Today, October 20, 2022, marks exactly two years since some persons were killed at Lekki Tollgate.
The Lekki massacre, as the carnage is fondly called, was led by some military uniformed personnel who invaded the Lekki Tollgate venue where some youths were protesting police brutality and extrajudicial killings of men of the Nigeria Police Force.
ENDSARS: How it all started
#EndSARS is a decentralised social movement and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuse on Nigerian citizens.
The protest takes its name from the slogan started in 2017 as a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #EndSARS to demand the disbanding of the unit by the Nigerian government.
The movement, which started on social media, spread across some major cities in the nation, with angry youths taking over major roads and parks, calling for the disbandment of SARS.
Following violent escalations which included attacks by agitators against both protesters and police, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, declared a state-wide 24-hour curfew effective 4:00 PM WAT on 20 October.
During this time, images of some persons alleged to be working with the Lagos State Government and the Lekki Concession Company removing cameras (later confirmed by the Lagos State Government to be laser cameras and not CCTV cameras as earlier publicized on social media at the toll gate circulated on End SARS on Twitter and street lights at the toll gate vicinity were turned off.
A few hours later, it was reported that armed men of the Nigerian Army arrived at the scene of the protest and opened fire on peaceful and unarmed protesters, thereby resulting in a disputed number of deaths. A clip of the shooting videoed by a brave Nigerian youth, DJ Switch, trended on the Internet showing how live round of bullets were being shot at innocent protesters who crouched on the ground, holding hands together and singing the Nigerian National Anthem. There were also reports that at least 50 other people were injured.
However, the Lagos State government later reported that the shooting resulted in up to 25 injured, and only 2 dead.
Despite the fact that the curfew was extended till 9:00 PM, soldiers of the Nigerian Army started shooting before 7:00 PM.
One year after the National Economic Council chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo directed states to pay compensation to the victims of police brutality in the country, indications show that many states have yet to comply with the directive.