Lekki: Groups threaten fresh protest, give FG 15-day ultimatum
A coalition of four civil society groups has given the Federal Government and the Army 15 days to fish out soldiers that shot peaceful protesters at Lekki tollgate in Lagos, to avert another protest.
The groups threaten to lead a mother of protests across the nation should they fail to grant the request within the given time.
The groups are Campaign for Democracy (CD), Human Rights, Liberty Access and Peace Defenders’ Foundation (HURIDE), Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) and Igbo Elders Forum (IEF)
They berated Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for what they termed “double standard” of allegedly inviting soldiers, denying knowledge of who invited them and setting up panel to probe killings.
Suspected soldiers had reportedly opened fire on #EndSARS protesters gathered at the Lekki tollgate where they had been converging in Lagos campaigning against police brutality, injustice and bad governance.
The army initially denied being part of the incident. But it said on Tuesday that it got involved because the Lagos State Government invited it to enforce the state-imposed curfew and restore order.
Publicity Secretary of the CD and Chairman CD, South East Zone, Dede Uzor A.Uzor, said if the ultimatum expired without meeting the demand, it would be an invitation to “another mother of all protests that will shake the foundation of Nigeria.”
The groups condemned the Lagos government and the Army for pretending not to know the people behind the shooting.
They stated, “The protest was peaceful and very well organised until some suspected thugs sponsored by people with vested interest in government started attacking them and instigating before the soldiers of the Nigerian Army were drafted to open fire…
“This kind of shooting and killing of protesting civilians does not happen in a any democratic government, so we are calling on President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, to within 15 days, fish out Army officers that were responsible for the shooting of the protesters at Lekki tollgate, an open day murder of innocent Nigerians.
“If at the expiration of 15 days from now to November 1 the soldiers who carried out the despicable shooting are not shown to Nigerians, we will organise the mother of all protests that Nigerians have never seen in its history to show to the world that Nigeria is not a Banana republic and Nigerians are not happy that their citizens are being killed like rats.
“We want to condemn the despicable and day light murder of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll gate Lagos, by the soldiers of the Nigerian Army on the invitation by the Lagos State Government.
“We must tell the world that Nigerians have rights, they are not ants and rats that could be killed without anybody questioning the killers. You cannot continue to kill people who are clamouring for rule of law and constitutionality, equity and justice that will benefit everybody on the country and just go free.”
Meanwhile, the Amnesty International, in its latest timeline, said its investigation confirmed that the army and police killed peaceful protesters in Lagos.
Its Country Director in Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, accused the government of attempting to cover up the shooting at the tollgate.
He said, “This timeline collates video and photograph footage to confirm that army vehicles left the Bonny Camp – a military base approximately a seven-minute drive from the Lekki Toll Gate at 18:29 local time on 20 October.
“This timeline collates video and photograph footage to confirm that army vehicles left the Bonny Camp – a military base approximately a seven-minute drive from the Lekki tollgate at 18:29 local time on 20 October.
“The vehicles are tracked to the Toll Gate. At around 18:45 the Nigerian military opened fire on the protesters.”
It also stated, “What happened at Lekki tollgate has all the traits of the Nigerian authorities’ pattern of a cover-up whenever their defence and security forces commit unlawful killings.
“The initial denial of the involvement of soldiers in the shooting was followed by the shameful denial of the loss of lives as a result of the military’s attack against the protests. Many people are still missing since the day of the incident, and credible evidence shows that the military prevented ambulances from reaching the severely injured in the aftermath.”
Lekki tollgate generates its electricity – EKEDC
The Eko Electricity Distribution Company has said the Lekki tollgate where some protesters were shot on Tuesday night independently generates its power supply.
It stated that the company could not have been responsible for the power cut that plunged the place into darkness shortly before the gunshots because it does not supply power to the tollgate.
The EKEDC, in a statement on Wednesday, denied allegations that it took power supply from the Admiralty Toll Plaza on Lekki-Epe expressway on Tuesday night.
According to the statement signed by the company’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Mr Godwin Idemudia, Lagos State had contracted the supply of electricity to the plaza and the street lights to an Independent Power Plant.
Idemudia said, “We will like to respectfully and categorically state that EKEDC does not handle power supply to the Lekki Toll Gate and they independently generate their own power supply through IPPs.
“The rest of the Lekki area supplied by EKEDC had power supply from us throughout the night save for any areas where there were technical faults.”
He added, “We are extremely saddened by the turn of events yesterday (Tuesday) and we stand with all well-meaning Nigerians who want a better future for our dear nation.
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