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#EndSARS: Lekki Massacre, Whodunnit?

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The videos and images were graphic. Armed men shooting peaceful protesters in one of the most peaceful #EndSARS spot, Lekki in Lagos. Amnesty International tracked and reported movement of soldiers from the nearby Bonny camp in Victoria Island right down to the Lekki tollgate, where the protesters were gathered. The Nigerian military initially denied that soldiers were ever deployed to the Lekki tollgate, putting up tweets denying it and stamping reports of the Lekki massacre as fake news. And then, it backtracked slightly, saying that its men had only responded to calls from the Lagos State Governor, who had imposed a curfew in the State to contain protests.

Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami in his own statement claimed that those who fired the shots at the peaceful protesters may have been hoodlums. What is undeniable however, is that a well organised, peaceful, sit-in protest at the Lekki tollgate was violently dispersed by uniformed armed men, with reports of deaths. What is puzzling to everyone and angers the world is why the government, seeing videos of innocent protesters being shot by armed men and persons reportedly killed, would invest so much trying to deny that such an incident occurred; rather than investigate what happened, who could have been responsible – armed soldiers or armed hoodlums, and taken action on the matter.

It should be noted that the #EndSARS protest in itself was peaceful across the country, and that the violence and looting that was introduced in Lagos and across major cities of the country by hoodlums and fringe elements who went out of control and took the law into their hands, only happened after the brutal attack on the peaceful Lekki protesters.

Civil society groups, international organisations and even governments have called for an investigation of the Lekki massacre, and for persons responsible for the heinous crime to be brought to account.  

With the matter unresolved, it is clear that a future date will come sooner or later when perpetrators of this act will be held to account.