by Ayodele Ibiyemi
The debate about whether anyone died during the shootings of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate is currently ongoing. Unfortunately, many Government officials and their loyalists are insisting that no one died at the shootings. Their argument is dead on arrival as the logical ending of soldiers shooting live rounds at people is death and the Instagram Live video by DJ Switch tells only one story.
The intention of whoever gave the order that soldiers shoot peaceful protesters is to kill them. There were injured young Nigerian heroes who the Governor himself visited at the hospital. Eyewitness accounts state that the soldiers carted the bodies away immediately after the shootings. Since then, there have been many reports of people missing so it is only logical to assume that soldiers took the bodies of most victims away.
Since then, there has been a debate about archiving the incident. It has rightly been named the #LekkiMassacre on social media and people are sharing stories and perspectives. However, on Wikipedia, the world’s foremost internet archive, the shootings were also recorded by many of Wikipedia’s team of volunteer contributors. It was named the ‘Lekki Massacre’ but some other editors try to change it to the ‘Lekki Incident.’ It is amazing that there are attempts to change an incident involving soldiers shooting live rounds at protesters as an incident and not called by its proper name.
This battle is more of a generational battle even though many of the government contractors being paid to push the government’s narrative are also young people. This reminds one of the popular Chinua Achebe quotes which says “Until the lions have their own historians, the story of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.” The Internet has given the lions their own historians and it is delightful.
Historiography has now been liberalised and the Internet is now a tool of recording history with the millennial generation as primary gatekeepers. This has changed things significantly and it is delightful that the power dynamics is changing on the Internet too. The battle is being won by young Nigerians currently. One only hopes that the victory continues in other things.