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Fifteen hours after soldiers opened fire on unarmed #ENDSARS protesters, Presidency keeps mute

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FIFTEEN hours after soldiers opened fire on unarmed #ENDSARS protesters at Lekki toll plaza in Lagos  Tuesday night, the Presidency is yet to communicate to Nigerians on the shooting of the protesters.

Many were believed to have sustained various degrees of injuries while an unconfirmed number of protesters were reported after soldiers were seen in a video shooting at protesters when they were reciting the National Anthem.

Also, no official statement has been issued by the media aides to President Mohammadu Buhari as the social media accounts of Femi Adesina, Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, and Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant, Media, and Publicity have been silent while Nigerians await a presidential broadcast or at least a statement.

Efforts to reach Shehu on phone proved abortive as he did not respond to phone calls to his line.

The incident which is now dubbed “Lekki Massacre” took place at Lekki toll plaza hours after the Lagos State Government had declared a 24-hour curfew as part of efforts to stop the violence in some parts of the state following reports that hoodlums who were attacking protesters.

The Lekki toll plaza had been a rallying point of the nationwide protest where Nigerians youths had consistently gathered to kick against police brutality and maladministration in the country.

Soldiers had stormed the area and started shooting sporadically based on witness accounts and video footages circulating on social media.

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Scenes of protesters trying to remove a bullet from someone’s wound was broadcast in a live video by DJ Switch, a popular disc jockey, to 150,000 Instagram viewers.

Another video showed the toll gate itself, with a protester waving a Nigerian flag, as people ran amid the sounds of gunfire.

President Buhari had on Tuesday held scheduled talks with the Defence Minister and the Chief of Defence Staff around 6:15 pm to discuss national security according to a Reuters report.

The outcome of their meeting was not made public.

Hillary Clinton, former US presidential aspirant had called on the Nigerian Government to stop the killing #EndSARS protesters at 11:11 pm, four hours after the incident hit social media.

“I’m calling on @mbuhari and the @hqnigerianarmy to stop killing young#EndSARS protesters. #StopNigerianGovernment,” she tweeted.

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Rihanna Fenty, an American singer in a tweet lent her voice to the ongoing #EndSARS protests in Nigeria five hours after the attack saying she couldn’t bear to see the torture and brutality that has continued to occur not only in Nigeria.

“I can’t bear to see this torture and brutalization that is continuing to affect nations across our planet.

“It is such a betrayal to the citizens, the very people put in place to protect are the ones we are most afraid of being murdered by. My heart is broken for Nigeria. It is unbearable to watch,” she tweeted.

 

Author profile

Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.

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