Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo has launched a scathing attack on the Nigerian government after unarmed protesters demanding an end to Police brutality were brutally gunned down by men suspected to be from the Nigerian military at the Lekki tollgate on Tuesday.
Ighalo reacted to the galling killings of unarmed youthful protesters following United’s 2-1 victory over Paris St-Germain in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Several unconfirmed reports put the number of dead protesters at at least eight with scores wounded after security agents opened fire on peaceful protesters still on the road after the Lagos state government announced a round-the-clock curfew on Tuesday.
Video footage, verified by accounts of several eyewitnesses, showed men in Nigeria army uniforms approach and then open fire at unarmed protesters who sat on the floor and waved replicas of the Nigerian flag while singing the national anthem.
Footage of the massacre which was also livestreamed has drawn outrage and condemnation from around the world.
Ighalo who was an unused substitute at the Parc des Princes had previously tweeted in solidarity with the protests but said he could no longer keep quiet in light of the latest killings.
In an emotional video statement which has garnered nearly two million views on his Twitter handle, a visibly shaken Ighalo said Nigerians are tired of the Mohammadu Buhari-led government which he described as killers and predicted they will be forever be covered in ignominy for “killing your own citizens”.
The former Super Eagles striker called on the international community to beam a light on the deadly happenings in Nigeria and prevail on the government to stop the killings.
“I’m sad and heart broken, I don’t know where to start from”, Ighalo said.
“I’m not the kind of guy that talks about politics but I can’t keep quiet anymore [about] what is going on back home in Nigeria.
“I will say Nigerian government, you guys a shame to the world, for killing your own citizens, sending military to the streets, to kill unarmed protesters because they are protesting for their rights is uncalled for.
“Today, 20th of October 2020, you people will be remembered in history as the first government that sent military to the city to start killing their own citizens.
“I am ashamed of this government, we are tired of you guys and we can’t take this anymore. I’m calling on the UK government, calling all those leaders in the world to please see what is going in in Nigeria and help us, help the poor citizens.
“The government are killing their own citizens, we are calling all you guys, the UN to see to the matters.”
Ighalo concluded by advising Nigerians to keep safe by staying indoors “because this government they are killers and they will keep killing”.
“And I want to call my brothers and sisters back home to remain safe, be indoors please don’t come out because this government they are killers and they will keep killing if the world [does not] talk about this.”
Meanwhile, Super Eagles midfielder John Ogu has called for national team players to boycott the upcoming 2021 AFCON qualifiers against Sierra Leone over the killing of protesters.
“The politicians should [ask] their children to go and represent Nigeria in the next Super Eagles upcoming games,” he wrote on Twitter.