With music playing and food being passed around, a festive atmosphere hung over Lekki Toll Gate that Tuesday night. I sat glued to my television box as some stations occasionally beamed the live pictures of the peaceful protesters- Biggest Nigeria had seen in a generation.
As darkness fell, Nigerian flags were handed out among the thousands of people gathered there. I learnt that the protesters were told that the security operatives would likely arrive, but that if they sat down, sang the national anthem and waved their flags, they would face no danger. International best practices have it that no right thinking soldier would dare shoot any citizen holding their own national flag.
The youths remained seated on the ground, chanting slogans and waving their flags. There were already ominous signs. Witnesses reported seeing people dismantle streetlights and remove security cameras that would have recorded what was to come next.
Three hours later, I watched as dozens of people were hit by gunfire from security forces. Images of bloodied protesters and their bloodied flags strewn on the ground flooded the social media. There was a lady who excreted on her undies because of fear. Video streams on social media showed wounded people lying in the streets, or being carried by others into teeming hospital emergency rooms.
Who is responsible for this carnage? The Presidency claimed ignorance of the bloody shooting. Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his political godfather, Bola Tinubu, denied having hands in it.
The bloodshed drew international condemnation. As I write, President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to visit Lekki Toll Gate for a first hand assessment. What leader does that?
We are watching!
Favour Amako is a journalist, a youth pastor and a social critic. He writes from Abuja.￼