The United States’ State Department delegations met with Nigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday.
The meeting in Nigeria’s Capital city Abuja, focused on the need for accountability following the excessive use of force by the Military forces who fired on peaceful #EndSARs demonstrators in Lagos on Tuesday.
The delegation was led by Ulrich Brechbuhl, Counselor of the U.S. Department of State.
The State Department’s spokesperson, Morgan Ortagus said that the visit was part of a previously scheduled delegation, which included Assistant Secretary Robert Destro and Assistant Secretary Denise Natali.
The delegation raised U.S. concerns about ongoing violence in Nigeria, human rights, religious freedom, and trafficking in persons, and to hear from senior Nigerian Government officials about how they are addressing those issues.
Ortagus added that the Counselor expressed the U.S. condemnation of the use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos.
“He expressed condolences to the victims of these shootings and urged the government of Nigeria to abide by its commitment to hold those responsible accountable under the law,” he added.
The Vice President and the Counselor noted that the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are essential human rights and core democratic principles.
Counselor Brechbühl and Vice President Osinbajo also emphasized the importance of U.S. and Nigerian collaboration on common goals of improving security cooperation and strengthening economic partnership to foster mutual prosperity.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Secretary Michael Pompeo in a statement released on October 22 said, “The United States strongly condemns incidents of military forces firing on unarmed protestors in Lagos.
“Those involved should be held to account under the law. We extend our condolences to the victims of the violence and their families. #EndSARS,” Pompeo said.