Nigeria wakes up shocked the day after a “black Tuesday”, “a bloody Tuesday”, as the headline of the newspaper marked by an outbreak of violence across the country and especially in the megalopolis of Lagos. In this large city, security forces brutally dispersed young people protesting against police violence and killing several people, according to Amnesty International.
as reported from Abuja, Liza Fabbiadoes not
Many residents are closed at home in Lagos, a city – and a state with 20 million inhabitants, where the curfew, which has been in force since Tuesday night, has just been extended for 72 hours. This Wednesday, looting and fires were reported in several neighborhoods where many streets were blocked by temporary roadblocks erected by angry gangs.
Banks and a toll booth were also fired in business districts near where security forces intervened Tuesday night to disperse protesters who had occupied a major axis for more than a week with live ammunition. The latter protested against the brutality of the police and demonstrated for good governance in their country.
Security forces opened fire tonight against #lagos on the lekki toll, blocked for more than a week by young Nigerians protesting against police violence and poor governance. # Nigeria https://t.co/1RgQRSe54r
Liza Fabbian (@LizaFbb) October 20, 2020
Several buses were also set on fire at a bus station in the northern part of the city on Wednesday, premises from a local TV set went up in smoke, and men targeted the palace of a traditional Lagos boss in the heart of the city. .
Sporadic police shootings in other areas of megalopolis are also reported, a priori to enforce the curfew that has been in place since Tuesday.
Five states under curfew
But it is not only in Lagos that the situation is unstable. Now five of the 36 Nigerian states in the country are under curfew. This did not prevent some protesters from taking to the streets again on Wednesday, especially in Edo State, where the curfew has been extended indefinitely.
The situation has been extremely tense since Monday in this state, where nearly 2,000 prisoners have been released by gangs of thugs, according to authorities.
The governor of Edo State said anyone taking to the streets should face rebel police deployed across Nigeria on Wednesday night.
Despite this outbreak of violence, President Muhammadu Buhari has still not spoken publicly. Among the political reactions, we note that the governor of Lagos, who spoke and posted photos of his visit to a hospital in the city. He confirmed the death of a person and officially reported about 20 wounded. “It’s the hardest night of our lives,” said Babajide Sanwo-Olu, “forces beyond our control have darkened our history.”
Joe Biden’s call
The governor said an inquiry would be opened after Tuesday night’s shooting at Lekki tollgate, which took place two hours before the official start of the curfew in Lagos.
This is the hardest night of our lives, as forces beyond our direct control have moved to make dark notes in our history, but we face it and come out stronger.
I just finished visiting hospitals with victims of this unfortunate shooting incident on Lekki. pic.twitter.com/r5idAn9Pxw
Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) October 21, 2020
As for army officials, they refuse to comment on any interference on their part in the megalopolis, despite several videos showing the soldiers in action near the venue a few minutes earlier in absolute darkness.
Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden issued a statement on Wednesday urging “President Buhari and the Nigerian army to end their violence against protesters in Nigeria, which have already caused many deaths.”
At least 18 people, including two police officers, have died since the start of the peaceful Nigerian youth movement, which eventually fell into chaos.