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I have not spoken to Buhari directly since Lekki shooting, says Sanwo-Olu


Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Thursday said he has not spoken to President Muhammadu Buhari directly more than 24 hours after Nigerian troops fired at protesters in the state.

“I have not spoken to him directly but I actually did call to want to speak to him,” Sanwo-Olu said when asked if he had spoken to the president during an interview with AriseTV.

“I made calls to want to speak to the President twice yesterday. First, he had not come to the office and the second time he was at the FEC meeting. He was at the FEC meeting but probably had his briefing,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu, however, said he spoke to the Chief of Defence Staff Abayomi Gabriel Olonisakin who returned the calls on the order of the president.

“He (Buhari) was actually the one that asked the Chief of Defence Staff to call me and I think it was when he got my message because when the Chief of Defence Staff called me, he said to me, it was the President that asked him to call,” Sanwo-Olu said.

Buhari, who serves as the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Force, has neither addressed the nation after military personnel shot at peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll-gate on Tuesday. He has remained silent since the incident which claimed at least 10 lives.

Footages posted on social media showed protesters fleeing as security forces, including soldiers, shot live rounds towards the crowds at around 7 pm. The shooting started hours before the 24-hour curfew announced by the Lagos State government began.

At least seven people were killed according to DJ Switch, a popular disc jockey, who broadcast live from the scene on Instagram.

Protesters were seen struggling to remove shrapnel from injured protesters and in one case failing to resuscitate a casualty.

In other videos, protesters carrying bloodied Nigerian flags were seen pleading with security officials to allow medics to treat victims.

Eyewitnesses said the soldiers initially denied ambulances entry into the area to evacuate those who were shot.

“They started firing ammunition toward the crowd. They were firing into the crowd,” Alfred Ononugbo, 55, a security officer told Reuters. “I saw the bullet hit one or two persons.”

Sanwo-Olu described the incident as among the “darkest hours from our history as a people”.

The Nigerian Army, however, refuted all reports of their involvement are “fake news”, saying that no soldiers were at the scene.

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