Death Toll Rises To 56 Amid #EndSARS Protests In Nigeria

At least 56 people have died since Nigerian citizens began protesting against state sanctioned violence on October 8. The most recent act of violence took place on Thursday in the Ikoyi neighborhood of Lagos. Witnesses reported seeing fires and hearing gunfire near the neighborhood's correctional facility.

"I saw people jumping out and the fire is getting really crazy, everywhere the clouds were dark," Adukeo Ogundiya, a 22-year-old staying at a nearby hotel, said.

"Then for next 30 minutes there were shooting, they opened fire, just shooting."

Immediately after fires emerged, military personnel arrived and closed off all roads leading to the prison. Nearby residents say that the people inside the prison were attempting to break out.

"We saw some of the prisoners try to break through a wall to the right side of the prison," nearby resident Foluke Dede.

Thursday's events at the Ikoyi correctional facility followed Wednesday's onslaught at the Lekki toll gate. According to reports, a dozen civilians were killed by military personnel. Making matters worse, those present at the shooting say military personnel blocked ambulances and paramedics trying to help those who were injured.

"I was not injured but I was stained in blood, stained in the victims' blood," a 23-year-old witness told CNN.

"Then some kind-hearted Nigerians sent down some paramedics and ambulances but the army barricaded them and stopped them getting through the toll gate."

Adding on, citizens accused government officials of removing CCTV cameras from the toll gates. However, local officials have refuted these claims.

"The managing director of the Lekki Conservation Centre said because of the curfew, they made the decision to take out installations," Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said.

"The cameras you saw are not security or motion cameras, they are laser cameras for vehicles."

In response to these protests, the country has removed the controversial Special Anti-Robbery Unit. However, citizens say that removing SARS is just one step on the path to revival.

"This is more than police brutality, this is about transformation," Nigerian actor Wofai Fada said.

"We don't have jobs, university graduates are bus conductors. We need reform but please don't kill us."

Photo: Getty Images

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