Curfew Sparks Civil Unrest in Lagos, Nigeria
Police brutality is increasingly becoming a problem across the globe, in particular, protestors are being violently attacked and even killed in many cases. According to NBCNews, on Thursday, Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari seeks to end street protests against police brutality in the country as conflicts erupt surrounding the recently enforced curfew.
An unnamed witness claimed that two fires occurred in an affluent Ikayi neighborhood on Thursday. Video footage also reveals the Circle shopping mall on the Lekki-Epe Expressway ablaze. In Lagos, on Tuesday, an otherwise peaceful protest took a dark turn when 20 armed men dressed in army fatigues opened fire on a group of protesters wearing green and white, which are the colors of the national flag.
Gathering at the Lekki toll gate, protestors had prevented cars from driving on the major roadway for the past two weeks. The incident occurred two hours after the recently enforced curfew was implemented. On Tuesday, the new curfew went into effect in attempts to discourage protests against the police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars). In the aftermath of the shooting in Lekki, tension and violent encounters continue to escalate as groups of protesters clash with police.
Rights group Amnesty International released a statement revealing that soldiers and police killed at least 12 protesters in Lekki and Alausa, which is another Lagos district. However, the army has denied the claim of soldiers being present at the location when protesters gathered to defy the curfew.
Before the shooting, protests carried out during the two weeks of nationwide marches were mainly peaceful. It has been conveyed that the acts of vandalism were a separate occurrence and not directly linked to the protests. This is the nation’s largest period of turmoil since the end of military rule in 1999.
Photo Credit: The New York Times