11 reported dead as soldiers open fire at unarmed protesters at Lekki toll gate


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LAGOS – Nigerian security forces opened fire on unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.


Eleven persons have been reported to have died from the open fire by the Nigerian security forces on unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, Nigeria’s busiest city.


”11 dead, they are catering away with the bodies in an army truck, they want to hide the evidence, ” Samuel Otigba, one of the protesters at the location said.


While many unarmed protesters have been reported to have sustained injuries from the open fire, the security forces, have been alleged to have trapped the protesters from both ends of the toll gate, and thus preventing an ambulance from entering the location.


The gunshots came even before the 9 pm curfew by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. The governor had extended the initial scheduled 4 pm curfew to 9 pm.


The governor of Nigeria’s commercial city imposed a 24-hour curfew to try and contain the disruptions from the 12 days protests in the city that is home to more than 21 million people.


Predominantly young Nigerians have been on the streets in what is a nationwide protest to demand reform of the Nigeria police force and consequently, better governance.


The protests have become vicious even after the government bowed to parts of the demands to disband the unit of the police force that has been accused of human right abuses, illegal stop and search, illegal arrest and detention, extrajudicial killings, and sexual harassment.


The demand for Nigeria’s president to give an executive order to the disbandment of the public unit and the reform of the force is one of the reasons why the protest has intensified. (BusinessDay)


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