The #EndSARS movement is making International headlines amid credible reports that Nigerian soldiers killed innocent civilians.
As previously reported social media’s being flooded with startling pictures and videos of unarmed peaceful protestors who said they were attacked by Nigerian Armed Forces at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. Reportedly officials were on hand to enforce a 24-hour curfew that was implemented Tuesday just FOUR HOURS before a mandatory 4 p.m. curfew. When they arrived on the scene, the soldiers escalated things to violence and chaos, while protestors and others who were just trapped in the gridlock, gathered peacefully.
Witnesses also reported that the military shrouded them in darkness and removed CCT cameras before carrying out their attack.
Initial reports said seven protestors were killed but now, VICE News reports that the death toll could be up to 15 with HUNDREDS injured. Social media footage also showed a fire at both ends of the toll trapping protestors.
Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari previously said that he’s dedicated to “extensive police reforms” but initially remained completely silent in the hours following the murders. The Guardian reports that the President did not directly address the shootings, but “called on Nigerians to be patient as police reforms gather pace.”
The Lagos state commissioner for information, Gbenga Omotoso, offered a weak statement Tuesday stating that “there have been reports of shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza following the 24-hour curfew imposed on Lagos.”
“The state government has ordered an investigation into the incident,” he said.
While Nigeria’s Government officials continue to ignore the situation, American celebrities including Hillary Clinton, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj are speaking out.
“I am heartbroken to see the senseless brutality taking place in Nigeria,” wrote Beyoncé on Instagram. “There has to be an end to SARS. We have been working on partnerships with youth organizations to support those protesting for change. We are collaborating with coalitions to provide emergency healthcare, food, and shelter. To our Nigerian sisters and brothers, we stand with you. Please visit beyonce.com for a list of organizations to show your support.
“I can’t bear to see this torture and brutalization that is continuing to affect nations across our planet,” wrote Rihanna. “It is such a betrayal to the citizens, the very people put in place to protect are the ones we are most afraid of being murdered by. My heart is broken for Nigeria. It is unbearable to watch.”
Social media is also being flooded with links to resources and updates on vigils and demonstrations.
We will keep you updated on this developing story.