Nigeria has been thrown into mourning, hearts bleeding with her flag forever soaked in blood, ironically, the pain inflicted on her by her very own. Unconfirmed reports say scores killed, dozens of protestors in critical condition in hospitals, following a deadly attack by military personnel on unarmed protesters of the #EndSARS protests, who were rightfully calling for an end to police brutality and bad governance in the country.
Worthy of note, the call had in recent times gained worldwide popularity with prominent personalities lending their voices and joining in on the movement, calling for a total ban of the security unit
Facts About #lekkitollgatemassacre:
1. DATE: 20th October, 2020 will forever remain black and bloody in Nigeria as we watched in utter shock, its own soldiers gunning down peaceful protesters who had the guts to ask for their rights
2. WHAT AND HOW IT HAPPENED
The call for the ban of the notorious police unit, #SARS guilty of committing various crimes against humanity had recently entered its second week. Following alleged hijacking of the protest by hoodlums, the governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu, midday ordered a 24hour curfew, effective 4:00pm October 20, same day issued.
Consequently, #EndSARS Protesters at Lekki Tollgate had been left stranded following the curfew issued by the Lagos State Governor Babajide. They decided to stay behind at the protest ground rather than embark on road and get arrested for defying curfew order.
At about 7:30/8:00pm, uniformed military men stormed the venue, surrounded them thereby barricading them in and opened fire on the unarmed protesters. The protesters had merely sat on the floor, waving the Nigerian flag, voices trembling as they sang the National anthem. The shootings lasted for about an hour and a half, the soldiers scooped dead bodies there after, according to eye witness reports from BBC. The soldiers couldn’t carry out a clear job- evidence was left behind -Images of men and women, wrapped in Nigerian flags, soaked with blood.
3. ALLEGED ROLE IN “PLOT”: WHAT LAGOS STATE GOVERNOR BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU IS SAYING
In a chat with @arisetv today Thursday October 22, Sanwo-Olu addressed speculations about the 24hour curfew he issued on the 20th of October being a calculated plot to put protesters in harms way.
The said order stating all individuals must be home by 4pm left many protesters who were already at Tollgate stranded as the directive kicked off later in the day while they were already at the protest ground.
According to him, contrary to public opinion, the curfew was to ensure that lives and properties are protected:
“We saw the breakdown of law and order and there was mayhem and prior instruction had been given to the police to stand down. We set up a panel and hoped it would assuage the grievances.”
“By Tuesday, we had started seeing destruction and attack on police stations, and arms being carted away. It was turning to a complete breakdown of law and order. I consulted with the Commissioner of Police and members of my security team in the state. And we took a decision to institute a curfew.
The whole idea was to let people know that they needed to go home. By 5:30 p.m., I got calls from opinion moulders in the state that we need to extend it.” The governor later added he extended the curfew to 9:00 p.m and Soldiers weren’t supposed to be on ground till 10/10: 30pm when all citizens should have gotten to their various destinations.
Meanwhile Seyi Tinubu, son of APC chieftain Bola Tinubu has denied deliberately deactivating the Billboard before the Massacre.
The management of Loatsad Promomedia Limited, an advertising agency owned by Seyi Tinubu, son of APC national leader , Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, reacting to reports making the rounds that the billboard at the Lekki Toll gate where the Tuesday massacre took place was deliberately put out by the agency, thereby playing an active role in the devastating chain of events, reacting in a statement on Wednesday, it stated the billboard was switched off due to the curfew imposed by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu without any clue of a plot to attack the protesters.
4. CCTV CAMERAS WERE NOT REMOVED – SANWO-OLU
The executions were carried out in the dark, no media coverage as well.
According to the Lagos State governor; “Nobody ordered the removal of cameras at the Lekki tollgate. The MD of LCC said because of the curfew, they made the decision to take out installations. The cameras you saw are not security or motion cameras, they are laser cameras for vehicles. The security cameras are still available and we are using them for our security investigations.”
5. SANWO-OLU CONDEMNED THE KILLINGS, ADDING HE PLAYED NO PART:
“I don’t know how the officers got it all wrong because the instruction was that police won’t be out until 10-10:30 p.m. when all citizens should have gotten to their various homes. This is totally against what we stand for.
“The army does not report to me, I have reported the matter to the highest command in the military. It’s not something we are going to gloss over. A judicial panel will be set up to investigate it. I have escalated it to the highest level of the military.”
6. VIDEOS SHOWING SOLDIERS SHOOTING AT #LekkiTollGate PROTESTERS WERE PHOTOSHOPPED: NIGERIAN DEFENCE HEADQUARTERS DIRECTOR OF INFORMATION -MAJOR GENERAL JOHN ENECHE
Speaking in a press conference today October 22 the Nigerian Defence Headquarters’ Director of Information, Maj. Gen. John Eneche dismissed allegations of military men shooting at peaceful protesters, stating “alleged” videos were photoshopped as confirmed by military analysts.
“I even got analysts. People that have analysed the various videos that were cropped and photoshopped put together. If not that I’m not permitted, I could have forwarded it to your Instagram” he said.
7. AFTERMATH OF #LEKKITOLLGATEMASSACRE
1. Nigeria Port Authority Lagos – set ablaze
2. Orile Police Post, Lagos – set ablaze
3. Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos – totally destroyed
4. BRT Terminal, Oyingbo – New Buses set on fire
5. Television Continental, Ketu, Lagos – set ablaze
6. VIO, FRSC Office, Ojodu – FRSC branded cars, generators set ablaze.
7. BRT Terminal, Ojodu, Lagos – buses set ablaze.
8. BRT Bus at Berger – set ablaze
9. Lagos Television, Agidingbi, Ikeja – shut down
10. Recreational Center, Oregun, Lagos – set on fire.
11. Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the Oba of Lagos’
Palace,- burnt to ashes. His scepter of authority seized, #covid19 palliatives meant for the masses which were not distributed, looted.
12. Sanwo Olu Mother’s House, Surulere, Lagos – set ablaze
13 Kings college attacked, set on fire
14. Many lives lost already to the protests all in Lagos and south west.
15. Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island Lagos burnt
16. GTBank Branches burnt down
17. Access Bank Branches burnt down
18. Channels Television shut down
19. Ajeromi Local Govt Secretariat
20. Lagos-Island Local Govt destroyed
21. Lagos-Island East LCDA Secretariat set on fire
22. Lagos Mainland Local Govt Secretariat Destroyed
23. Ibeju Lekki LCDA Secretariat destroyed
24. Sanwoolu’s Uncle’s house on Lagos Island
25. Jailbreak Okere prison, Warri Delta
25. Prisoners in Kirikiri prison released and counting.
8. A PETITION CALLING FOR A 100,000 SIGNATURES ASKING THE UNITED KINGDOM TO SANCTION MEMBERS OF THE NIGERIAN GOVERNMENT AND POLICE FORCE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES OVER #ENDSARS HAS SURPASSED ITS GOAL.
Presently as at today October 22, Over 120,000 people have signed, calling the UK government to sanction Buhari over Human Rights Abuse.
The petition will now be considered for debate in Parliament. Deadline stated, April 20, 2021.
As at Wednesday, a total of Eighty-three thousand seven hundred nineteen (83,719) individuals had signed a petition movement, and just a day later, it has surpassed its goal.
The petition was created by one Silas Ojo, reports say.
9. UN, UK, SLAM BRUTALITY AGAINST #ENDSARS PROTESTERS
UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, Wednesday urged “the security forces to act at all times with maximum restraint” and also called on protesters “to demonstrate peacefully and to refrain from violence,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric said in a statement.
Guterres said the shootings on Tuesday evening in Lagos caused “multiple deaths” and numerous injuries.
The UN chief urged the Nigerian authorities to investigate the violence and “hold the perpetrators accountable.”
10. AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL CALLS FOR MANDATORY INVESTIGATION INTO #LekkiTollGateMassacre
“Opening fire on peaceful protesters is a blatant violation of people’s rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Soldiers clearly had one intention – to kill without consequences.” -Osai Ojigho, Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria.
“These shootings clearly amount to extrajudicial executions. There must be an immediate investigation and suspected perpetrators must be held accountable through fair trials. Authorities must ensure access to justice and effective remedies for the victims and their families.” Osai Ojigho stated.