A web page, Free online encyclopedia, created and edited by volunteers around the world, Wikipedia has detailed the incidents and events that occurred in Lekki area of Lagos on October 20.
The page reveals the killing of innocent end SARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.
According to Wikipedia, the shooting of unarmed protesters in Lekki toll gate on was carried out by the Nigerian armed forces.
Titled Lekki Massacre, the page chronicles all the events of that Tuesday night from the imposition of the curfew and the events that led to the shooting. A report by Amnesty International has said that at least 12 protesters were killed in the Lekki shooting.
Nigerians have expressed excitement over the Wikipedia publication as many see it as a way of ensuring the world never forgets what happened that Tuesday night.
On the night of 20 October 2020, at about 6:50 pm WAT, members of the Nigerian Armed Forces opened fire at peaceful demonstrations part of the End SARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria.
The number of casualties is disputed. The governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-olu initially denied any loss of life by gunfire, but later admitted that at least one person was killed. In contrast, Amnesty International stated that at least 12 protesters were killed in what the organisation described as “extrajudicial executions”.
Previous Nigerian crackdowns
The Nigerian army has been known to open fire and kill unarmed civilians in previous incidents, most notably in a 2018 attack on Shiite Muslims who were protesting against the jailing of a cleric in which 45 Nigerians were killed.
The End SARS is a decentralised social movement against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a controversial unit of the Nigerian Police Force with a long record of human-rights abuses. The protests started in 2017 as a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #ENDSARS to demand the Nigerian government disband and reform the police unit. After experiencing a revitalisation in October 2020, mass demonstrations were occurring throughout Nigeria in major cities, and the hashtag had 28 million tweets. Nigerians shared stories and video evidence of how members of SARS were engaged in kidnapping, murder, theft, rape, torture, unlawful arrests, humiliation, unlawful detention, extrajudicial killings, and extortion in Nigeria. SARS officers have been alleged to profile youths based on fashion choices, mount illegal road blocks and searches, conduct unwarranted temperature checks, arrest without warrant, rape women, and extort young Nigerians for driving luxury cars and using expensive electronics.
The Nigerian president had announced that he would scrap the police unit (SARS) and directed state Governors to constitute a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to decide on cases of killings and brutality by officers of the defunct SARS so punishment can be meted on rogue officers. However, the protesters have refused all entreaties to suspend the protests and nominate youth Representatives into the Judicial Panel and called the government’s bluff.
Within a few days of renewed protests, some claimed victory as the Nigerian Police Force announced it would be dissolving SARS on Sunday, 11 October 2020. However, many noted similar promises had been made in recent years, and that the government planned to reassign and review SARS officers to medical centres rather than remove them entirely. Protests have continued accordingly, and the Nigerian state has maintained a pattern of violent repression, including the killing of demonstrators. There have been international demonstrations in solidarity with those happening in the country, and the scope of the movement has also grown increasingly critical of the Muhammadu Buhari-fronted Nigerian state and society as a whole.
Protest camp at Lekki Toll Gate
Protesters had been camping at the Lekki Toll Gate for two weeks prior to the shooting. The protesters prevented vehicular traffic on the major thoroughfare during these two weeks of demonstrations.
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