Human RightsNews

#EndSARS: Lagos State Police Warn Against Anniversary Protests

Several protests have been planned in commemoration of the one year anniversary of #EndSARS.

Police in Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria say they would not allow all forms of protests and demonstrations being planned to mark the one year anniversary of the #ENDSARS protest.

Adekunle Ajisebutu, police spokesperson in the state disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday, Oct. 11.

According to Ajisebutu, “The police in the state will not fold their arms and allow some misguided elements disrupt the peace and serenity currently being enjoyed in the state”.

He recalled the series of protests held last year ā€œcaused pain, anguish, needless loss of lives and wanton destruction of public and private propertyā€ and cannot be repeated again.

The police spokesperson cited the volatility of Nigeriaā€™s situation as one of the reasons why the protest would not be allowed, adding that it might cause a breakdown of law and order in the country.

ā€œThe Command wishes to use this medium to warn the youths, groups, or associations planning such protest to jettison the idea forthwith,” Ajisebutu said.

ā€œTo forestall breakdown of law and order, the police will use all legitimate means within their constitutional powers to suppress the planned protest.”

He saidĀ  parents and guardians should warn their wards from participating in the planned protests, warning ā€œIndividuals or groups sponsoring such protests to desist from such unpatriotic plansā€.

Hakeem Odumosu, Commissioner of Police in the state assured all ā€œlaw abiding citizensā€ of their safety from all forms of harassment and intimidation, adding that the police have put necessary security measures in place to ensure protection of their lives and properties.

In October 2020, Nigerians, mostly youths, took to the streets to protest police brutality, extortion and human rights abuses carried out by a unit of police called Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars).

The protesters who came out in numbers demanded for the disbandment of the police unit but the protests were marred by brute force from the security forces around the country.

On Oct. 20, 2020, the Nigerian Army were alleged to have opened fire on protesters gathered at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.

A panel was laterĀ  set up by the Nigerian government to look into the allegations and provide justice and compensation to victims.

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Chigozie Victor

Chigozie Victor is a journalist and a creative writer. Her work focuses on SGBV, policy and security infrastructure. The graduate of English and Literature from Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka is passionate about helping audiences understand salient issues through clear reporting and multimedia journalism. She tweets at @nwaanyi_manaria

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