How Several June 12 Protesters Were Killed By Military Officers In Lagos

Police officers and soldiers, who attempted to stop the protest against military dictatorship were resisted by protesters who set up fires and roadblocks on July 7, 1993, the Associated Press reported.


According to the report, at least 11 people were reported to have been killed. It was the first report of deaths since protesters in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city, began pressing the government to recognise the annulled presidential election held on June 12, which was supposed to end a decade of military rule.

The reported winner, Moshood Kashimawo Abiola, appealed to people to resist the dictatorship of General Ibrahim Babangida and ignore an ultimatum threatening to dissolve Parliament.

In a statement, Abiola was quoted as saying, "Ignore this latest threat by the outgoing military President, and damn the consequences."

Soldiers killed several rioters who set a truck on fire in Ikoyi, a neighbourhood of Lagos, the Pan-African News Agency reported.

The agency quoted witnesses as saying the troops had piled bodies into the back of a truck and driven away. Other witnesses said five people had died in the incident.

In other violence, witnesses and journalists said a mob had set fire to a taxi driver and killed him after he had tried to crash through a human chain and killed a youth. The police fatally shot a man as people looted a supermarket, a soldier shot a man to death at a blocked bridge and the police killed a man in a stone-throwing crowd.

At least one police officer was clubbed to death, witnesses said. In addition, a police sergeant was beaten by protesters, he later died in Lagos General Hospital

 Across the city, major markets, shops, banks, and businesses were shuttered, but for the second day, looters broke into dozens of stores.

Protesters built barricades of buses, cars, and tires on all major streets, highways and bridges and set them on fire to block movement from Lagos's three main residential islands to the mainland commercial district.

The protests were the first serious unrest since June 16, 1993, when General Babangida abruptly annulled the results of the election and barred the two candidates from running in the new voting he planned to hold.

The general met with leaders of the country's two political parties, but they were unable to agree on how to resolve the crisis in this nation of 88.5 million people.

Abiola said General Babangida had given the political leaders an ultimatum, to accept a new election on July 31 or he would dissolve all the democratic institutions set up the previous year, including Parliament, and replace them with an interim administration to organise a new election.

Nduka Irabor, a spokesman for the government, said the idea was just an option General Babangida had put to the politicians.


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