Horror and shock are the two words that sum up how Nigeria is feeling after people in Lagos, many of them draped in the green and white colours of the national flag, were fired upon by men in military camouflage while taking part in a protest against police brutality
“We were sitting on the ground and singing the Nigerian national anthem and most of us had flags in our hands and we raised it up,” an eyewitness, who asked not to be named, told the BBC.
“Then they opened fire directly straight at us and they kept on advancing and advancing. One or two people got hit. Everybody got up and it became total chaos,” he said.
It had been dusk when the trouble began – two hours after a curfew had just come into force in Nigeria’s commercial hub.
The curfew had been imposed on Tuesday to stem protests which had begun against the much-hated police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), and had morphed into greater calls for better governance.
Street lights turned off
The protesters – gathered at the Lekki toll gate to prevent cars from using a major motorway for the last two weeks – say they did not want to go home but they meant no trouble.
However, men in army fatigues began to kettle them. Then video footage shows there was darkness as the street lights were cut off.
Days before, a message had spread on social media that military officers would not engage unarmed civilians singing the national anthem and holding the flag. So as the platoon of around 20 armed men closed in, the protesters sat down, locked hands and began singing in unison.
This is when they say the shooting began. In one emotional video the voice of a man, singing the anthem, rose above the chaos and then began to quaver as the shootings increased.