In response to the decision to reopen the Lekki Toll Gate by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry set up by the state of Lagos to investigate the Lekki shooting, Nigerians are not only shocked by the announcement but also pushing against it with the #OccupyLekkiTollGate hashtag that sprung in the early hours of today.
On October, 2020, the Nigerian army arrived at the Lekki Toll Gate and unleashed live rounds on peaceful protesters in a bid to disperse them, following the curfew imposed by the state government. The shooting was the flashpoint of the #ENDSARS demonstrations against police brutality, which led to many dead and injured, as confirmed by Reddington Hospital that treated many of the gunshot victims.
To Nigerians, the government has avoided accountability and undermined every step to bring justice to the memories of the slain. The Lekki Toll Gate is run by the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) in an agreement with the Lagos government, generating billions yearly. Nigerians feel reopening the Toll Gate without satisfactory conclusion on forensics and the government taking responsibility is a grave injustice to those who died.
But #OccupyLekkiTollGate is more than just a social media hashtag as there are plans to take to the streets and physically occupy the Lekki Toll on February 13. This move surely will reawaken the #ENDSARS movement, which has showed brief glimpses online since the October protests in response to pockets of policy brutality.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.