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There’s a shocking story breaking out of Nigeria in connection to the #EndSARS movement. Social media is being flooded with startling pictures and videos of unarmed peaceful protestors who said they were attacked by police officials at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. Reportedly officials were on hand to enforce a 24-hour curfew and opened fire on protestors who refused to leave.
The news has garnered the attention of celebrities who are using their platforms to amplify what’s happening amid reports that the toll gate’s CCTV cameras and lights have been disabled. A number of people also watched Nigerian DJ @DJSwitch’s Instagram Live showing blood and gore including protestors removing a bullet from her leg.
There are conflicting reports about the death toll, Lagos-based newspaper The Cable said at least three people died in the shooting. Social media reports claim that at least seven people have died.
As previously reported protests have gone on for 13 days now calling for the disbandment of #SARS, or the Special Anti-Robbery Squad who’ve been widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture, and even murder. The government recently announced that the officers will be redeployed but protestors say that’s not enough.
Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari who’s being flooded with graphic content on social media said that he’s dedicated to “extensive police reforms.”
“The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms,” Mr. Buhari said in a televised statement, speaking out for the first time since protests started last week. “We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct are brought to justice.”
A petition has surfaced demanding that sanctions be enforced against the Nigerian government for “human rights violations.”
“There have been deeply concerning reports of a Nigerian police force unit (SARS) engaging in illegal activities and human rights abuses, and there have also been reports of police firing at protestors calling for SARS to be disbanded.
Deploying sanctions would provide accountability for and be a deterrent to anyone involved in violations of human rights.”
This story is still developing…
***TRIGGER WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT***