Nigerian President Denies Video Evidence Of Army Massacre As Concerns Grow Around Government Stoking Violence
President Muhammadu Buhari would not apologize for his armed soldiers opening fire on peaceful protesters this week.
October 23, 2020 at 9:29 pm
Outrage and anger in Nigeria continue to grow as the #EndSARS protests expand and contend with outright violence from the Nigerian army and police force, according to The Associated Press, New York Times and social media reports.
As Blavity previously reported, peaceful protesters have been incensed since army officials opened fire on them on Tuesday at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, killing at least seven people under the shroud of darkness, according to local news outlet Punch. Dozens of other protesters were killed across the country that same day, the newspaper reported.
The violence, covered extensively on social media, has largely been ignored by Nigerian elected officials and even president Muhammadu Buhari, who made no mention of it during his address to the nation on Thursday night.
Thursday was Buhari's first appearance since the Lekki Gate shooting, but he only tacitly mentioned the actions of his armed forces, only threatening protesters to not continue their demonstrations.
Amnesty International pegged the death toll at 12, according to the Guardian, while the New York Times reported that anonymous police officers told them 11 people had been killed. Protesters at the scene who were livestreaming said there were many bodies, some of which were whisked away by the army after the shooting.
“I would like to appeal to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy,” Buhari said on Thursday.
“For you to do otherwise will amount to undermining national security and the law and order situation. Under no circumstances will this be tolerated,” he added.