President Buhari calls for "peace" in Nigeria in violence

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Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday launched an appeal for "peace" in Nigeria where the authorities are struggling to put an end to looting after two weeks of popular protest in the most populous country in Africa.

Nigerian head of state added that he supports the principle of a judicial inquiry in Lagos to bring justice to the peaceful protesters who lost their lives, to the security men who were murdered and to those who lost property during the days of violence, according to a statement released by the presidency.

It also called on people all over the country to keep peace and brotherhood, according to the terms of the press release.

The bloody crackdown on peaceful protests in Lagos on Tuesday evening, which left 12 people dead according to Amnesty International, outraged the country and the international community.

Mr. Buhari was strongly criticized for not speaking out after the violence.

Muhammadu Buhari seated on a chair reads a speech.

Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari is contested by the people.

Photo: Associated Press / Bayo Omoboriowo

According to the presidential statement, Mr. Buhari has avoided entering into a debate on these events as long as all the facts had not been established.

On Sunday, the situation was calm in Lagos, the economic capital of the country where the curfew imposed on Tuesday in an attempt to curb the escalation of violence was eased on Saturday.

Official buildings were set on fire there, supermarkets looted and vehicles destroyed during the violence.

Wave of looting

Authorities were struggling to end a wave of looting in several parts of the country, where crowds defied the curfew to loot government warehouses.

The country's police chief on Saturday ordered the immediate mobilization of all operational units to try to regain control of the situation.

People inspect burnt buses during riots in Lagos, Nigeria.

People inspect burnt buses during riots in Lagos, Nigeria.

Photo: Associated Press

Governors have instituted a total curfew in a series of states following the looting of food stocks, which were intended for distribution during the lockdown put in place to combat the coronavirus outbreak.

According to Amnesty, at least 56 people have been killed across the country in the two weeks of popular uprising.

Authorities insisted that the protests were hijacked by criminals, but protesters say officials were trying to undermine their demands for change.

The Nigerian presidency added that 229 suspects accused of looting and destroying property were to be prosecuted in Lagos.

Nigeria, a country of 200 million people and Africa's largest oil producer, is renowned for being one of the most corrupt countries in the world. Almost half of its inhabitants live in great poverty.

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