Nigeria president skips over protester deaths in speech


President Buhari announced the death toll in a meeting with former Nigerian leaders on Friday. Some of those killed and injured at the protest sites in both Lekki and Alausa, another suburb of Lagos, were allegedly taken away by the military, according to Amnesty International.

"Reports that CCTV cameras and lighting were deliberately disabled prior to the shooting are even more disturbing as, if confirmed, they suggest this deplorable attack on peaceful protestors was premeditated, planned, and coordinated", added the U.N. human rights chief, before putting the killings into the broader context of the nation's law enforcement history.

For those who don't know, Nigerians are now embroiled in a protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or SARS, a unit that has been criticized for using brutal methods and unlawful tactics against citizens.

On Tuesday night, security forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators in the country's largest city of Lagos.

Human rights watchdog Amnesty International reported Nigeria's security forces killed at least 12 protesters in Lagos on Tuesday. "Under no circumstances will this be tolerated", he said in a televised speech.

He called on Nigeria's youths "to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions".

However, in his speech on Thursday, Buhari while acknowledging the youths' rights to protest and demand good governance, also urged members of worldwide community to seek to know the facts available before taking positions on issues.

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Authorities have imposed an indefinite, round-the-clock curfew in Lagos and other parts of Nigeria. The looting and gunfire continued Thursday.

The group also said that it would no longer be receiving money but will use the $400,000 (£306,000) it has not yet spent, most of it donations from overseas, to fund hospitals bills, legal aid and relief for victims of police brutality. The group said it had stopped collecting donations for the protests.

The President in his speech also talked about the police reforms his government meant to employ such as the finalization of the new salary structure for members of the Nigeria Police Force which he called on the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to expedite.

Nigeria's army has denied that its soldiers opened fire on demonstrators on Tuesday. Protesters active on social media disavowed the violence, saying that their demonstrations had been hijacked by criminals.

"Soldiers clearly had one intention - to kill without consequences", Osai Ojigho, director of Amnesty International in Nigeria, said in a statement Wednesday night, alongside the release of the report.

Opulence and grinding poverty are in close contact in Lagos, and the inequality sharpens grievances in Nigeria, Africa's most populous country.

The President however said that as of Monday 12th October, he had acknowledged the concerns and agitations of members of the public regarding the excessive use of force by some members of SARA and had therefore "immediately scrapped SARS and put measures in place".