I Witnessed 10 People Shot Dead During #EndSARS protests – Victim5 min read
I Witnessed 10 People Shot Dead During #EndSARS protests – Victim.
A young man in Lagos State has recounted the ordeal he endured after soldiers had reportedly shot unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on the 20th of October last year, during the #EndSARS protests.
According to the youth, Lekan Sanusi, he witnessed at least 10 dead bodies, said to be victims of the toll gate shooting. They were taken out of the hospital and put in body bags, before being taken to an unknown destination.
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Before The Tollgate Shootings
Lekan disclosed that he was motivated to join the protests because of its objective against the menace of police brutality. He became a member of the #IClean group, which performed the duty of cleaning up the protest grounds.
On the fateful day of October 20th, the protesters got information that a curfew would be put in place, but they were told not to worry or panic. They later got some more intel that some soldiers were on their way to address the protesters at the gate.
The youths were advised to not be aggressive towards the soldiers, but to sit on the ground and sing the National Anthem while raising the Nigerian flag.
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But by 6: 30 pm, they started hearing gunshots, in an area with a lot of protesters, who ran towards the toll gate. But that proved to be a fatal mistake for some of the protesters, who were shot by the soldiers.
Lekan recalls that he was sitting on the ground and could observe everything that was going on. He saw some of the protesters carrying at least ten corpses, placing them in front of the soldiers.
The soldiers picked up the bodies and put them in a van. There were a couple of loudspeakers, as well as a metallic structure holding them up at the toll gate, which the soldiers pushed down.
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Unfortunately, Lekan was under the loudspeakers at the time, which fell on him, knocking him unconscious.
Lekan’ s Experience At The Hospital
He and some of the other protesters were taken to more than one hospital in a van, but the doctors on duty would not attend to him.
A fellow protester, Segun, who was shot by the soldiers, had to cover for him, telling the doctors that Lekan was his brother.
There were eleven injured protesters, including Lekan, in one van. In another, there were at least ten dead bodies, whose whereabouts remain unknown till today.
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Lekan remained in a coma for seven hours, incapacitated. When he regained consciousness, he was later told by Segun that the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo- Olu, had promised to sufficiently foot the medical bills of the injured, which turned out to be false.
According to Lekan, the injured were given a paltry sum of N10, 000 each, which they had to exhaust on hospital bills alone.
The scenes at the hospital were so gory that Lekan recounts seeing event the toilet filled with blood, from wounds sustained as a result of the shootings.
Lekan could also observe a nurse writing ” RIP” on a card, indicating the death of a protester. Another corpse was observed being wheeled out on a gurney. Such was the effect of the killings carried out at the toll gate.
The nurse later had to ask Segun to find a way to leave the hospital, because she had heard that the military was on their way to kill the protesters who survived the shootings. So, they had to sneak out with Lekan, who could not still walk properly.
The injured protesters, including Lekan and Segun, managed to get out of the hospital, stopping every two minutes to allow Lekan to rest, before they eventually got back to the protesters at the Lekki toll gate plaza.
Lekan Escapes From The Hospital
They met a judge at Lekki Phase 1, to whom the protesters identified themselves. A pastor was kind enough to accommodate them for one week, giving them food and water.
Even after a panel of inquiry was set up to look into the matter of the Lekki toll gate shootings, it didn’t bring any hopes of getting justice to Lekan, as he narrated that the panel was biased, and as such, couldn’t be trusted to deliver fair judgment.
According to Lekan, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had since gotten a report on the shootings, but they were not ready to release his feedback on the report they sent.
” What will it take the governor (Sanwo- Olu) to say, ” I’ m sorry, it happened, how will we correct the mistake [which we committed]? ” asks Lekan, who still appears to be recovering from the traumatic ordeal he had to endure over a year ago.
The memory of the protesters who lost their lives at the toll gate was kept alive by the #EndSARS memorial protests, which were also held at the toll gate, although law enforcement did not take kindly to the memorial at all.
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You can watch in the video below Lekan’s story from the night of the Lekki Toll Gate Shootings:
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