LAGOS, Nigeria – Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi has condemned the destructions that followed the peaceful End SARS protest in October.
The official said the perpetrators must face the law.
“If we don’t punish those who caused these damages, others may do it again,” he said on Sunday.
Amaechi spoke during an assessment of the damages at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) headquarters in Lagos, NAN reports.
The former Rivers State Governor said it was legitimate to protest but illegal to destroy private and government properties.
“This is completely disastrous. It is not enough to vent your anger about police brutality in this manner. How does damaging government property concern the police? Whether you like it or not, this will be refurbished or rebuilt with government funds.
”That means the funds also belong to those who have set this place ablaze. Those who commit crime should be held liable and appropriate punishment meted out on them. I was a student from 1983 to 1987, that was a period when the Nigerian students were always out on the streets, we never burnt down anything.
“The rights to protest is defined in the laws of Nigeria, it doesn’t include burning peoples houses or places, it doesn’t include blocking major highways or minor roads. The law said you should protest by the side of the road, it didn’t say you should protest and block the roads because there are other road users.
“I may not like police brutality and I didn’t protest. It is legitimate to protest but it is illegitimate to take other people’s rights. The rights to protest is defined in the constitution but it does not include burning people’s houses and government properties”, Amaechi stressed.