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Tinubu makes U-turn, commiserates with victims of Lekki shootings

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BOLA Tinubu, the National Leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC) has commiserated with victims of the Lekki shootings, after earlier demanding they answer questions about why they were at the scene of the incident in the first place. 

“I heavily grieve for those who have lost their lives or been injured during the period of these protests,” Tinubu shared in a post on his official Twitter handle less than 24 hours after stating that victims of the Lekki shootings were liable for the misfortune of what many have tagged ‘Lekki Massacre.’

Tinubu, while speaking at the Lagos State House in Marina during a visit to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday, October 24, had demanded that #EndSARS protesters explain what they were doing at the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza when soldiers believed to be from the Nigerian Army opened fire at them while singing the national anthem and waving the Nigerian flag .

“Casualties of Lekki Shootings have some questions to answer; how are they there? How long were they there? What kind of characters are they?,” the APC National Leader had quizzed.

On October 20, #EndSARS protesters gathered at the Lekki Toll Gate plaza to demand an end to police brutality across the country – an exercise that they had carried on for 12 consecutive days in different states in Nigeria.

However, just a few minutes to 7pm on that day, the protesters came under attacks when security personnel in Nigerian Army uniform opened fire at them.

Amnesty International, a global human rights advocacy group confirmed that its on-ground investigations showed that at least a dozen people were killed on that day.

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But despite evidence of deaths, the government has denied cases of any fatality.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State had in a live broadcast to residents of the state on Wednesday, October 21, said images and video footages of the shootings circulating on social media were false, stating that there were no records of any deaths.

Meanwhile, Fatou Bensouda, top prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) on Thursday disclosed that her office has received reports of crimes committed during the #EndSars protests and the Court is keeping a close watch on the developments.

The United Nations had also earlier reacted to the killing of protesters in Nigeria by the government forces, calling for calm.

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

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