For more than ten days, youths of Nigeria in their numbers converged peacefully demanding in unison for an end to police brutality under the slogan, #endSARS which other Nigerians were assuredly in support.
Unfortunately, at around 3:00 pm, local time, the policemen took charge by disrupting the protests in some localities in Lagos following a curfew imposed on the city by the Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu who acted in response to the fact that hoodlums had hijacked the the peaceful protest and he wouldn’t allow such it to lead to a mayhem.
“However, events took a different turn from Sunday 18,October 2020 as criminal elements took advantage of the firm order handed down to the officers and men of Nigerian Police not to resort to shooting as a rule of engagement” Sanwo-Olu said.
By around 7:00 pm in the evening, at Lekki Tollgate, following a blackout, the crop of military personnel present at the protest ground seized the opportunity to unleash another terror on the peaceful protesters who according to Johnson Adam, 23 were singing the National Anthem, but alas!, gunshots rented the air and penetrated the protesters many of whom got killed and several others injured still receiving treatment at various hospitals in the state.
The Governor of the Lagos Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu in an interview condemned the action of the law enforcement agents while calling for an investigation into the shootings of which he made it clear that he didn’t have control over.
“For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rule of engagement of the army. I have nevertheless instructed an investigation into the order adopted in the rules of engagement employed by the officers and men of the Nigerian Army deployed to the Lekki tollgate yesterday “. He clarified.
After much outcry from Nigerians, President Muhammed Buhari, made a 13 minutes speech where he implored the youths to dialogue with government and appealled to the international community not to jump into conclusions but to verify what transpired.
“It has become necessary for me to address you having heard from many concerned Nigerians and having concluded a meeting with all the Security Chiefs. On Monday 12th October, I acknowledged the genuine concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARS. Sadly, the promptness with which we acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness and twisted by some for their selfish unpatriotic interest. To our neighbours in particular, and members of the international community, many of whom have expressed concern about the ongoing development in Nigeria, we thank you and urge you to seek know all the facts available before taking a position or rushing to judgement and making hasty pronouncements ” He said.
Currently, incessant attacks are still been experienced in some localities but generally the protest has eased stopped completely while law enforcement agents have been deployed to various hot spots across the country. But the question remains as to who ordered the shootings of those peaceful protesters at Lekki Tollgate?