Nigerian youths, #EndSARS protesters converged today at the Lekki Tollgate to hold a memorial protest for the brutal killing of young people two years ago. Report has it that the Nigerian Police also converged there and in fact sprayed teargas to ward off the innocent protesters to which the Lagos State Police Command has admitted that it employed minimal force to disperse some Nigerian youths who gathered at the Lekki Tollgate for the EndSARS memorial procession today.
These innocent Nigerians, particularly youths, only converged at the Lekki facility to demand justice for victims of the October 20, 2020, Lekki massacre, where the Nigerian army, carrying out an anonymous instruction, allegedly opened fire and killed several unarmed protesters then made away with the bodies. The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, while debunking news of sporadic shooting at the tollgate on Thursday, said some of the protesters became lawless, leading to the use of teargas. Series of tweets from his official Twitter handle stated that there was no physical contact between the protesters and the police, insisting that no shooting was recorded.
He wrote, “Peaceful persons were allowed to move around without interference from the police. Some of them that decided to be lawless and start mounting the toll complex, an action threatening the existing law and order in the area, were dispersed with teargas. There was no use of baton, neither was there physical contact. We equally do not have any record of shooting. We would, however, appreciate evidence of gunshots, maybe a video, to enable us to take appropriate action. A stitch in time saves nine. They were already gathered at the toll gate as opposed to doing a peaceful procession. Minimal force was used. No injury or fatality.”
This begs several questions such as why were the police gathered at the same location in the first place? What is your definition of minimal force and why use any force at all on innocent civilians? These and many more are heavy on the hearts of Nigerians; and the final question: will those questions ever be answered?