Dr. Joe Okei Odumakin, President, Centre for Change who is still mourning the death of her husband, Yinka Odumakin, has had to take a break from her self-imposed three-month mourning period to comment on the reported shooting this morning ironically at the Unity Fountain in Abuja, of activist and journalist, Omoyele Sowore.
Omoyele and other activists were on peaceful demonstration when gun-totting and trigger- happy security operatives reportedly shot at them, hitting and injuring Omoyele in the process.
In a statement issued in Lagos, Dr. Joe said: “This is unacceptable! Nigeria is a democratic country under law and not a dictatorship or banana republic.
“Freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of movement are some of the fundamental human rights granted to Nigerian citizens by the 1999 Constitution as amended.
“The widely-expressed flaws of this Constitution notwithstanding, it still charges journalists to hold the government accountable to the people.
“It accords the people the right of peaceful protest, especially when drawing government officials’ attention to their failings and the expectations of citizens from them, which is legitimate.
“We, therefore, condemn the shooting of Sowore as barbaric and an infringement of his rights under the law.
“These rights include the right to life, which is basic and which no government or its agents can breach in a whimsical way.
“We ask the Federal authorities to call the security operatives to order, fish out the culprits and bring them to trial.
“The country is on tenterhooks already and nothing must be done by the authorities to heat up the polity further.
“We demand prompt and effective treatment of Sowore and any of his colleagues wounded in the unprovoked assault by the police.
“All men and women of goodwill must condemn this assault and hold the government accountable