The United States government has finally responded to the alleged Lekki toll gate killings, calling for immediate investigation into the shootings by the Nigerian military on #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll gate on Tuesday night, October 20.
United States Government finally reacts to shootings of #EndSARS protesters by Nigerian military
In a statement on Thursday, October 22, the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo strongly condemned the use of excessive force by security agents against unarmed protesters in the country and said an immediate investigation will begin.
“We welcome an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces.
“Those involved should be held to account in accordance with Nigerian law,” Mr Pompeo tweeted.
“The United States strongly condemns the use of excessive force by military forces who fired on unarmed demonstrators in Lagos, causing death and injury.
He noted that peaceful assembly and freedom of expression are “essential human rights and core democratic principles” that should be respected by authorities.
“We extend our condolences to the victims of the violence and their families.
“We welcome an immediate investigation into any use of excessive force by members of the security forces,” he added.
Akwa Ibom Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, has imposed curfew from 9 pm Thursday, 22 October to 12noon Friday, 23 October, 2020
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Comrade Ini EmemObong, in a press release on Thursday evening, said the curfew was due to the violence in the protest
He noted that the curfew was necessary to forestall further breakdown of law and order as well as to protect lives and properties.
The Commissioner said there must be total cessation of movement except those who are on essential services but must show proper means of identification.
“Due to the violent manifestations of some persons masquerading as #EndSARS protesters trying to create chaos this evening, in Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom state, HE the Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has declared a curfew effective 9 pm today, Thursday, 22nd October,2020 till midday tomorrow, Friday, 23rd October, 2020.
There is pandemonium and uproar in Wellington Bassey way popularly known as Barracks Road in Uyo,
Akwa Ibom State when a personnel of Nigerian Correction Service, allegedly shot one of the youths protesting against police brutality and anomalies in the country.
There has been a nationwide protest for the past one week in which youths in Akwa Ibom State are not left out.
The protest over the period it had lasted in the state had been adjudged peaceful until today when the youths were matching this evening towards government house situated along the road. It was gathered that the warden officer pulled the trigger in defense when the victim jumped into their moving van may be to dispossess them of their gun.
Infuriated by the gunshot, the protesters went back, regrouped themselves,set some houses ablaze including Anchor insurance House where the incident happened.
Uyo metropolis and suburbs have been enveloped with flames as according to information available some miscreants have used the opportunity to unleash mayhem and escalate the crisis to other areas.
Motorists and pedestrians were stranded as many roads have been blocked and wild fire set on them.
About 48hours after Lekki Massacre, President Buhari has addressed Nigerians on the issues leading to #ENDSARS protest.
The Live broadcast which started around 7:00pm yestarday had Buhari talking about various things the government is doing in response to #ENDSARS protesters demands and agitation.
In case you missed the Live broadcast or you didn’t understand Buhari’s presentation, here are 10 key points in the speech.
1. Buhari admits that the protest started as a genuine and peaceful protest
2. Buhari sends strong warning to those that have hijacked the peaceful protest and turned it into violence and looting in the name of #ENDSARS
3. Buhari said right to protest does not include disturbing other citizens going about their daily activities
4. We have accepted the youths 5 of 5 demands of the youths and scrapped SARS and the government is working on other demands.
5. We are currently working on extensive police reforms
6. Buhari said all the killing, Lootings that happened in the name of #ENDSARS protest are painful and unneccessary.
7. The government has created N75 billion National Youth Investment Fund to provide opportunities for the youths, and the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Survival Fund through the following means;
a. paying 3-months salaries of the staff of 100,000 micro, small- and medium- enterprises
b. paying for the registration of 250,000 businesses at the Corporate Affairs Commission
c. giving a grant of N30,000 to 100,000 artisans
d. guaranteeing market for the products of traders
8. The National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission has been directed to expedite action on the finalization of the new salary structure of members of the Nigeria Police Force.
9. In order to underscore the importance of education in preparing youths for the future, this administration has come up with a new salary structure and other incentives for our teachers.
10. Buhari calls on youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage government in finding solutions.
American singers, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, and Rihanna have reacted to the ongoing #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.
Reacting to the recent shootings allegedly done by men of the Nigerian army, the singers took to their respective social media accounts to lend a voice to the movement. Nicki Minaj and Rihanna condemned the killings while Beyonce who was called on by Nigerian youths to address the issue said she is heartbroken from the senseless brutality.
See their posts below
Standing with & praying for the brave young people of Nigeria who are on the front lines of this senseless violence. Your voice is being heard. 🇳🇬 #EndSARS
It was a dark day in Nigeria.Early evening of Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
We started hearing reports about shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate.
Sadly, not only were the reports true, the situation was a lot more gruesome than anybody could imagine.
The picture above is from someone who saw a stray bullet land in their house from the shootings.
However, throughout the live, Switch and other people present were able to find some of the bullets that were shot at them. One by one they continued to collect the bullets and save them as evidence. These bullets were long and according to people on the live, bullets that are used in machine guns and heavy weaponry
Thankfully, one Nigerian DJ, DJ Switch was live on the scene and able to capture the events that unfolded at that Lekki Toll Gate LIVE as it happened.
I watched the ENTIRE thing and I have to say it is one of the most gruesome and hardest to watch videos I have ever seen in my life.
If you were unable to watch the video or are still not able to watch the entire video right now, then here is a quick summary of what happened.
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1. There was no room for escape
What I think was the hardest part about the entire video and what is still so vicious is that not only were the peaceful protesters shot at, they were BARRICADED.
Switch showed on her live how the two exits on either side of the protesters had been blocked by fires. Yes, fires were set so that there would be no room for the protesters to escape.
In one of the most gruesome and hardest to watch moments in the live, Switch and some other protesters present gathered around a man who had been shot in the leg and attempted to take the bullet out of the leg. It was like something out of a television show, only worse. They had the man bite down on something, they got a lighter and some metal to burn the wound so it doesn’t further bleed. It was by far one of the most unsettling moments of the night.
DJ switch and other brave Nigerians are trying to remove the bullet from this young man’s leg💔💔💔💔#Genocide in Lekki.
There is no right way to behave. There is no right thing to do. There is no manual for something like this. Throughout the live, people kept on tagging media companies like CNN and AlJareeza, and CNN at one point wanted to go live with Switch, but she was too pre-occupied with all of the chaos around her to deal with doing an interview. At another moment, she started talking about football club, Barca, because according to her “If they were going to shoot them, then at least they should be doing something they love when it happens.” At another moment, her phone was about to die and she realized she had no power bank with her.
Amidst all of these, comments kept on piling about what she should and should not do, like: “Answer CNN”, “this is not time for football talk”, “why would she not bring power bank”.
There is no way someone could have planned for something like this. I have to also use this opportunity to praise the courage of DJ Switch. She is indeed a powerful woman.
If finally there is something that we all learnt from that live, it is that it is the Nigerian youth that will save this country. The way everybody banded together, both people that were there at the Lekki Toll Gate and the people at home tagging, DMing, trying to find solutions from wherever they are. One thing that this horrible evening has shown us is that at least, if there is any hope to be had in this country, it is the hope in our youth.
Also, a big shout out to the celebrities who lent their voice and brought awareness to the situation. There are too many to tag and share, but I’ll just post some below.
So is nigeria flag a weapon now???? Shooting at peaceful protesters like u’re playing gta.#BuhariResignNow#lekki