At least 51 civilians have been killed in Nigeria's unrest following days of peaceful protests over police abuses, the president said Friday, blaming "hooliganism" for the violence while asserting that security forces have used "extreme restraint".
Amnesty International said earlier this week that at least 56 people had died since the protests began, including 12 protesters killed in Lagos on Tuesday.
One witness of Tuesday night's deadly shooting, 33-year-old Isaiah Abor, ventured out anyway to visit the scene where soldiers opened fire on thousands of peaceful protesters holding flags and singing the national anthem.
He said: "As the main opposition party, which has carefully watched this development, PDP views the dimension the federal government is directing the protest as unfortunate and unsafe to national cohesion and peace".
"Under no circumstances will this be tolerated", Buhari added.
Clarifying his efforts to speak with President Muhammadu Buhari on two occasions to seek for more help as public assets in the state were being destroyed, Sanwo-Olu said the president responded, directing the Chief of Defence Staff to liaise with him.
After almost two weeks of protests calling for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Unit (SARS) by the youth in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari finally addressed the nation last night in a televised statement, which many Nigerians find disappointing and lacking empathy.
"Sadly, the promptness with which we have acted seemed to have been misconstrued as a sign of weakness", Buhari said in his speech.
Many people were injured when soldiers opened live ammunition on the #EndSARS protesters Tuesday night. Why is the call for police reform resonating so loudly among Nigerians who say they have had enough? The squad was originally launched to fight crime.
The #EndSARS campaign spread across the country and Buhari's government announced that it would disband the SARS unit. But instead, protesters were met with brute force from police officers, most of whom still walk free.
While the shootings in Lagos have prompted global outrage and have been widely condemned, the Nigerian military has denied responsibility.
Two private TV stations were forced off the air because their offices were burned. Smoke billowed from several locations in the city as police battled angry crowds with tear gas and gunfire.
Pockets of violence flared around Lagos on Thursday despite the lockdown order as supermarkets were looted and government buildings targeted.
Numerous social media posts have shared an image of shrouded bodies lined up on the ground, claiming they are casualties from the shooting of protesters at Lekki Toll in Nigeria's largest city Lagos on October 20, 2020.
Plumes of smoke rose from a prison where gunfire could be heard Thursday.
The Delta state police public relations officer, Onome Onowakpoyeya said that perpetrators were "hoodlums" protesting under the guise of demonstrators. He did not describe the nature of the disturbance or say if anyone had been killed.