The #NotTooYoungToRun Movement has condemned the deployment of armed military personnel to attack peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, in Lagos State.

The group, in a statement, said the action of the military threatened the core foundations of Nigeria's democracy.

Cynthia Mbamalu, the Director of Programmes, Yiaga Africa, signed the statement on behalf of the NotTooYoungToRun Movement.

The group noted that citizens have the constitutional right to protest, stating that deploying armed soldiers to shoot innocent demonstrators was an assault on the constitution.

The statement partly read, "We maintain that the youths at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos State on 20/10/2020 were exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful assembly, right to life, right to dignity of a person, and freedom of expression.

"No citizen deserves to die or be injured for exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful assembly. This is a grave injustice by this government to Nigerian youths.

"Together with other civil society organisations, human rights activists, and citizens, the NotToo YoungToRun movement condemns, in its entirety, the deployment of military personnel and armed security officers to unleash terror on peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on October 20, 2020.

"We strongly condemn the incessant intimidation, unlawful arrests and detention, extortion, harassment, and wanton killings of Nigerians across the country, especially Nigerian youth by security agencies during the #EndSARS protest.

"We also condemn the complicity of security agencies as they watched armed thugs and hoodlums attack peaceful protesters and citizens which led to the loss of lives and property in Abuja, Lagos, Oyo, Kano and Edo states.

"We strongly condemn the attempt by the federal and state government, Armed Forces and security agencies to deny the existence of these attacks and the shooting of young Nigerians."

The group called for a comprehensive investigation into the shooting of innocent and harmless #ENDSARS protesters.

It also added that the investigation should unravel and sanction those who masterminded the attacks and killings of the youth.

The group added, "Finally, as we reject the suppression of ongoing protests and state-sponsored violence against young people, we mourn with families who have lost loved ones in the course of the #EndSARS protests.

"The last two weeks have seen a reawakening of Nigerian youth to fight for a country they can call home. Young people protested and agitated for an end to police brutality and human rights violation. These protests are legitimate and constitutional.

"These actions have direct, adverse effects on the wellbeing, safety, productivity and consequently, the economy of our dear nation. Nigeria cannot afford to silence its youth. Nigeria cannot afford to ignore this injustice to the youth."

The movement also demanded an immediate withdrawal of the military and other security officers deployed to quell the #EndSARS protesters in Lagos and other states.

It also asked the President to address the country.

"The National Assembly should convene an emergency session to address the Lekki Tollgate killings and, as a matter of urgency, conduct an investigative public hearing on these reported extrajudicial killings of #EndSARS protesters by security agencies and ensure accountability and justice for the injured and dead protesters," the group added.

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