By Lazarus Zakaa, Abuja.
Group under the umbrella of Emerging Leaders Forum of Nigeria (ELFON), has condemned in strong terms the comments made by Human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, on shooting at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State.
According to The Cable, Falana on Wednesday, October 28 when speaking at a virtual #EndSARS meeting organized by Omoyele Sowore, publisher of Sahara Reporters.
Falana was quoted to have said, that the Lekki shooting must not be swept under the carpet like the ”killing of 347 Shi’ites in Zaria, Kaduna state, in 2015.”
“Nobody should believe the military, it has a history of lies, fraud and deception. Just in December 2015, the same chief of army staff claimed there was a traffic jam in Zaria and the big man wanted to move.
“And because of that traffic, he got soldiers from the first division in Kaduna to mow down hundreds of Shi’ites. And what was the explanation? That the Shi’ites wanted to assassinate the chief of army staff, and so his boys had to save him and in the process, they repelled these Shi’ites who had guns and about six or seven people died.
“But in a commission of enquiry set up by the Kaduna state government, we were told that indeed, 347 Nigerians were killed by the military; no autopsy, no postmortem, nothing whatsoever.
“Their bodies were taken away in the dead of the night and given a mass burial. And people will ask you, ‘if anybody lost his child in Lekki, why can’t they come up?’ Who has come up in the case of Zaria? Because you must understand the environment under which we operate.”
The lawyer also said some of those injured in the Lekki shooting “had to forcefully discharge themselves.
According to him, the injured protesters were told in a hospital that they were going to be held liable for the riots in town, “and so, everybody had to move.”
The ELFON National Deputy President (North); Amb. Babangida Ahmed Raddah while responding to the comments made by Femi Falana said the group would not fold it’s arms and watch the Human Rights Lawyer fan amber of discord in Nigeria by rubbing the name of the Nigeria Army in the mud.
The group further said, over 14 civil society organizations have done diligent findings as to know families of those whose “acclaimed members were slain” at the lekki toll gate, but have noted that there is none.
“ELFON isn’t ignorant of the fact that some enemies of the nation are hell bent on taking Nigeria hostage.
” They promoted the peaceful and lofty ENDSARS Protest out of context just to weaken the Police Force and are in a consensual plot to dampen the Nigerian Army with various degrees of blackmails.
Emerging Leaders Forum therefore urge femi falana and his bank -rollers to name the families of their acclaimed dead persons killed by Military Personnel with convincing proves or keep quiet.
The Leadership of (ELFON), also insisted that their investigations has revealed that the Army personnel fired mere fireworks into the air to enable them restore peace and free flow of vehicular traffic and persons at the toll gate.
“Even with the high level of sabotage within and outside the Military formations, the Chief of Army staff; Lt.Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai is said to be ranking high as regards quick operational response to insecurity challenges and intelligence gathering supra”, he added.