Coalition for Good Governance and Economic Justice in Africa (CGGEJA) has urged Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State, south-south Nigeria, to ensure the protection of peaceful protesters in the state.
For over one week Nigerian youths have been protesting against police brutality.
Protests, with hashtag #EndSARS, were triggered by the alleged killing of a young man by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Lagos State on 03 October.
SARS, which was specifically set up to fight robbery and kidnapping, has long been accused of harassment, unlawful arrests, torture and killings.
Although the police unit has been dissolved, protesters are demanding, amongst other things, a total overhaul of the police force and the release of all arrested protesters.
It was learnt that gunshots were fired at anti-police brutality protesters in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Country Director of CGGEJA, John Mayaki, said youths should be allowed to peacefully protest as they continue to express their desire for safer policing.
‘This matter has gone beyond politics’, Mayaki said in a statement.
‘The youths are expressing their desire for safer policing and the last thing anyone would want to do is aggrieve them or perpetrate violence on them for their peaceful demonstrations.
‘We believe Governor Obaseki may find it in his best interests to repay the faith that was reposed in him during the elections by meeting with the commissioner of police in Edo State and urging him to ceasefire immediately’.
Photo source: Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP