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‘Forces beyond our direct control’ to be blamed for Lekki massacre – Sanwo-Olu

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BABAJIDE Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State has blamed forces beyond his control for murder of #EndSARS protesters by government forces at the Lekki Toll Gate Tuesday night.

“This is the toughest night of our lives as forces beyond our direct control have moved to make dark notes in our history, but we will face it and come out stronger,” a post on Sanwo-Olu’s official Twitter page shared around 4 am on Wednesday read in part.

This was shortly before the governor announced that he had visited injured victims of what many are tagging ‘Lekki massacre’ on social media.

“I’ve just concluded visits to hospitals with victims of this unfortunate shooting incident at Lekki,” he said Wednesday morning. 

“There are currently 10 patients at the Gen Hospital, 11 at Reddington and 4 at Vedic; with mild to moderate levels of injuries while 2 are receiving intensive medical care. Three patients have been discharged & we will continue to monitor and ensure all patients get the best care.”

Sanwo-Olu said, “As the Governor of our state, I recognize the buck stops at my table and I will work with the FG to get to the root of this unfortunate incident and stabilise all security operations to protect the lives of our residents.”
The Governor afterward said he would make a statewide broadcast.

There has been no official account of how many lives were lost but reports reveal that as protesters sat and waved the Nigeria flag while reciting the National Anthem, lights at the Lekki Toll Gate were turned off and gunshots started raining down.

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Hours before the incident, Sanwo-Olu had imposed a 24-hour curfew, ordering it to begin at 4 pm on Tuesday.

However, resolute in their demands for an end to police brutality in Nigeria, protesters remained at the toll gate to call for justice.

Just a few minutes before the incident, the Lagos State government in an updated tweet extended the curfew start time to 9 pm, announcing that it would enable people stuck in traffic to get to their destinations.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton, former United States of America Secretary of State and former first lady has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Nigerian Army to stop killing peaceful #EndSARS protesters.

Clinton on her verified handle in a tweet wrote: “I’m calling on @mbuhari and the @hqnigerianarmy  to stop killing young #EndSARS protesters. #StopNigeriaGovernment”.

As of the time of this report, no official statements have been released by President Buhari.

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Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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