End SARS: Nigerian govt reacts as UK threatens sanctions

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Nigeria’s Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has said the Federal Government is not panicking over the demand for sanctions by the United Kingdom lawmakers.

On Monday, UK lawmakers debated over alleged human rights abuses during the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria and demanded sanctions for government officials and security agents.

Such sanctions could include visa ban, freezing of assets and stopping the funding and training for the Nigeria Police Force.

The debate was sequel to a petition started by Silas Ojo which garnered over 200,000 signatures.

Responding on behalf of the UK government, the MP for Aldridge-Brownhills, Wendy Morton, who is also the Minister at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, said the UK government was communicating with the President’s Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, and Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

“It is a long-standing practice not to speculate on future sanctions as it could reduce the impact of the designations,” Morton said.

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Reacting to the development during a chat on NTA on Wednesday, Mohammed said, “We earlier stated that government all over the world who have taken hasty decisions about Nigeria on this issue should please seek the truth.

“If the decision of any government all over the world is based on fake news, it is very risky. It brings me to the issue of the UK parliament resolution. We are not panicking at all as a government for two reasons – the resolution of the UK parliament is not the decision of the country and no serious govt will take a decision such as imposing sanctions based on fake news.

“This is why we are warning foreign countries to seek the truth and beware of fake news. The entire #EndSARS protest was fuelled by fake news.”

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