Citizen is a column that explains how the government’s policies fucks citizens and how we can unfuck ourselves.
Some Nigerians were still rolling in their bed this morning, trying to pick up pieces of their lives after the Lekki Massacre, when CNN Africa sent shockwaves through Nigeria’s part of the Internet.
In a brilliant collation of all the videos that have trended over the #LekkiMassacre, mixed with excellent investigative reportage that made use of video time stamp and geo-locations, CNN Africa detailed how the Nigerian Army left their base at the Bonny camp at exactly 6:29 pm, before going ahead to shoot live rounds at peaceful protesters who were stationed at the Lekki toll-gate, as opposed to shooting in the air, according to the Nigerian Army’s own accounts.
The Importance of CNN Africa’s Report
The Nigerian Army arriving at the other side of the Lekki toll-gate
A live round from the Nigerian Army directed at peaceful protesters
The Nigerian Army and the Lagos State government have maintained different positions during the course of this event.
On the morning of October 21st, 2020, the Governor called the night of the Lekki shooting the “toughest night of our lives”, and that it was done by “forces beyond our direct control”.
The governor meant that he didn’t order the shootings, nor did he invite the Nigerian Army to the Lekki toll-gate, the scene of the protests.
Shortly after, the Nigerian Army tagged the news as fake news, saying that it was not present at the scene.
At the Lagos State Judicial Panel sitting over the weekend, the Nigerian Army claimed that it was present at the scene but that it only fired blank shots in the air at the Lekki protests, and that it did not fire live rounds at protesters.
The Army has also claimed that it was invited to the scene of the Lekki protests by the Lagos State governor and that the governor’s continued denial that he did not invite them does not speak well.
In all, there has been no consensus on who ordered the shootings, including whether peaceful protesters were truly shot at, until the emergence of CNN Africa’s investigative report.
This report is very important being that it confirms that live rounds were shot at protesters, and that there were serious casualties by virtue of the indiscriminate and reckless shootings from the Nigerian Army.
What Is The Next Step?
There are a couple of investigations that are currently ongoing, are soon to begin, which center around the shootings at the Lekki toll-gate on the night of October 20, 2020.
The Lagos State Judicial Panel on Inquiry and Restitution for victims of SARS Brutality and the Lekki Toll-gate Incident is currently holding, and it remains to be seen if the Nigerian Army will be found guilty for events at the Lekki toll-gate.
Also, UK Parliament is set to debate a petition to “Implement sanctions against the Nigerian Government and officials” over events at the Lekki Massacre.
And, The International Criminal Court (ICC) could still investigate the shootings at the Lekki Massacre.
In all of this, one thing is certain: CNN Africa’s new report has blown open, again, the events of the night of 20th, October 2020, in Lekki, Lagos.
Let’s hope justice will eventually be served. From somewhere, anywhere.
We hope you’ve learned a thing or two about how to unfuck yourself when the Nigerian government moves mad. Check back every weekday by 10am for more Zikoko Citizen explainers.
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