Nigeria: #EndSARS - Dozens Killed As Violence Spreads

Nigerian activist Aisha Yesufu, during the #EndSARS protest (file photo).
21 October 2020

Dozens of people were killed on Tuesday in Lagos, Abuja in the FCT, Kano, Oyo, Ogun and Plateau states, while many others sustained injuries following altercations in the ongoing #EndSARS protests in different parts of the country.

Among the victims were security operatives, pro and anti- SARS protesters and passers-by.

Business premises and vehicles were also destroyed as those for and against #EndSARS protests targeted each other.

It was gathered that miscreants also seized the opportunity to loot and maim in different places.

The Senate on Tuesday asked President Muhammadu Buhari to speak to Nigerians, while the House of Representatives told him to come up with an Executive Order against the ongoing protests.

Curfew has been imposed in Lagos, Plateau, Osun, Abia, Ekiti, Ondo and others.

How five people lost their lives in Abuja

The #EndSARS protest turned bloody at Dutse Alhaji area of Bwari Area Council in FCT as five people reportedly lost their lives following the injuries they sustained from gunshots.

While some people alleged that the deceased were killed by the police, the FCT Command of the Nigeria Police Force denied the allegation, saying they only restored peace in the area.

Soon after the killing, the police post at Dutsen Makaranta was set ablaze by rampaging protesters while several vehicles were also burnt.

An eye witness told Daily Trust that the protest, which started at about 8 am, was initially peaceful until the arrival of a team of police personnel in four trucks.

"Immediately the police arrived they started shooting at the protesters, leading to the killing of the five victims.

"This development sparked outrage by the other protesting youths who went and set the Police Post at Dutsen Makaranta on fire even as several commuting vehicles were also burnt," the witness said.

He said after the shooting, the police immediately left the scene while corpses of the victims were evacuated to the Bwari General Hospital.

However, in a statement on Tuesday, the spokesperson of the FCT Police Command, ASP Maryam Yusuf, described the claim that their operatives killed protesters at Dutsen Makaranta as malicious and mischievous.

She said the FCT police command professionally succeeded in restoring calm at the area during a violent clash that ensued between the #EndSARS and #PRoSARS protesters.

"During the unfortunate incident, the protesters suddenly went berserk, leaving two persons dead and one injured," she said

"Protest taking religious dimension"

In Apo District of Abuja, the escalating situation had taken religious and ethnic dimensions.

Sources said places of worship had been set on fire while residents had resorted to self- defence as there was no security presence in the area.

Daily Trust learnt that a mosque was burnt down in the Pigba Sama area of Apo, while a church in the Waru area was also set on fire.

On Monday, the crisis in Apo resulted in the burning of many cars and shops while many people sustained injuries.

Youth Leader of Apo, Daniel Vudabo, said the attacks on the protesters turned into ethno-religious crisis in which churches and mosques were burnt.

He said troops had been deployed to restore peace but expressed misgivings that authorities did not act on time as according to him "monumental destruction of lives and property was incurred before security was deployed."

4 Killed in Kano, shops looted

Four persons have been feared killed while many injured when irate youths attacked #EndSARS protesters at Sabon Gari area of Kano metropolis.

Later, the rampaging youths went after shops and homes of residents in the area carting away valuables and setting some ablaze. Several vehicles were also burnt.

Business activities were brought to a standstill along the most affected areas that include Airport Road, Sarkin Yaki, Court Road, Burma Road and Zungeru Road.

Places worst affected were the Galaxy Mall, Summit Hotel and Chicken Republic outlet.

Eyewitnesses said the protesters had gathered at about 9 am on Tuesday to commence their march when the youth attacked them around Sarkin Yaki by Court Road.

"Four persons were killed and left on the floor," he said.

When Daily Trust visited the scene, the incident had escalated to Airport Road with weapon-wielding youths around Brigade taking over the streets and re-directing traffic flow to other areas.

Thick smoke was seen in some parts of Ibo Road with police blocking the entrance to curtail further escalation.

The irate youths were also seen hauling stones against some other youths from the area who are trying to block them from further getting into the Sabon Gari area.

However, the Kano state Commissioner of Police, Habu Sani told newsmen that no life was lost but seven vehicles were burnt by the hoodlums.

"From the information, we have so far, seven motor vehicles and two motorcycles were burnt, eight others were also damaged. Nobody has died, but five have been injured from both sides of the protesters and the hoodlums.

"We have also arrested someone, who is even a medical doctor by profession with gun, firing. We have recovered the gun from him and ammunitions," he said.

4 dead, suspects freed in Lagos

No fewer than four persons including a policeman reportedly lost their lives and many others injured in some parts of Lagos State.

Security operatives also on Tuesday fired gunshots at protesters at the Lekki Tollgate.

Lagos state government had announced a 24-hour curfew, starting from 4 pm on Tuesday but the governor of the state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, later shifted the start time to 9pm.

The protest also saw hoodlums known as 'Area Boys' setting the Orile Police Station on fire.

Many of the suspects detained at the station were trapped in the inferno before they were set free by the urchins who were armed to the teeth and ready for a showdown.

The hoodlums also destroyed the armoury and carted away arms and ammunition as well as police uniforms.

One of the policemen attached to the station was allegedly hacked down by the hoodlums while others scampered to safety after removing their uniforms and dumped it behind the station.

It was learnt that trouble started following the killing of a teenager by a policeman attached to Orile Police Station.

Though this had been refuted by the authority in charge of the state command, but sources said the shooting occurred after a heated argument between a policeman and a commercial bus driver.

Our correspondent reliably learnt that the thugs, in their hundreds, entered into all the offices including the armoury and carted away all that was left after the inferno had subsided.

The thugs were later seen in police uniforms holding bullet magazines, while some held pistols, which may likely not be that of the police.

The pole of the communication mask installed in the premises and its panel were uprooted by the thugs and carted away.

Mushin

While the attack was raging at Orile, violence erupted at Mushin as scores of urchins took over the entire area with two people reportedly killed.

Several gangsters turned the protest into a looting opportunity as many shops were looted, particularly at Orile, Ijora and Mushin.

Meanwhile, the Lagos State Police Command said security operatives from the police and military would enforce the 24- hour curfew imposed on the metropolis by the state government.

2 policemen, 2 protesters killed in Ibadan

In Oyo State, two police operatives and two protesters were killed in Ojoo area of Ibadan, while many people sustained injuries.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Olugbenga Fadeyi confirmed this to our correspondent in Ibadan.

An eyewitness told Daily Trust in Ibadan that the fracas started when police approached the protesters to unblock the road in front of their station, but the protesters told them it was a national protest against their misdeed.

Following the crisis, Governor Seyi Makinde had ordered the deployment of combined forces of the state security group codenamed Operation Burst to major junctions in the state to maintain law and order.

Customs' officer, protester killed in Ogun clash

An officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and a protester were on Tuesday killed in a clash between customs officers and #EndSARS protesters along Owode - Idiroko road in Ogun State.

Daily Trust gathered that one of the officers attached to the Ogun Area Command I of the NCS was injured in the attack.

It was learnt that residents of the border communities had used the opportunity of the ongoing protest to demand for an end into the incessant killings by operatives of the NSC in the area.

An eyewitness account said a bullet fired by one of the customs officers while chasing suspected smugglers hit a yet-to-be-identified protester and he died immediately.

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the Command, Hammed Oloyede confirmed the incident in an interview with our reporter.

3 killed in Plateau, bank, shops destroyed

Governor Simon Bako Lalong of Plateau state on Tuesday confirmed that three people were killed during clashes that occurred as a result of the ongoing #EndSARS protests in the state.

The governor revealed this in a statement while imposing a 24-hour curfew in Jos North and Jos South local government areas of the state.

He said, "Based on this scenario, I summoned an emergency security council meeting to evaluate the situation and take decisive actions to stop further escalation," he said.

Daily Trust reports that vehicles and some properties were destroyed by the rampaging protesters.

Buhari meets Defence minister, CDS

President Buhari on Tuesday held a closed-door meeting with the Minister of Defence, Major General Bashir Magashi (rtd.) and the Chief of Defense Staff, General Gabriel Olonisakin, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

No official information was released after the meeting.

But presidential sources said the talks focused on how to address the escalating violence trailing the #EndSARS protests across the country.

Senate asks Buhari to address Nigerians

The Senate has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to address Nigerians on the #EndSARS protests urgently.

The resolution followed a motion sponsored by Biodun Olujimi, senator representing Ekiti south.

The motion was adopted after it was put to a voice vote by Senate President Ahmad Lawan after contributions by some of the legislators.

Also, Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives said he will not sign off on the 2021 budget if it does not contain compensation for victims of police brutality.

Speaking on the floor of the house before a closed-door session on Tuesday, Gbajabiamila said he would not endorse a budget that does not meet the "reasonable demands" of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

IGP deploys anti-riot policemen nationwide

The Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu has ordered the immediate deployment of anti-riot operatives to protect lives and property as well as secure critical national infrastructure across the country.

In a statement by the Force Public Relations Officer, DCP Frank Mba, on Tuesday, the IGP also ordered massive deployment of police operatives to strengthen the security around Correctional facilities nationwide.

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