Authorities in Lagos Tuesday imposed a round-the-clock curfew following protests against alleged police brutality. According to eyewitnesses, 12 protestors and others were wounded after police forces opened fire on the protesting crowds.
Protests began following the death of a young man at the hands of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) unit in early October. The Nigerian government dismantled the SARS unit but replaced it with a SWAT unit. Because of this, protests continued, leading the government to ban police brutality protests in the country’s capital of Abuja.
These #EndSARS protests have taken place for two weeks. On Tuesday evening, uniformed men in Lagos reportedly opened fire on protestors at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos. According to eyewitnesses, 12 people were killed and others were wounded when police opened fire on the crowds. However, according to the state governor, about 30 people had been injured and none had been killed.
As a result of the protests, authorities imposed a round-the-clock curfew. Lagos state governor’s spokesman, Gboyega Akosile, stated: “The curfew will not end tomorrow. A 24-hour curfew means all round the clock, day and night. It is indefinite. Nobody moves until we lift the curfew.” On Wednesday, police set up roadblocks and reportedly fired shots into the air to break up crowds of people.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari appealed for understanding and calm on Wednesday, following a call from the Nigerian Senate to speak on the issue.
Many individuals have condemned the attacks on the protestors, including former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and current US presidential candidate Joe Biden.