More than twenty-four hours after the mass shootings of unarmed protesters at the lekki toll plaza in Lagos, Nigeria’s president Muhammadu Buhari has remain silent on the incident.
This is despite the global condemnation of the use of excessive force by the government in dispersing peaceful demonstrators protesting against police brutality and bad governance.
After twelve days of peaceful #EndSars demonstrations across the country, armed thugs began to infiltrate protests, launching attack on young demonstrators.
Protesters accused politicians of sponsoring armed thugs to cause mayhem and a state of anarchy in a bid to justify military crackdown on demonstrators. The police, according to multiple eyewitnesses, looked the other way and in some cases aided armed thugs to attack protesters.
There are amateur videos online showing thugs taking instruction from some men in black suit inside two SUVs. The thugs later hopped into the SUVs after dispersing some protesters.
On Tuesday, 20th October, 2020, violence got to a head in Lagos, prompting the government to announce a 24-hour curfew from 4:00pm. The curfew was later rescheduled to start at 9pm to give enough time for residents of the state to get home.
At about 7pm, two hours before the start of the curfew, armed men in military uniform began shooting sporadically at protesters at the Lekki toll plaza in Lekki area – a wealthy suburb in Lagos.
The carnage happened after security cameras at the toll plaza were disconnect by government officials and billboard and street lights were turned off.
It was gathered that atleast a dozen of protesters were killed and over one hundred others were injured with bullet wounds. The exact fatality figures remain sketchy as Soldier allegedly took away some corpses.
From different claims online, some of the protesters have been declared missing by friends and relatives who have not seen them return home after the carnage.
The incident sparked global outrage and condemnation as world leaders and celebrities cautioned the Nigerian government against the use of force in quelling protest.
Former US secretary of state, Hillary Clinton condemned the attack calling on President Buhari and the Nigerian Army to ‘’stop killing young protesters’’.
US Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden aslo lent his voice saying “I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria,”
United Nation, ECOWAS are among International bodies that have condemned the use of excessive force. The organizations also called for justice for the victims of police brutality.
Musicians and Celebrities Beyonce, Janet Jackson and a host of other have condemned the shooting.
However, despite the global outrage and caution, President Buhari has refused to address the nation and has remained silent on the incident.
The President presided over the weekly federal executive council meeting on Wednesday. Neither the presidency or FEC commented on the incident at the post-FEC meeting press briefing.