News Alerts

21 Oct 2020 | 12:10 PM UTC

Nigeria: Unrest continues in Lagos despite curfew October 21 /update 15

Nigeria News Alert

Unrest continues in Lagos despite 24-hour curfew as protesters clash with security forces on October 21; further unrest and disruptions likely in near term

TIMEFRAME expected from 10/21/2020, 12:00 AM until 10/24/2020, 11:59 PM (Africa/Lagos). COUNTRY/REGION Lagos

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Event

Protests and unrest continued across multiple areas of Lagos on Wednesday, October 21, despite the 24-hour curfew in the city. Gunfire and clashes between protesters and security forces have been reported in multiple areas of the city, including Isheri, Oyingbo, Yaba, Okota, and Ebute Metta, although it is currently unclear whether there have been any casualties in Wednesday's clashes. Multiple arson incidents have also been linked to the ongoing unrest, with major fires reported at the Oyingbo bus terminal, the Television Continental (TVC) broadcasting corporation offices in Ikosi Ketu, and the Nigeria Ports Authority offices in the Marina district. Several private residences have also been set alight, including one allegedly belonging to the family of Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Protests were also reported to be continuing in the area around the Lekki Toll Gate in the Maroko district, where at least 30 demonstrators were allegedly shot by soldiers during protests on Tuesday evening, October 20. Several fires are believed to be burning in the area but it is currently unclear what has been set alight.

Elsewhere in the city, travel remains restricted and police have set up multiple checkpoints on major roads in order to enforce the curfew. Lagos's Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS) has remained open despite disruptions caused by protests around the site on Tuesday and Monday, October 19. However, some airlines, including the domestic carrier Air Peace and several international operators, have suspended flights to the city due to the curfew and overland travel restrictions.

Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has attempted to calm tensions in the city following the shootings in Lekki on Tuesday night and has appealed for calm. However, the governor also announced on Wednesday that the 24-hour curfew has been extended by 72 hours until at least Saturday, October 24.

Further travel and business disruptions are likely in Lagos and other towns and cities throughout Nigeria in the near term, with violent unrest remaining likely in flashpoint areas. 

Context

A series of protests organized by the #EndSARS social media campaign have been held across Nigeria over the past few months and have intensified in recent days, with demonstrations having led to fatal clashes between protesters and security forces. Unrest has continued despite an announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari that the controversial SARS police unit would be disbanded and replaced by a new agency called SWAT, a move which protesters have rejected.

Advice

Those in Lagos are advised to monitor the situation, adjust travel itineraries and avoid unnecessary overland movement in the immediate term, avoid the vicinity of any demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.

 

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