Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, has launched a book and documentary which capture the #EndSARS movement that culminated in the October 20, 2020 Lekki Tollgate shootings. Titled: “Lies and the Hail of Bullets”, the book is a compilation of narratives of the Lekki Tollgate shootings by survivors while the documentary captures the youths’ revolution against the excesses of police and demand for good governance.
Speaking during the book presentation in Lagos y, the Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said many people in power today were once protest leaders.
He said, “there’s no democracy without dissent. So we are asking for the release of those arrested on October 20, 2020, and those taken into custody at the one year memorial event.
“It’s not a crime for youths to demand for accountability and to be fairly treated. So why is the government changing the narrative and avoiding some questions?
He asked, “why are hospitals not releasing bullets they removed from victims?
“And who gave the order? Why is there award of compensation for victims of police brutality and not for victims of Lekki Tollgate shootings?” Oluwafemi asked.
He said it was because of the government’s insincerity that CAPPA embarked on the project; to hear from the youths who survived the attack.
Also speaking, Achike Chudi of Joint Action Front, JAF, said the Lekki Tollgate incident proved that Nigeria was not even a “geographical expression”, but a “corporate business expression”.
“What happened at Lekki Tollgate last year was businessmen protecting their empire,” Chudi added.
One of the many survivors that was at the book presentation, Olalekan Faleye, said it was painful to hear soldiers saying they fired rubber bullets.
Narrating his ordeal at Lekki toll gate, Faleye said, “When they started shooting, I ran. But I discovered that I couldn’t run after a while because my leg had become heavy.”
Faleye who is now an amputee explained that “the doctors had to cut my leg off, because they said it was the only way out.”
One of the coordinators of the protest, Dabira Oluwa, said one of the soldiers was dancing to the music from his earpiece while shooting at the youths. That was when I knew the end had come,” she said.
On how CAPPA put the book together, Aderonke Ige, an associate director with the rights group, said many survivors were scared of talking about their experiences.
“It took a lot of time and convincing for some to open up,” she said.