The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is painfully disturbed by the violent turn of events over the last 48 hours that greeted the #EndSARS protest staged by Nigerian youths across the country. More specifically, we are saddened by the reported events at Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020.
(1) The NMA as the umbrella body of Nigerian Doctors in clear terms condemns all forms of violence and threats to life especially the alleged use live ammunition by some security agents leading to injuries and loss of lives. In a similar vein, we condemn the wanton destruction of public and private properties and attacks on other citizens by hoodlums who hijacked the peaceful protests.
(2) Our heart goes to all the victims and family members of all those caught up in the Lekki Toll Gate shootings and indeed all those who lost their lives or sustained various forms of injuries in different parts of Lagos and other states. It is also sad that the NMA received reports of the attacks on its members in the line of duty as well as health facilities in some states of the Federation.
(3) As custodians of the health and well-being of our people and especially, as those whose core mandate is the preservation of lives, we condemn in strongest terms all acts that have led to life-threatening injuries and avoidable loss of lives.
(4) Consequently, we call on the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as well as the State Governors, to as a matter of urgency, direct the security agents to immediately de-escalate the situation, protect lives and properties so as not to worsen the current situation.
(5) We also call on protesters to resist the temptation of violence and destructive tendencies, no matter the perceived provocation.
(6) We appeal to Mr. President to direct appropriate Agencies of government to commence investigations that will unravel the circumstances that led to the ugly event at the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of 20th October 2020, so as to bring all those found culpable to Justice.
(7) Meanwhile, NMA commends the setting up of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry in all the States of the Federation and the FCT and we are confident that they will dutifully carry out this onerous responsibility.
(8) In light of the above, NMA directs all state branches and FCT of the Association to suspend all the Ongoing activities of the 2020 Annual Physicians’ Week. This is in reflection of the mood of the Nation as we mourn the lives that were lost and persons injured during the #EndSARS protests.
(9) NMA wishes to appreciate all Medical Doctors, other Health Professionals and Hospitals in Lagos and other states, who are already providing emergency services to the injured victims in the current imbroglio.
(10) Furthermore, NMA calls on doctors across the thirty-six states of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), to avail themselves to provide emergency services and care to the injured victims of the unfortunate situation. Additionally, we urge relevant authorities to provide security and ensure free flow of movement for Doctors as well as ambulances and other Healthcare Workers (HCWs).
(11) The NMA, as custodian of health of Nigerians will continue to advocate for the respect and sanctity of the lives of all Nigerians at all times.
Finally, we hereby call on the Federal Government to religiously implement the accepted five (5) point demand by the protesters which will bring about genuine and all-embracing reforms in the Police force for a better Nigeria.
In conclusion, Nigeria belongs to all of us and we must all work hard and at all times to continue to build a nation that we all should be proud of.
God bless the NMA!
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria!!
Professor (Dr.) Innocent A.O. Ujah, FNMA, FNAMed, mni
President, Nigerian Medical Association.