Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Tinubu lampoons Buhari for ordering #LekkiMassacre

Bola Tinubu describes the Lekki massacre as indefensible and completely outside the norms of a democratic society.

• October 25, 2020
President Buhari -2
President Buhari (Photo Credit: Twitter)

Bola Tinubu has described the deadly attack on protesters in Lagos as unjustifiable and undemocratic. 

“The use of strong force against any peaceful protesters is indefensible, completely outside the norms of a democratic society and progressive political culture to which I aspire and have devoted my public life,” Mr. Tinubu said in a statement Sunday night. “That people were angered by the reports of violence and death is acutely understandable.”

At least nine people were killed when Nigerian soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters in Lekki on October 20. The attack was filmed and streamed live on Instagram and other social media platforms. 

Five days on, President Muhammadu Buhari has yet to condemn the attack. His failure to hold anyone responsible for the attack and his position as the commander-in-chief made marked strong indications that he ordered the attack, security analysts said.

Experts also referenced how Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo fired Lawal Daura hours after the former SSS chief ordered a siege to the National Assembly in August 2018. 

“The way the vice-president handled the matter back then immediately cleared the air that he was not involved in desecrating the National Assembly as a major component of civil rule,” security analyst Victor Eke said.

Messrs. Buhari and Tinubu have been political allies since 2013 when they merged their political parties to form the now-ruling APC. 

Mr. Tinubu’s association with the president has made him a suspect in the Lekki massacre, with critics saying his public comments exposed his alleged involvement in planning it. His media businesses in Lagos, TVC and The Nation, were promptly set on fire on October 21, a development Mr. Tinubu decried in his statement. 

Although he was initially quiet in the days following the attack, Mr. Tinubu, who is seeking to be president in 2023, has sought to aggressively distance himself from the attacks over the past 24 hours.

On Saturday evening, he granted a media interview, saying he knew nothing about how the attack was planned. He also demanded an investigation that would see the ‘casualties’ of the attack equally questioned, becoming an instant target for ridicule.

Mr. Tinubu walked back some of his comments in his statement tonight, drawing a reconciliatory tone on both his innocence and the significance of the nationwide protests against police brutality.

“Understandably outraged, people sought to hold someone accountable,” Mr. Tinubu said. “For various reasons, I became the most available scapegoat.”

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