Who gave the order for the shootings and massacre at Lekki toll gate?

Emeh Joy

While we sobber on the Lekki shootings and massacre on Tuesday night, the question Nigerians must ask is, Who gave the Lekki shooting order? Who turned off the CCTV cameras and street lights?

Soldiers shoot at protesters at Lekki toll gate, staining Nigerian flags with blood

While we sobber on the Lekki shootings and massacre on Tuesday night, the question Nigerians must ask is, Who gave the Lekki shooting order? Who turned off the CCTV cameras and street lights?

Nigeria, at this point, is not only in a sad state of mourning but is also in a state of chaos. Chinua Achebe's words, "There was a country" now rings a bell, only this time louder than before.

Nigerians have been lamenting that 'things have fallen apart', now the question is, "Can the centre still hold?" Is there still a centre?

The shootings at the Lekki toll gate, Lagos which claimed the lives of young Nigerians and left many wounded must have been a deliberate action, otherwise, why remove the CCTV cameras and turn off the street light before the incident occurred?

Who ordered for the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate on the evening of Tuesday 20 October 2020?

Let's look at the series of events that took place before the Tuesday night massacre at the Lekki toll gate, and we will see that the handwriting is clearly on the wall.

Events that happened shortly before the Lekki toll gate massacre

As the EndSARS movement raged in Nigeria, the Lagos state Governor, Babajide Sanwo Olu had on Tuesday morning imposed a 24-hour curfew which was to start by 4 PM the same day.

If you live in Lagos state and understand the population and the level of road traffic in the state, you would know that this curfew would be almost impossible considering the fact that the people were not warned on time about the curfew.

Many Lagosians went to work, and most of the major routes were blocked because of the protest. This leaves one wondering how Lagosians would be able to get home before the curfew time. The curfew time was later shifted to 9 PM, though.

Clacified reported that earlier before the shooting which took place around 7 pm (18:00 GMT), some men had uninstalled the CCTV cameras around the Lekki toll gate area.

A video clip showing Nigerian soldiers shooting at peaceful protesters at Lekki toll gate, Lagos state

It was also reported that the street lights were turned off before the shooters released fire at protesters who were waving the Nigerian flag and singing the national anthem.

This occurred just moments after armed soldiers were reportedly seen barricading the protest site.

According to an Aljazeera News report, a 26-year-old photographer identified as Inyene Akpan said more than 20 soldiers arrived at the Lekki toll gate and opened fire. He said he saw two people being shot.

In the same report, Akinbosola Ogunsanya, another eye witness, said he saw soldiers remove dead bodies.

Clearly, for the Lagos State Government to have announced the curfew, followed by the strategic turning off of CCTV cameras which is only operated on by state officials, and Judging by the fact that soldiers only act on orders is almost certain that the order came from the government.

If the order did not come from the government, by now, the soldiers who perpetrated these atrocious acts would have been apprehended and dealt with according to the Law for engaging unarmed citizens without orders.

Is the Lagos State Government Involved in the Lekki Massacre?

Many have pointed accusing finger at the governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo Olu saying that he has a hand in the killing of the protesters.

Some alleged that he imposed the 4 PM curfew and had the CCTV cameras removed to give room for the evil act to be perpetrated.

However, the Lagos state government has released a statement ordering an investigation into the alleged shooting of the protesters at Lekki.

The statement, which was issued by the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotosho and shared via the state's Twitter handle, read:

"There have been reports of shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza, following the 24-hour curfew imposed on Lagos State to stop criminals, who hid under the #EndSARS protests to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens.

"The State Government has ordered an investigation into the incident.

"Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advised the security agents not to arrest anyone on account of the curfew, which he urges residents to observe for the peaceful atmosphere we all cherish".

Sanwo-Olu has denied having a hand in this bloody assault of peaceful protesters. The former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, has also distanced himself from the Lekki shootings, saying he has played no role. Who should we now hold responsible?

How the Nigerian army denied shooting Lekki toll gate protesters

Despite video clips which surfaced online showing shooters in army uniforms, the Nigerian army has denied opening fire on the peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate.

The images and videos which went viral showed protesters running for the dear lives after the men in army uniforms started shooting sporadically.

A video clip showing men on army uniform cocking guns and shooting sporadically at protesters at Lekki toll gate

Everyone has denied having a hand in the blood of innocent citizens spilt in Lekki on Tuesday, but we won't stop asking that question, "Who gave the order for the massacre at Lekki toll gate?"

Is the President Buhari exonerated from the Lekki toll gate massacre?

No one knows for sure who directly shot at these protesters. The Nigerian Army has denied all allegations, but if the Nigerian army took this action, there is the only person the Nigerian Army answers to, and that is the Chief Commander of the Armed Forces.

If they were thugs in army uniform, then someone must have hired them. Whoever hired them is not an ordinary citizen like you and me. It is most definitely someone up there, someone that has such power and authority.

It is just impossible to hire thugs and at the same time, equip them with the army uniform and tools without being an army general.

It does not stop there; if they were thugs in the army uniform, why is it that none of the security agencies in Lagos interfered during the whole incident, including now, because the killings are still ongoing?

Nigerians are rightly angry and seriously raged. This could have been avoided.

If the government, both the Federal and State had heeded to the demands of the people and treated Nigerian youths like they matter, it wouldn't have gotten to this state.

Nigerian youths started protesting against the brutal activities of SARS for more than two weeks now. The week the protest began, the President of the nation didn't deem it fit to address his people, the gallant youths that voted him into power.

Nigerian leaders might deny not being directly involved in the Lekki toll gate massacre, but indirectly, they are all to be blamed.

They are to be blamed for not acting on time, for not caring about the welfare of their people, for being nonchalant about things affecting the youths and worse still for not allowing the youths voice their grievances, peacefully.

A writer said, "I have never seen a government so anti-youth as this government" and I can't agree more with the writer.

For so long, they have blamed the youths for everything that has gone wrong in the country while they made Nigeria the mess that it is today. Under their very watch, things have gone from good to bad and then, to worse.

Nigerians won't stop asking the question, "Who gave that order to massacre innocent citizens who were protesting peacefully at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday, 20 October 2020?"