Monday, March 8, 2021
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Lekki Toll gate Shooting: The Only Weapon we had was the National flag – by Favor Amako

The entire nation bleeds. Able bodied young men were hacked down by people that supposed to protect them. The blue murder was a calculated attempt to cut the youths to size. How? First, they switched off the cameras. Switched off the light. switched on their triggers, ta! ta! ta! ta!, boom! In few minutes lifeless bodies of unarmed youths who were singing the national anthem in solidarity to one Nigeria littered the ground. What are there offences? Simple, for daring to speak truth to power.

I wept. I could not sleep. I could not pray. The land has been polluted with the blood of the innocent. Defenceless youths mowed down under the cover of darkness. All children of the poor! The children and wards of the rich and the affluence were not affected.

What started out as a peaceful protest for a better Nigeria, and better governance, turned into bloody and unforgettable unrest. The extent of the casualties is still unknown. Amnesty International revealed that not less than 30 protesters were gunned down that night at Lekki Toll Gate. Videos posted to social media showed people who were wounded and men of the army shooting at the protesters. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu must be a bad guy. He came on live television to say that nobody died. He was trying to hide behind his fingers. But how far can he go?

Earlier, the Governor announced on his Twitter feed that the curfew would come into effect at 4 PM (which was later changed to 9 PM) on Tuesday, “Nobody except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets” the Governor said. “We will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.”

Hours before the curfew began, these peaceful protesters, reportedly bearing no weapon, but the Nigerian flag and chanting the national anthem, remained at the Lekki toll gate, pledging not to move.

I watch with tears as an unnamed eyewitness told BBC News: ”At exactly 6.45 pm [local time] the soldiers pulled up… and they started firing directly at us, the peaceful protesters. They were firing and they were advancing straight at us. It was chaos. Somebody got hit straight beside me and he died on the spot.”

He continued: ” it was pandemonium and they kept on shooting and shooting at us. It lasted for about an hour and a half and the soldiers were actually taking up the dead bodies.’

DJ Switch who was among the peaceful protester streaming the scene live on her Instagram, said she counted seven casualties around her. “We’ve already told them we’re not going anywhere,” she said.

It was pathetic, as Nigerians watched as protesters tried to remove a bullet from the thigh of an unarmed peaceful protester, how one took his last breath after he was shot, how the officers opened fire on protesters while sitting on the floor and chanting the national anthem.

The protesters were defenceless, they bear no weapon, no stick, no stone. The only weapon they had was the Nigerian National Flag.

Lekki toll gate has been burnt. TV Continental and the Nation Newspapers allegedly owned by Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the ruling APC has been torched. The Oba Of Lagos has been whisked away from the palace by soldiers to an unknown destination. His palace vandalised. Bola Tinubu has allegedly jet out of the country. The Presidency has remained mute while Governor Sanwo-Olu is working round the clock to do damage control. The nation is currently sitting on the keg of gunpowder, the explosion may be catastrophic.

The Military command has denied carrying out the Lekki Tollgate shooting. Sanwo-Olu has earlier said that that the shooting were carried out by ‘forces beyond his control. Nigerians are asking, ‘ who are the forces?’ This is a question begging for answer.

I hereby call on President Muhammadu Buhari to withdraw the military from the streets. It is immoral for Mr President to turn the gun against the people that voted him.

May the soul of the departed rest in peace.

Nnamdi Kings
A Trained Journalist with many years of experience both in Broadcast/ Electronic Media and Print Media; A social critic Political analyst and A public speaker.



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