The Commonwealth Medical Association, CMA, on Wednesday expressed worry over what it described as ‘reports of callous assault and murder’ of defenceless civilian protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos even as it called on the Nigerian government to take up the medical care of injured victims as well as bring the culprits to quick justice.
The CMA also urged the Nigerian government to guarantee unfettered access to physicians and healthcare workers to care for injured victims and ensure the transparent investigation into the killings and prosecution of perpetrators.
Reacting to the development, President of the Commonwealth Medical Association, Dr Osahon Enabulele, who lamented that the protesters were only demanding for end in police brutality and reforms said CMA viewed as most unfortunate and unacceptable, the alleged prevention of ambulance services and medical care for the injured victims by the military.
He said while the CMA was not currently in a position to make a declarative statement on the pre-morbid state and motives of the elements behind the unholy assault and decimation of defenceless civilian protesters, it deeply regrets the loss of lives.
The CMA President further condemned the unwarranted murder of civilian protesters and gross assault on their fundamental human and health rights.
Noting the enormous human casualties and its implications for health and security, the CMA further called on the Government of Nigeria to urgently calm the situation by arresting further intimidation, assaults and murder of the peaceful protesters.
He said the government should ensure the arrest of criminals and hoodlums who are attacking peaceful demonstrators and ensure strict adherence to existing International treaties on fundamental human rights, and international treaties that govern the treatment of civilians, as enshrined in the Geneva Declaration of 1949.
“The CMA appreciates all physicians and healthcare workers who have so far offered to provide medical care to the injured victims and urges the leadership of the Nigerian Medical Association to sustain her leadership roles in ensuring full medical and psychological rehabilitation of the injured.
“We call on all parties to exercise restraint and embrace peaceful means, constructive and altruistic dialogue, laced with respect for the rule of law, respect for human and health rights, and the dignity of human lives.
“The CMA condoles the families of those murdered at the Lekki Tollgate and other parts of Nigeria and prays for the repose of their souls.
“This unfortunate incidence which took place in the course of a peaceful protest (code-named #ENDSARS) against police brutality and calls for reforms of the Nigeria Police Force in various parts of Nigeria, was characterized by the firing of live bullets at the protesting civilians, with several deaths and fatal injuries recorded amongst the protesters.”