Nigerian Youths Plan Protest Memorials A Year After Bloody Crackdown
Abuja, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 20th Oct, 2021 ) :Activists say they will stage commemorations in several cities in Nigeria Wednesday, one year after security forces violently suppressed protests, despite several warnings from the authorities.
Youth-led demonstrations against police brutality in Africa's most populous country came to a halt after October 20, 2020, when security forces shot at thousands of peaceful protesters gathered at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos.
The Nigerian army denied shooting live rounds, telling a judicial panel only blanks were used to disperse a crowd that had violated a curfew.
It started as a campaign to close the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit but snowballed into wider protests against bad governance.
"It is impossible for us not to memorialise our fallen heroes," Falz wrote. "We will never ever forget." "Innocent Nigerian citizens waved flags and sang till they were shot at, injured and killed." A procession of cars would cross through the tollgate, the epicentre of the earlier demonstrations, to mark the anniversary, he said.
"We know their way, so a procession of cars is the safest option to minimise police harassment," he added.
Recent weeks have seen multiple warnings against more EndSARS protests by the authorities, who say they turned into rioting and pillaging last year.
According to Amnesty, at least 56 people died nationwide during the weeks of protests.
Police reported 51 civilians and 22 officers killed in and around the demonstrations, with 205 police stations and other buildings set ablaze or vandalised.
"They will not intimidate us into silence," said Odele.