A Nigerian group, Socialist Workers and Youth League, is demanding justice for a Nigerian journalist and activist, Comrade Alex Ameh Ogbu, who was allegedly killed by police operatives during his coverage of Shi’ite protests in Abuja on Tuesday, Juanuary, 21.
In a statement issued on Friday, January 24, the group accused the Nigeria Police of again acting unprofessionally and taking the life of a journalist, and activist, Alex Ameh Ogbu in a coldblooded manner.
“In the misguided engagement of the officers of the Nigerian police force with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria known as Shi’ites on Tuesday at the Berger roundabout, the life of Alex Ogbu was cut short as trigger happy police shot him on the forehead while another person, a Vehicle Inspection Officer, despite identifying himself, was shot in the leg.
“The Socialist Workers and Youth League (SWL), condemn this perpetual act of barbarism, senselessness, cruelty, and unprofessionalism of Nigeria Police force that has continued to end the lives of defenceless people.
While the police have continued to deny killing Alex, information from eyewitnesses and media reports showed that Alex was hit by the bullet shot by the police. This was further confirmed by the FCT Police PRO in another media report that their men fired shots that led to the death of the deceased.
“We are quite concerned by the ugly fact that the police again used live ammunition against unarmed protesters. We recall that this is not the first case of police brutality and unprofessionalism in engaging groups of peaceful protesters. In 2019, in similar engagement between the police and the Shi’ites, a serving corps member who was also a journalist was murdered by state security operatives.
“This is one-death-too-many and Nigerians have now become endangered species in their own country. The death of Alex Ogbu is one that will not be allowed to go the ways of others slain by officers of the Nigerian police force.
“We demand justice for Alex, we demand thorough investigations into the incident that led to his death. Nigerians need to know why the police continue to use live ammunition against unarmed citizens to the point of taking their lives. Nobody has the right to take the life of another, not the Nigerian police, not anybody. The right to life is both natural and fundamental and is protected by Nigeria Constitution.
“It is important to reiterate that section 20 of the Nigerian Constitution as amended mandates the government to protect the lives and properties of every citizen. It is, therefore, a gross act of irresponsibility for the police to use live bullets against unarmed citizens who are only expressing their constitutional rights through protest. Security operatives should maintain law and order at all times and not kill innocent citizens.
“We call on the Federal Government to be more responsible in its approach to addressing the agitations and the demands of any group. The government should be more responsive to the citizens regardless of their religious affiliations or political views.
“We, therefore, call on the retired General Buhari led-government to be more responsible in addressing the needs of all citizens especially when it comes to securing their lives and properties.
“We also call on the state apparatus to desist from taking further steps and actions that could lead to the breakdown of law and order or result in the deaths of more citizens within the Federal Capital Territory and the country at large.
“We demand that the killers of Alex Ogbu be brought to book. We demand an end to the use of live ammunition on unarmed citizens.
“We demand that the police be more responsible in their engagement.
“We invite the media to attend the wider press conference called by the Real Change/Revolution Now Movement which will hold on Monday. For detail call 08102891683,” the group further stated.