The Lekki Massacre we will never forget
Nigeria, a country with the highest number of black inhabitants in the world, is on fire. On 20th October 2020, members of the armed forces of the federal republic of Nigeria attacked a group of peaceful protesters who had nothing but strength in their hearts and raised national flags in hands. Held high with the hope that this would prevent callous armed men of the forces from causing any harm. Alas, the men appeared to have been given orders to shoot to kill. More than 30 lives have been lost and the count has since gone up.
On the 7th October 2020, a group of Nigerian youths embarked on a peaceful three-day march to protest against police brutality. This eventually blew into something bigger when supports were garnered from people; and voices were lent to the cause from across the nation. What started in Lagos soon became a national affair as youths from all over stood in rhythm; with their voices amplifying the same thing: for the government of Nigeria to #EndSars.
SARS, otherwise known as Special anti-robbery squad, created in 1999; to provide combat to the activities of robbery crimes, has been a menace for as long as it has existed. In this division, police officers are known to extort and maim their victims especially without any form of confrontation. Thereby disregarding the lives of anyone that comes in contact with them. What was once created to provide refuge to citizens of the state; soon became a gangrenous ulcer in the foot of the nation. The only resolve came to was to cut it off.
On Tuesday 20th October 2020, peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll gate in Lagos state of Nigeria sat on the ground in solidarity, arms intertwined and sang the national anthem when the attack began. Assault rifles were shot, not in the air; but at protesters who had nothing to protect themselves with, except for their indefatigable spirits. The attack which lasted for more than an hour claimed the lives of many who had committed no crime. How does one get killed while peacefully protesting against being killed? That has the question on every lips in and around the area of the attack and across the world.
Several sources have claimed that shortly before this attack began; unknown government officials were seen at the toll gate and appeared to have one mission in mind: to disconnect all closed circuit televisions (CCTVs) that would have otherwise captured the scenes where the crime was perpetrated. This hardly spells anything other than confirm the feelings of citizens who think that the attacks on them were indeed premeditated by the government.
Several attempts to provide medical support to the victims of the attack proved difficult as ambulances sent to rescue the dying were obstructed from getting to them in time; and as a result, more lives were lost. According to the law under the Geneva convention, it is considered a war crime to violate a medical neutrality law. Telecommunication networks have also been accused as accomplices as cell towers were allegedly shut in some areas to prevent coverage by private individuals who have taken it upon themselves to broadcast these events to the world via social media channels, as the local media has failed to do so.
As it stands, the future of the peaceful protest seems bleak. However, there is renewed energy among citizens of the nation who are now driven more than ever to continue to combat injustice and take back their country from the hands of inept leaders. The revolution appears to be birthed and it’s not stopping any day soon as world leaders and celebrities have started to lend their voices alike to #StopNigeriaGovernment.
With the nation in a standstill and the fate of millions still lying in the hands of figureheads, it is imperative to continuously write stories that highlights these events. For the sake of posterity and especially to curb the hands of those that are currently sitting behind lofty desks with the objective of changing the narrative and rewriting the history of this day to suit themselves. This is what happened on the 20th October 2020 and it will never be forgotten. Till this moment, the president of the Federal republic of Nigeria has remained silent amidst all of these chaos. By virtue of this, he has chosen to remain complicit to the vile actions of the armed force and thus; on the side of the oppressors.
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