A Fourth Estate® Service

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Nigerian Soldiers Open Fire on Protesters in Lagos

Nigerian soldiers opened fire on protesters who gathered in Lagos against police brutality last October 20 despite the 24-hour curfew imposed by the government earlier in the day.

Nigerian soldiers opened fire on protesters who gathered in Lagos against police brutality last October 20, despite the 24-hour curfew imposed by the government earlier in the day.

Footage on social media showed soldiers shooting live rounds at the crowd of hundreds of protesters at the Lekki district of Lagos.

Human rights organization Amnesty International stated that it received “credible but disturbing evidence of excessive use of force occasioning deaths of protesters.”

The Lagos state government said it would investigate the shooting.

“The State Government has ordered an investigation into the incident. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advised the security agents not to arrest anyone on account of the curfew,” the state government stated in a tweet.

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos imposed the curfew hours earlier in an attempt to curb the protests.

“Peaceful protesters and residents of Lagos should obey the curfew and stay in their homes to allow our security forces take immediate action to de-escalate all the issues of violence occurring at this time.” Sanwo-Olu said in a tweet.

Protesters have been gathering across the country for nearly two weeks to rally against systemic abuse by Nigerian police forces, specifically against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) police unit that have been accused of extortion, torture, and extrajudicial killings.

Authorities dissolved SARS due to the protests, but replaced it with a new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team, dissatisfying the protesters who said that demonstrations will continue until demands are met, which includes the release of those arrested.

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