Pandemonium broke out this evening as soldiers and security operatives opened gunfire on protesters at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, the protest ground for the youths involved in the #Endsars protests.
The gunshots were heard about two hours before the 24-hour curfew imposed by the state government begins at 9 pm.
The curfew was scheduled to start at 4 pm but was shifted after the governor was criticised for the short notice given.
A popular artist at the scene, Debo Macaroni twitted: “They are shooting at Lekki Toll gate!!! The curfew started at 4:00pm!! Some people have gone home but some others could not go back to their respective houses again because of the impromptu announcement!! It’s a sit in!! Why are they shooting??? Why???? @jidesanwoolu #EndSARS”
It is most impossible to know the figure of casualties but #Endears, the twitter handle of the protesters reported: “The army is seizing corpses at lekki toll gate please retweet for the whole for to see this and know that the Nigerian govt is committing genocide”
It was reported that few minutes before the shooting started, the lights and cameras installed at the toll gate were switched off.
Amnesty International in a twitter message said it has received credible but disturbing evidence of excessive use of force occassioning deaths of protesters at Lekki Toll gate in Lagos.
“While we will continue to investigate the killings, Amnesty International wishes to remind Nigerian authorities that under International law, security forces may only resort to the use of lethal force when strictly unavoidable to protect against imminent threat of death or serious injury”.
Lagos lawyer and member of the committee just set up by Lagos, Ebun Olu Adegboruwa said:
“It is unacceptable to open fire on armless and defenceless citizens. Reports of shooting by soldiers at Lekki Toll Gate is most barbaric and unacceptable. These protesters have been the most orderly, most organized and most peaceful so far.
These are children holding nothing but the flags of their nation. What the security should have done was to go to the zones of violence and wanton destruction and stop the thugs and criminals, not these innocent children.
Even though we identify with the government on the need to restore law and order, there are other means to do that without resorting to using live bullets on these future leaders.
To think that the protest itself was against police brutality.
I’m heart broken 😑”
More details coming…