On Tuesday, gunmen opened fire on a crowd of protesters in Lagos, Nigeria. Amnesty International blamed security forces for the shooting. No deaths were reported but several victims have been hospitalized and treated. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governer, claimed that 25 people were wounded, of which two required intensive care.
Governor Sanwo-Olu took to Twitter on Wednesday and posted several pictures of himself visiting victims in hospital early this morning. “This is the toughest night of our lives as forces beyond our direct control have moved to make dark notes in our history. I recognise the buck stops at my table and I will work with the FG (federal government) to get to the root of this unfortunate incident,” he Tweeted. The Nigerian army however did not issue a direct statement but also used Twitter as a platform, saying that reports of soldiers shooting protesters are “fake news”.
Protests against police brutality have been spiralling out of control in the city. The hated Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) is at the center of allegations of uncontrolled police brutality. Sanwo-Olu announced a curfew from Tuesday afternoon in an attempt to stop the protests. The chief of police also ordered anti-riot units to deploy.
Meanwhile, US Presidential candidate Joe Biden urged the Nigerian president and military to “Cease the violent crackdown on proteters in Nigeria.” In his statement Biden said: ” The United States must stand with Nigerians who are peacefully demonstrating for police reform and seeking an end to corruption in their democracy. I encourage the government to engage in a good-faith dialogue with civil society to address these long-standing grievances and work together for a more just and inclusive Nigeria.”