By Agbonkhese Oboh
The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, has published a book, “Lies and the Hail of Bullets”, which chronicles the #Endsars movement that culminated in the October 20, 2020 Lekki Tollgate shootings.
The book, mainly a compilation of first person narratives of the Lekki Tollgate shootings survivors, is accompanied by a documentary of the youths’ revolution against the excesses of police and demand for good governance.
Speaking during the book presentation in Lagos on Thursday, the Executive Director of CAPPA, Akinbode Oluwafemi, said many people in power today were one protests leaders.
“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?
“For example, 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, Chudi Achike 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, Faleye Olalekan, said it was painful to here soldiers saying they fired rubber bullets.
“Can rubber bullets take a leg? When they started shooting, I ran. But discovered that I couldn’t run after a while because my leg had become heavy.
“The doctors cut it off, because they said it was the only way out.
“But if such a protest comes up again, I’ll still be there.
“It’s about my future and that of those coming after me,” Olalekan said.
‘One soldier had earpiece on and was dancing while shooting’
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.
Oluwa said she was trying to hold back DJ Switch when the shootings started.
However, DJ Switch got down from the stage, moved towards were the shots were ringing out and went live on air/social media.
DJ Switch’s action, Oluwa said, helped tell the story of what happened that night.
On how CAPPA put the book together, Aderonke Ige, an associate director with the rights group, said many survivors were scared of talking about there experiences.
“It took a lot of time and convincing for some to open up,” she said.