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Remembrance: The October 20, 2020 Lekki Massacre

by Harry Thomas

In October 2020 during the heat of the corona virus pandemic, a different war was brewing in Nigeria. This war was different from most types of wars as it was not between a congregation of armed parties neither was it necessary to have happened, yet it did happen. It was a war between a government and its citizens, unarmed citizens.

To tell this sad tale, we cannot but reference the individuals charged with enforcing the law in the country but instead turned into tyrants. The Nigerian Police Force through one of its units called Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) continuously carried out extra judicial killings on its younger populace. Every young man was branded a fraudster and every young woman was tagged a prostitute by this unit and subjected to inhumane treatments sometimes resulting in openly killing the suspects in broad daylight. The SARS post in Anambra, Nigeria also known as Akwuzu SARS were a particularly different breed as tales spread of this taxpayer funded unit arresting youths without warrant, denying them bail or contact to their family and then going on to kill their victims and selling their body parts to ritualists. Talk about tyrants in uniforms!

Tired of the lack of accountability, fairness and justice in the country, the youths of a country once known as the giant of Africa rose in numbers and demanded a change. They staged protests across the country with Lagos state experiencing a massive turnout of youths across different cities in the state. This demand for justice did not go down well with the lackadaisical government who rather than calmly address the populace instead, directed that the surveillance cameras at the Lekki Tollgate, Lagos be removed. Prior to this, men of the Nigerian Army had been sent out into the streets fully armed with guns and armored trucks. Yes, you read that right, armored trucks and the army for unarmed peaceful protesters!

By nighttime after the cameras had been removed, sporadic gunshots were head at the Lekki Tollgate with bullets and blood found everywhere but as expected from a heartless government, the bodies of the dead were carted away to erase evidence of the slaughter to its own people.

21st October 2020 was indeed a terrible day in Nigerian history and even worse knowing that till this day, the government still vehemently denies any deaths or wrongdoings at the tollgate.

On the one-year Remembrance Day of this tragic incident, Nigerian youths came out to show that they indeed have not forgotten 21/20/2020 as they staged drive by peaceful protests.

Lekki Phase 1 Tollgate, Lagos
20/Oct/2021 Drive-by Protest

Will the Nigerian government take responsibility for its actions?

Will the youths stay silent?

We all know the answers to these questions.

Salute to the fallen heroes that peacefully came to protest the bad security and governance in their country. You are forever etched in our hearts. #EndSARS #SoroSoke #YouthsArise #Movement

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