Politics, World, Africa

Nigeria protests turn violent, UN urges police restraint

Protestors set ablaze leading TV network despite 24-hour curfew in Lagos

Kola Olarewaju and Felix Tih   | 21.10.2020
Nigeria protests turn violent, UN urges police restraint

MAIDUGURI, Nigeria/ANKARA

Protests against police brutality in Nigeria have turned violent with a dozen people killed, and numerous houses, businesses and vehicles razed by protesters.

Some protesters on Wednesday morning set fire to the headquarters of a leading television network TV Continental in Lagos, the West African nation's commercial hub. Journalists on site said they suspended news broadcasts as demonstrators stormed the TV station.

"We have to suspend all our program now because some hoodlums protesting have entered our premises and putting fire on our facility," presenter Morayo Afolabi-Brown announced on air before the station shut down the broadcast.

Footage of the TV station building ablaze trended on social media with the voices of protests in the background.

In a statement on Wednesday, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called for an end to reported police brutality and abuses in Nigeria.

He condemned the violent escalation in Lagos, which "resulted in multiple deaths and caused many injuries."

He also expressed his condolences to the bereaved families and wishes a speedy recovery to those injured.

Guterres called on authorities to investigate reported incidents and "hold the perpetrators accountable."

He also urges security forces to "act at all times with maximum restraint while calling on protestors to demonstrate peacefully and to refrain from violence."

"The Secretary-General encourages the authorities to swiftly explore avenues to de-escalate the situation. He reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to support national efforts towards finding a solution," according to the statement.

Seven people were killed at the Lakki Gate protesting ground during a face-off with multiple gunmen on Tuesday night, The Sun newspaper reporter.

The Tuesday incident followed violent demonstrations against police brutality in the southern Edo State that saw the destruction of houses and vehicles in its northern city of Kano on Tuesday.

Clement Nwankwo, Chief Executive Director of Civil Society Organisation (CSOs) condemned the killings in a statement.

He asked legislators to invite the army chief to explain the role of the military personnel in the shooting of protesters.

The protests against police brutality, which started almost two weeks ago, has continued to gain momentum in most cities of the country, forcing the government to declare a 24-hour curfew in some states on Wednesday.

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