the Lagos Government announced a 24-hour curfew and opened fire.
The action drew global condemnation both within the country and outside of Nigeria with the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS calling for a thorough probe into the tragic shooting.
On Wednesday, the UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, called for an end to police brutality in Nigeria, condemning violent clashes that claimed multiple lives and caused many injuries.
According to a communiqué issued by his spokesperson, Stephane Dujarric, the UN chief has been following recent developments in Nigeria and has called for an end to police brutality and abuses.
Similarly, Chairman of the AU Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, offered his sincere condolences to the families of those who lost their lives and wished a speedy recovery to the injured.
Mr Mahamat appealed to all political and social actors to reject the use of violence and respect human rights and the rule of law.