It has been a year since the Nigerian Army deployed soldiers to the epicentre of the nationwide #EndSARS protests at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria opened fire on youths protesting against extra-judicial killings and all forms of Police brutalities.
Multiple evidence showed that the bullets fired by the soldiers killed a yet-to-be ascertained number of protesters that night. Many people including police officers were killed during the protests. Some sustained gunshot injuries and innocent Nigerians were arrested randomly.
Despite promises by the government, many protesters who were arrested are still in prison while hundreds of victims are yet to be compensated. The government has also made public the details of punishment for police officers who have been found guilty of brutality and extra-judicial killing. Nigeria has not witnessed improvements in policing and true police reform is still a mirage.
To mark a year of the killings at the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza, #EndSARS mobilisers and supporters have agreed to protest in remembrance of those who lost their lives last year. They are doing so with the hashtag #EndSARSMemorial.
In this report, HumAngle reflects on the timeline of notable dates to remember from October 2020.
Oct. 3, 2020: A Nigerian arrested by the Police in Ughelli, Delta State, fell off from a moving police vehicle and was feared dead, sparking protests in the state.
Oct. 4, 2020: Nigeria’s Minister, Festus Keyamo, tweeted that the victim of the alleged shooting by police officers in Ughelli, Delta State, was alive following his conversation with the victim’s brother, Ochuko.
Oct. 6, 2020: Protesters block major roads in Delta State, heating up the protest on Twitter, which spilled over to Lagos.
Oct. 8, 2020: Protesters led by celebrities slept in front of the Lagos Government House.
Oct. 9, 2020: The police forcefully dispersed peaceful protesters in Abuja.
Oct. 10, 2020: A youth, Jimoh Isiaka, was shot in Ogbomosho, Oyo State sparking widespread outrage across the country.
Oct. 11, 2020: Nigeria’s authorities announced the dissolution of SARS and a promise by the government to reform the police.
Oct. 12, 2020: Amnesty International claimed no fewer than 10 persons had been killed during the protest. Ebonyi youth joined the protests.
Oct. 13, 2020: Protesters defied Nyesom Wike, Governor of River’s order against protest. The protests also shutdown major parts of Enugu, Owerri, and Aba in the Southeast.
Oct. 13, 2020: Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Governor of Lagos State met with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari on the protests. The police also set up a new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team to replace SARS.
Oct. 14, 2020: Protesters were attacked in Abuja. Protests were also held in Belgium, the U.K., and the U.S.
Oct. 15, 2020: Hoodlums attacked protesters in Lagos as Christian cleric, Enoch Adeboye, backed the #EndSARS movement. Also, an international hacking group, Anonymous, infiltrated the Nigeria Police website.
Oct. 16, 2020: Muslim faithfuls held the Friday jummat prayer on the protest ground in Lagos and Twitter created a special emoji – a clenched fist showing solidarity with the #EndSARS movement in the Nigerian national green, white and green colours.
Oct. 17, 2020: Two people died in Osun State, Southwest Nigeria after hoodlums hijacked the protest in the state.
Oct. 18, 2020: The National Examination Council (NECO) shifted its examination for the year. A passerby, Anthony Onome, died from wounds caused by hoodlums in Abuja and protesters raised over N4 million in less than 24 hours for two physically-challenged protesters who joined the rally.
Oct. 19, 2020: Hoodlums attacked Benin Correctional Centre to free some inmates in one of the cells.
Oct. 20, 2020: Soldiers deployed to the epicentre of the nationwide protests at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos opened fire on youths protesting. The soldiers killed a yet-to-be ascertained number of people.
Oct. 21, 2020: Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on visited the #EndSARS protesters shot by soldiers in hospitals. He admitted that only one person died.
Oct. 21, 2020: States across the country announced curfew following death of no fewer than 13 persons killed in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan, as hoodlums intensified their attacks on #EndSARS protesters. Police stations and other private businesses were destroyed.
Oct. 22, 2020: Police intensified random arrest of innocent Nigerians, with many still in detention. were arrested randomly.
President Buhari addressed Nigerians on #EndSARS impasse.
Oct. 23, 2020: Amnesty International and authorities in Nigeria disagreed on the number of people killed at Lekki, with the former insisting that at least 38 people were killed.
Oct. 24- 31, 2020: Hoodlums continue to attack police stations and kill officers. They also stole COVID-19 relief materials across the country. Amidst this, indiscriminate killings were recorded in different states.
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