Social media has played an important role in amplifying the messages of #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.
In its yet most important role, it brought the horrors and account of how soldiers reportedly shoot live rounds at peaceful protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos.
Note that the #EndSARS protest at Lekki Tollgate was the most peaceful protest compared to others that happened at Alausa, Shitta, Gbagada, and other parts of the city.
Before the reported shooting
There are quite a number of things that serves as a pointer that the shooting was planned by unscrupulous elements.
- The Governor declared a curfew
In an attempt to douse tension and quell the violence resulting from the hijack of the protests by thugs, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu declared a curfew to start at 4:pm on Tuesday, 10/20/2020. However, the impromptu curfew was criticised by Lagosians as they stated that it was impossible for many to make it home due to the city’s notorious traffic. The Lagos State Government shifted the implementation of the curfew to 9 pm.
2. Men were sent to remove the-Close-circuit Television (CCTV) few hours before the alleged attack.
3. The Lekki Toll gate billboard and lights were switched off prior to the attack.
The normal peaceful protest mood before the attack at Lekki Tollgate
The chaos after soldiers reportedly opened fire on peaceful unarmed protesters as shared on social media
How the world followed the Lekki ‘massacre’
We are in a tech-enabled world and nothing can be hidden. The massacre that happened at the Lekki Tollgate despite the disconnection of the CCTV was still viewed and followed all over the world.
A popular Disc Jockey, Obianuju Catherine Udeh aka ‘DJ Switch’ was the eye of the world at the Lekki Tollgate. She streamed the massacre live on her Instagram page.
Over 150,000 Nigerians watched in disgust as DJ Switch and other protesters amidst intermittent gunfire struggled to provide medical help to Nigerians hit by bullets.
Unfortunately, quite a number of people have been killed even though Sanwoolu said that there was no one that died. We can say thank God for social media, we wouldn’t have had any idea of what happened at the tollgate.