Protesters, on Friday, stormed the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos to commemorate the third anniversary of the killings of armless protesters by the officers of the Nigerian Army and police on October 20, 2020.
The peaceful walk, led by skit maker Adebowale Adebayo, also known as Mr Macaroni, witnessed heavy security presence, including the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Idowu Owohunwa, who had on Thursday, warned against any gathering at the tollgate.
MC Macaroni said the memorial walk was to honour the slain youth, adding, “We want to walk back, but the police don’t want us to walk back.
“We don’t want to give them a reason or an excuse to fire at us. We’ve been on this for three years now, and we know what they are capable of doing.”
The skit maker called for the unconditional release of youth in security agencies’ custody since October 2020.
“There are still some protesters who have been in prison since 2020. Lawyers have been on the cases, different shouts every day, but till now, they are still there.
“We are using this walk to once again call on all those concerned to grant the unconditional release of all protesters that are still in prison,” he urged.
The protest, which rocked major cities across Nigeria in 2020, sought an end to extrajudicial killings by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police. It, however, resulted in the shooting of peaceful demonstrators shortly after the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, announced a curfew.
Many sources, including those from security sources, confirmed to Peoples Gazette that casualties were recorded on the night of the attack after soldiers fired at protesters who sat on the ground, singing the national anthem and waving the Nigerian flag.
Initially, the Nigerian Army denied being at the protest ground, stating that videos and photos from the scene were “doctored”. However, it later admitted officers’ presence and claimed that shots were only fired into the air to enforce the curfew.