The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu says he has not spoken to Nigeria’s President Muhammad Buhari two days after soldiers opened fire on peaceful protesters at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday night.
Amnesty International said in a report Wednesday night that twelve people were killed, but that figure could be much higher.
President Buhari, who has said little about the protests engulfing the country, did not mention the Lekki shootings or the unrest that followed the next day but issued a call for calm and vowed police reforms on Wednesday. There have been calls for him to address the nation in the wake of the massacre.
“I made phone calls to the president twice on Wednesday,” Governor Sanwo-olu said. “I haven’t spoken to him directly but I actually did call to speak to him. Maybe some time today, that might happen.”
Amnesty said it had received reports that shortly before the shootings, CCTV security cameras at the Lekki toll gates, where protesters had been camped for two weeks, were removed by government officials and electricity was cut to prevent evidence emerging of the violence. The report backs up footage and images on social media that showed violence against protesters in pitch darkness.
Sanwo-Olu insisted he did not give the order to turn off CCTV and lights at the scene.
“Nobody ordered the removal of cameras at the Lekki tollgate. The MD of LCC said because of the curfew, they made the decision to take out installations. The cameras you saw are not security or motion cameras, they are laser cameras for vehicles.”
On a viral photo splashed across social media of a man carrying disconnected cameras away from the Lekki toll gate, Sanwo-Olu said: “the cameras you saw are not security or motion cameras, they are laser cameras for vehicles.”
He added that the company in charge of electricity at the toll gate “put out the lights because of the curfew that the state government put in place.”
“There’s no communication that would reflect that we influenced them. That was a decision that a corporate organisation took and said that because of the curfew, they are taking down their LED screen from the toll plaza.”
Sanwo-olu said he will continue to work with security operatives to restore law and order in the state.