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Mo Ibrahim Condemns Crackdown On EndSARS Protesters

Billionaire philanthropist Mo Ibrahim on Monday hit out at the Nigerian federal government for a crackdown on unarmed civilians during #EndSARS protest, a protest that spilt over into wider calls for better governance.

Human rights monitor Amnesty International has said security forces shot and killed 12 people during the protest in Lagos, on October 20.

But the military last week denied shooting live rounds, insisting that soldiers only fired blanks at the crowds who had gathered in defiance of a curfew.

“I really don’t understand why the government needed to attack peaceful demonstrators,” Ibrahim, a Sudanese-British businessman who made his fortune in telecoms, told AFP.

“This is what bothers me, this closing of space, of civil society. The right of people to stand up and say their views is a sacred right, and that was totally unacceptable.”

Ibrahim was speaking after his foundation suggested that governance progress had slowed across Africa for the first time in a decade, even before the coronavirus pandemic hit.

In particular, the report by the Mo Ibrahim Index of African Governance, published every two years, found that the commitment to democracy and civil rights had faltered.

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