Two Years After the 'Lekki Massacre,' Police Brutality Still Looms Large Over Nigerian Elections
MIN READOct 27, 2022 | 17:12 GMT
Police officers stand on a street in Lagos on Oct. 1, 2022, as supporters march to campaign for a third-party candidate running in Nigeria's 2023 presidential election.
(PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)
Nigerian protesters demanding police reform commemorated the second anniversary of the Lekki massacre, underscoring the threat of police violence to political participation in the lead-up to the February 2023 general elections that will likely harm voter turnout. Police fired tear gas to disperse protesters who had gathered at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos on Oct. 20 to commemorate the second anniversary of security forces' bloody crackdown on peaceful demonstrations against police brutality, known as the #EndSARS protests. The protesters -- reportedly numbering in the low hundreds -- carried coffins and signs decrying state-sanctioned violence against civilians. Police officers told reporters that they were acting on a court order prohibiting anyone from gathering at the site of the October 2020 ''massacre'' (as protesters define it), during which police fired into a crowd of protesters demanding an end to police brutality and the disbandment of the Nigerian police's Special Anti-Robbery Squad...