The Commonwealth group of nations has issued a statement about the situation in Nigeria, saying it is following with deep concern the alarming reports of attacks on demonstrators in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria.

Commonwealth Secretary-General Patricia Scotland said the secretariat was in close communication with the Nigerian Government and called for an end to all violence and restoration of peace in the country.

She said: “The Commonwealth strongly condemns the escalation of violence resulting in deaths in Lekki district in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria. The right to peaceful demonstrations and freedom of assembly are constitutionally protected rights and should be respected by all at all times. The perpetrators of these cowardly acts must be held accountable in accordance with the law.

“We note that an investigation has been ordered into these egregious human rights violations. Any investigation should be prompt and impartial, and the findings made public. We encourage a lasting solution that places the interests of all Nigerians above all other considerations.

“I extend our deepest condolences to the bereaved families and all those who have suffered during this difficult time. We stand ready to offer any assistance towards a prompt and peaceful resolution. The whole Commonwealth family stands in solidarity with the people of Nigeria.”

The Commonwealth is a voluntary association of 54 independent and equal sovereign states which share the background of being former colonies of the United Kingdom. Its population is 2.4 billion, of which more than 60 per cent is aged 29 or under.

The Commonwealth Secretariat supports member countries to build democratic and inclusive institutions, strengthen governance and promote justice and human rights. Its work helps to grow economies and boost trade, deliver national resilience, empower young people, and address threats such as climate change, debt and inequality.

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