Nigeria protests: President calls for calm after protesters shot in Lagos


Following an evening of violence which sparked international outrage, eyewitnesses say town descended into chaos on Wednesday.

Videos posted on social media and native tv protection confirmed a variety of buildings on fireplace, together with the Lagos Theater and at the very least one financial institution department. Some police stations have been additionally attacked, and video additionally confirmed the High Court of Lagos on fireplace.

Human rights group Amnesty International mentioned that after an on-the-ground investigation it had discovered that twelve individuals have been killed throughout protests in two places in Lagos on Tuesday.

It mentioned that “evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports” confirmed that over a interval of about two hours “the Nigerian military opened fire on thousands of people who were peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality.”

Why Nigerians are protesting police brutality

The military has dismissed reviews that protesters have been shot useless as “fake news.” The Nigerian Army and police didn’t return requests for remark.

Eyewitnesses advised CNN photographs rang out throughout a peaceable protest on the Lekki toll gate in Lagos as activists chanted the nationwide anthem and requested for police brutality to finish.

Daily protests have been held throughout the nation for shut to 2 weeks, over widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment, and extortion by a police unit often known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Eyewitnesses advised CNN that a variety of protesters have been killed by safety forces.

Akinbosola Ogunsanya, a chat present host on Afrosurge Radio, mentioned the taking pictures started shortly after the lights on the tollgate have been switched off. “Members of the Nigerian army pulled up on us and they started firing,” he mentioned. “I just survived, barely.”

CNN could not independently corroborate the witness accounts.

Multiple witnesses advised CNN they noticed the military take the our bodies away.

Protesters in Lagos on Tuesday.

Christopher Yakubu, 27, who advised CNN he fell and injured his leg whereas attempting to flee the gunfire, confirmed CNN a video of his damage. “I heard rapid shots. I couldn’t count them. I counted 5 bodies,” he mentioned. “Later I saw that the Nigerian Army took the bodies in their own van. We couldn’t take videos,” he mentioned.

Another protester additionally mentioned he witnessed the bloodshed.

“They killed more than 7 people and got away with their bodies to cover up evidences,” mentioned Deji Jokodola.

On Tuesday, Lagos state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu imposed a 24-hour curfew and deployed anti-riot police to town.

In a televised assertion on Wednesday morning, Gov. Sanwo-Olu insisted no one had been killed at Lekki toll gate: “Whilst we pray for the swift recovery of the injured, we are comforted that we have not recorded any fatality.”

Later in the day, he tweeted that one individual had died at Reddington Hospital on account of “blunt force trauma” to the pinnacle. He mentioned it was an remoted case and mentioned he was investigating whether or not the useless individual was a protester. CNN reached out to the Governor’s workplace, however didn’t obtain a reply.

Eyewitness reviews

The Governor’s feedback straight contradict statements from a number of eyewitnesses who mentioned that they had seen a number of casualties on the protest.

Speaking to CNN from the scene of the taking pictures, Temple Onanugbo mentioned he noticed “multiple bodies laying on the ground,” when he arrived to assist these injured. He mentioned he heard what he believed have been bullets being fired from his dwelling close by and that the sound lasted “for about 15 to 30 minutes.”

Protesters gather at the front of Alausa, the Lagos State Secretariat.

“I was on Instagram Live when the shooting started,” Henry Pundit, a filmmaker, advised CNN. “They were coming to us with multiple gun shots. We went on the ground and held our flag. We were crying, some were running.”

Eyewitnesses mentioned the violence continued into Wednesday morning, and that it appeared to have unfold past the unique protest website.

Franklin Alex spoke to CNN whereas hiding in his dwelling in Ebute Metta, about 9km (10 miles) from the Lekki toll gate. He mentioned the police had been on his avenue earlier on Wednesday morning, and that three individuals had been killed. He added that officers at 4 police stations close by have been firing at protesters.

“The police are shooting at people that are not armed, though some of them have bottles and stones, but the police are using very sophisticated weapons on them,” he mentioned. “They are moving from street to street, I could count about 17 of them, all armed, all shooting.”

24-hour curfew imposed on Lagos amid anti-police brutality protests in Nigeria
Amnesty International Nigeria tweeted that it had obtained “credible but disturbing evidence” of “excessive use of force occasioning deaths of protesters.”

Gov. Sanwo-Olu requested for all types of protest to finish instantly and ordered an investigation into the incident. “Yesterday’s events were no doubt some of the darkest gradients of our history as a state and as a people,” he mentioned.

Earlier on Tuesday, the governor imposed a 24-hour curfew on Lagos — which has an estimated inhabitants of greater than 20 million individuals — together with the closure of all its colleges.

The lockdown implies that solely important service suppliers and first responders have permission to be on the streets.

SARS was disbanded on October 11 and a brand new police unit to interchange it is going to be skilled by the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), Reuters reported Sunday.

Protesters are demanding additional protections towards the police, together with unbiased oversight and psychological analysis of officers.

International condemnation

On Wednesday, US Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden urged President Buhari and the Nigerian navy to halt “the violent crackdown on protesters in Nigeria which has already resulted in several deaths.”

UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab mentioned he was “deeply concerned by the recent violence and continued clashes in Nigeria,” and “alarmed by widespread reports of civilian deaths.”

“We call for an end to violence,” Raab added. “The Nigerian government must urgently investigate reports of brutality at the hands of the security forces and hold those responsible to account.”

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton urged Buhari to do one thing to finish the violence. “I’m calling on @mbuhari and the @hqnigerianarmy to stop killing young #EndSARS protesters. #StopNigeriaGovernment,” she mentioned in a tweet.

Protesters gather at Alausa Secretariat in Ikeja, Lagos State.

Manchester United’s Nigerian soccer participant Odion Ighalo mentioned he was “ashamed of this government” in an Instagram publish. “I’m calling on the UK government, calling all those leaders in the world to please see what is going on in Nigeria and help us.”

Death and extreme accidents amid the protests have been reported because the weekend.

Videos on social media present dozens of vehicles belonging to protesters burning, which Amnesty International Nigeria confirmed on Twitter.

“While we continue to investigate the killings, Amnesty International wishes to remind the authorities that under international law, security forces may only resort to the use of lethal force when strictly unavoidable to protect against imminent threat of death or serious injury,” the human rights group tweeted.

Sports stars take to social media to condemn police brutality in Nigeria

Other movies present a mass breakout of a whole lot of prisoners from the Benin Correctional Center in Edo state in southern Nigeria. It is unsure who’s responsible for the breakout, with protesters claiming it was staged by police. The Nigeria police pressure mentioned in a tweet that protesters carted away arms and ammunition from the armory earlier than releasing suspects in custody and setting the amenities alight.

Edo state governor Godwin Obaseki imposed a curfew on Monday, tweeting about “disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of #EndSARS protesters.”

Riot police have been deployed throughout the nation. According to a tweet from the Nigerian police pressure on Tuesday night, the Inspector-General of Nigeria’s Police has ordered the instant nationwide deployment of anti-riot cops “to protect lives and property of all Nigerians and secure critical national infrastructure across the country.”

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