Civic Society Organisations in Zimbabwe under the umbrella of Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition (CiZC) have implored Nigerian authorities to desist from using excessive force to quell citizens unrest over police brutality.
The #EndSARS demonstration began early this month with Nigerians calling for an end to police brutality and bad governance and this has degenerated into violence, as thugs hijacked the movement and started to wreak havoc on protesters, government and private property.
Since the protests began earlier this month, there has also been the use of lethal force by security forces on protesters nationwide, which has drawn a global outcry.
In a statement, the Coalition said it is concerned by the deployment of army personnel to quell the protests.
“We note with concern that the Nigerian authorities have unleashed the army against citizens protesting against the brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) and as a result, at least 12 people have lost their lives at the hands of the military.
“The move to deploy the army against unarmed civilians is an act of State sponsored terror which has no place in modern democracy. Deploying the military against citizens calling for an end to harassment, extra judicial killings, torture and extortion can only amount to authoritarianism and military rule,” said CiCZ
In light of the protests the Coalition urged the Nigerian government to exercise maximum restraint in dealing with dissenting voices.
“Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition urges the Nigerian government to; refrain from the use of excessive force against civilians, investigate the extra judicial killings and bring perpetrators to book, reform the police service as a matter of urgency, ensure justice for victims as well as compensation of victims of the barbaric acts by the army”
The coalition appealed to protesters to exercise peace during the demonstrations and also called upon the African Union and the international community to mediate in resolving the Nigerian crisis.