The Lagos State Government has confirmed the shooting of #EndSARS protesters by security agents in at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos on Tuesday evening.
The government, in a statement, promised to investigate the attack.
The security agents believed to be soldiers opened fire on protesters gathered at the toll gate, which had been one of the main rallying points of #EndSARS protesters. The protests have been going on for about two weeks to compel the government to ban the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the police, which has been accused of extortion, torture and extra-judicial killings.
Earlier on Tuesday, following the breakout of violent clashes between the police and persons suspected to be hoodlums across the state, the governor of the state, Jide Sanwo-Olu, announced a 24-hour curfew from 4pm on Tuesday.
However, protesters at the toll gate defied the curfew and continued to gather, though peacefully at the toll gate.
Just around 7 p.m., before security agents opened fire on the protesters, the state government announced that the curfew was to start at 9 p.m. instead of the original 4p.m. announced earlier in the day to allow residents get home.
Agents believed to be officials of the state government had removed the CCTV cameras at the tollgate and the floodlights at the plaza were switched off before the shooting commenced, leading to claims by people that the state government knew of the plan by the security to attack protesters and might have been trying to hide evidence of the action.
But the state government in a statement late of Tuesday while confirming the shooting said it was going to investigate the incidents.
“There have been reports of shooting at the Lekki Toll Plaza, following the 24-hour curfew imposed on Lagos State to stop criminals who hid under the #EndSARS protests to unleash mayhem on innocent citizens,” the statement said.
“The State Government has ordered an investigation into the incident. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has advised the security agents not to arrest anyone on account of the curfew, which he urges residents to observe for the peaceful atmosphere we all cherish.
“He advises Lagosians to remain calm and not allow criminals, who have hijacked the noble protest of our gallant youths, to succeed in their evil plan of turning our dear state upside down.
“The Governor will do everything within his power to ensure that the lives of all Lagosians are protected at all times,” the statement reads.
The casualty figure of Tuesday’s shooting is still unknown.