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#LekkiMassacre: The Night A Government Turned On Its People- 20/10/2020


**Trigger Warning; Graphic images & violence

The 20th of October dawned like any other Wednesday brimming with hope. Peaceful protesters championing the #EndSars cause were on the streets of Lagos and across the country. The valiant men and women were demanding— albeit peacefully, that the government take responsibility for the rogue SARS unit of the Nigerian Police Force and make action to uphold their rights.

At noon, the Governor of Lagos State, Jide Sanwo-Olu declared a sudden 24hour curfew starting at 4pm and urged all Lagosians to find their way home. The peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, donning the Nigerian flag and singing songs were going to spend the night of the curfew at the toll gate. 

Peaceful Protesters at Lekki before the Nigerian Military attacked them

This group of peaceful protesters are vibrant, tenacious youth, hungry for a better country and determined to brave the elements to drive home their point for better policing.

Suspicion began to arise as after sunset, some technical crew cane to remove the cctv cameras placed at the Lekki Toll Gate. However the unarmed protesters shrugged the action off and stayed, preparing to spend the night singing and peacefully protesting in solidarity.

Suddenly after dark, the bright floodlights at the toll went out, shrouding the innocent protesters in darkness. Members of the Nigerian Military barricaded both ends of the toll and started firing on the peaceful protesters, killing some and injuring many.

A brave protester, Dj Switch began to broadcast the brutal, one sided attack on instagram live. Nigeria and the world looked on, helplessly, in horror as the military sworn to protect the citizens of Nigeria rained bullets on them. Nigerians couldn’t tear their eyes away from the horror of watching their fellow countrymen be killed by its own army for demanding that their rights be upheld. The military also refused passage to ambulances which had rushed to the scene after being called by the feminist coalition.

This went on for hours and fear, horror and terror gripped not only those peaceful protesters suffering but also the rest of the nation.

It was then to the surprise of the public that the governor of Lagos state, in his press conference denied that anyone was killed during this act of terror. He claimed that the army unit that committed these grave crimes against the Nigerian citizens were unidentified and acted out of the control of the Lagos government. The governor of Lagos state tried to gaslight thousands of Nigerians by saying what they saw happen live on instagram did not happen at all.

Nigerians while still picking up the pieces of themselves and their loved ones from the night before were attacked yesterday by several policemen who have been captured on many recorded clips gunning down innocent civilians. These people were not even protesters but innocents going about their day. The police brutally gunned them down.

Lagos bleeds and bleeds and still, the President of the Federation has not addressed the public. Instead half hearted twitter threads were made by the Governor of Lagos and the Vice President of the Federation, Yemi Osinbajo. 

The government of Nigeria has declared war on its citizens and the people cry out.

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Author avatar
Betty Godson