The world woke up today (Wednesday) to the riveting and sobering coverage by the global media of Tuesday’s bloody confrontation in which well-armed security personnel attacked protesting youths at the Lekki toll station in Lagos, leading to many deaths.
The well-respected New York Times reported the tragic climax to days of mainly peaceful action by the youths with a headline titled, “Nigerian forces fire on demonstrators protesting police brutality”.
The New York Times quoted a police officer at the scene who said that 11 people had been killed. The newspaper said videos of the bloody encounter “crackled with apparent gunfire and showed people who were wounded and uniformed forces shooting into the air.”
The BBC headlined its own story, “Nigeria unrest: Protesters shot dead in Lagos.” In the report, the BBC said , “a number of people taking part in a protest against police brutality have reportedly been shot dead or injured in Nigeria’s biggest city Lagos.” The BBC said former US Secretary of state Hillary Clinton had called on “Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and the army to stop killing young #EndSARS protesters.”
The Atlanta, US-based Cable News Network, CNN is also giving elaborate airtime on its global broadcast and space on its online platforms to cover the shocking scenes emerging from the Lekki Lagos confrontation.
CNN titles its online story, “Eyewitnesses say Nigerian forces opened fire on protesters in Lagos.”
The story said, “protests against police brutality in Lagos turned bloody Tuesday despite a state-wide curfew, with eyewitnesses telling CNN multiple demonstrators have been shot by soldiers.”
In its account, the newspaper for the world’s business elite, Wall Street Journal said “Nigerian protesters killed as soldiers opened fire in Lagos. In the report, WSJ said, ”several people were killed as Nigerian soldiers opened fire at a key protest site in Lagos, witnesses said.”
The Guardian of London has s similar headline in which it reported, “Nigeria protests: Security forces open fire on protesters in Lagos.” The UK newspaper said “Nigerian forces have opened fire on hundreds of protesters in Lagos, as rallies against police brutality continued in defiance of a 24-hour curfew imposed by the government earlier in the day. The newspaper said, “graphic scenes posted on social media showed protesters fleeing as security forces, including soldiers, shot live rounds towards the crowds.” The Guardian UK said at least seven of the youths were killed.
The Financial Times said, “Nigeria cracks down as protesters breach curfew.” The FT said, “Nigerian security forces have cracked down on peaceful protesters in Lagos after mass demonstrations against police brutality in recent days brought Africa’s largest city to a standstill.. Graphic scenes of protesters fleeing amid crackling gunfire at Lekki tollgate in the heart of the city filled social media.”