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CHRICED Stands in Solidarity With Peaceful Protesters Demanding Justice For George Floyd

• Mass Outrage Over Injustice, Police Brutality And Systemic Racism Holds Lessons For Nigeria

The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has closely followed the ongoing protests in the United States of America calling for justice for George Floyd, the latest victim of police brutality and systemic racism in American society. Floyd, a black man, was murdered in cold blood in Minneapolis by a police officer, Derek Chauvin. During an arrest, Officer Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes, even after he had been handcuffed, ignoring cries from the dying man that he could not breathe. CHRICED can hear the painful cries of ordinary Americans, especially black people, as they protest the brutality and inequality of a system heavily rigged against them.

The gruesome murder of George Floyd makes nonsense of what America represents as the conscience and bastion of world democracy and human rights hence the ravaging protests by the American public. Therefore, the authorities in the United States have a duty to promote and protect the right of peaceful protesters to voice their opinions on not only the killing of Floyd but also on the injustices perpetrated by the US law enforcement system, which is always so quick to kill black people. As noted in paragraph 2 in the preamble of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “disregard and contempt for human rights have resulted in barbarous acts which have outraged the conscience of mankind”. Thus we say without equivocation that the conscience of the entire world is genuinely outraged by the dastard killing of Floyd for no other reason than what appears to be the colour of his skin.

However, while extending our heartfelt condolences to the family of Floyd and the entire black community in the United States of America, CHRICED calls on Nigerians to learn essential lessons about the sanctity of life from the events in the USA. For the injustice done against one man, hundreds of thousands of people are on the streets in many cities demanding justice. Here at home, scores of lives are lost daily without anyone giving a hoot. In the United States, citizens are piling pressure on the authorities to bring perpetrators of the killing to justice. In their solidarity, no one is talking about the tribe, religion or partisan affiliation of the deceased. All the vast majority of the protesters are demanding is justice.

Nigeria sorely needs the kind of mindset on display in the United States to make ours a better society. As citizens of this country, we must insist that every life is sacred, and cannot be wasted. We must collectively condemn the killing of Nigerians in any part of the country. The recent rape and murder of Vera Omozuwa, an undergraduate of the University of Benin, should attract outrage from citizens across this country. The killings in various parts of our country can no longer be treated as usual. As a country, we must get to the point of ensuring government works to prevent the loss of lives, and where such happens, the authorities must be made to account for every single life lost. That is what the Americans protesting peacefully are doing; that is the mindset that makes societies better.


Comrade Dr. Zikirullahi M. Ibrahim
Executive Director

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