What Are Nigerians Feeling About the Reopening of the Lekki Toll Gate?

April 1, 2022

The Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos was a symbolic holding ground for the #EndSARS protests until the Nigerian military and police attacked civilian protesters with weapons on October 20th 2020.

The shooting and the widespread violence that followed it resulted in the vandalisation of the Lekki-Epe Toll Gate and the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Gate.

Whats happened since October 2020?

The Lekki Concession Company (LCC) oversees and profits from the two toll gates but a judicial panel set up to investigate the October 20th 2020 shooting suspended their operations to protect evidence. The LCC submitted many requests to take back control of the toll gates as the investigation dragged on for months. The judicial panel handed control of the toll gates back to the LCC on February 6th 2021. This prompted another round of protests by Nigerians at the Lekki Toll Gate on February 13th 2021. The police arrested many protesters and brutalised them.

What the judicial panel found out about Lekki Toll Gate massacre

The judicial panel ruled in its report on the shooting that security forces killed at least nine people during the October 20th 2022 crackdown. The panel advised the government to turn the Lekki Toll Gate into a memorial site for the #EndSARS protests and rename it ENDSARS Toll Gate. The Lagos State Government rejected the findings and recommendations.

ALSO READ: 7 Times the Government Denied the Lekki Toll Gate Massacre

Why’s the toll gate reopening now?

The LCC announced on March 14th 2022 that toll operations would resume at the Lekki-Ikoyi Link Bridge Toll Gate on April 1st 2022. The company won’t toll car owners for the first two weeks, but everything will be back to business as usual from April 15th 2022. 

The LCC says resuming operations is important so it can pay off local and international loans. The Lagos State Government has also been appealing to Lagosians to allow the resumption to happen smoothly for the sake of LCC workers who could lose their jobs.

Lekki Toll Gate is resuming business

It’s still unclear when tolling operations will resume at the Lekki-Epe Toll Gate where the October 20th 2020 shooting took place, but Nigerians aren’t open to the idea of LCC tolling anywhere.

We asked some Nigerians their thoughts on the situation.

Seun

The government hasn’t been able to convince the citizens that Nigerians weren’t killed at the toll gate that night. This means that justice hasn’t been done to this issue. The two toll gates are Siamese twins that can’t be separated on this issue. It doesn’t matter if it’s Lekki-Epe or Lekki-Ikoyi, reopening the toll gates will continue to be an injustice unless the government comes clean. 

With all that’s going on in Nigeria, the citizens should avoid any confrontation with the security agencies on this matter. They should engage the government with their demands and the government should address their concerns with all sincerity.

Duke

The reopening of the Lekki-Ikoyi Toll Gate just like other toll gates must not happen. Both toll gates in Lagos State are in Lekki within a 5 km radius. However, Lekki has no general hospital, no central market, no courts, no public primary or secondary schools. So what’s the tax Lekki residents pay being used for? All we’re saying is: no justice, no tolls.

We shall commence a street-to-street mobilisation and sensitisation of residents within the axis on the need to resist the extortion at the gates.

Bajo

The government should just dead the idea of reopening the toll gates. It won’t work unless we are cowards. What I personally feel is that the government is very greedy and all they care about is the money generated from the toll gates. The 2023 elections are around the corner and they want to make millions of naira to stuff in their pockets. The Lekki Toll Gate must not be reopened or else we occupy it again. I’m sure the youths are fully ready for this. We’ll continue to cry for justice for the victims of the Lekki massacre.

Peace

The government should be taking steps to remedy the wrong meted on its citizens during the #EndSARS protests. They should be implementing the remedy recommended by the judicial panel and ensuring the youths’ demands for good governance and change are met. You can’t beat a child and still tell the child how to cry. I only hope young Nigerians react wisely to this development.

Tito

Whether people want to believe there was a massacre or not, what we know is there was a shooting and people lost their lives. If they actually have to reopen the toll gate, the toll fee should at least be reduced by 50% of what it is right now because we all know the realities of our current economy. 

ALSO READ: Game of Thrones: Who Wants to Be Nigeria’s President in 2023?

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