#EndSARS Memorial: Nigeria Police Deploy Personnel, Anti-Riot Vehicles To Lekki Tollgate, Move Against Peaceful Protests

The Lagos State Police have deployed personnel, patrol vans and an anti-riot vehicles to Lekki tollgate in the state to clamp down on peaceful protest. 

A video that has now gone viral on social media showed about eight patrol vehicles alongside an anti-riot van at the venue. 

The vehicles have been strategically stationed at the tollgate to prevent any gathering of protesters for the memorial of the #EndSARS protest.

The Lagos State commissioner of police, Hakeem Odumosu had warned residents of the state to desist from participating in any form of protest planned in commemoration of the #EndSARS protest.

The police boss promised that his officers would resist any of such protests.

Police are under the control of the Nigerian government, headed by President Muhammadu Buhari. 

Reacting in a tweet, human rights activist, Omoyele Sowore warned the police against suppressing the will of Nigerians to repudiate the mass atrocities of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government.

In October 2020, Nigerians across the country stormed the streets to demonstrate against police brutality and bad governance under the #EndSARS campaign.

However, on October 20, soldiers from the Bonny Camp, 81 division, invaded the Lekki tollgate, where some demonstrators had gathered, and fired gunshots.

In his reaction to fresh plans by youth and groups to commemorate the first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest, the police commissioner urged the groups to shelve the idea.

Though the right to peaceful assembly and the right to protest are constitutional rights of Nigerians, the Nigeria police have continued to clamp down on protesters.

In February, some Nigerians had planned to organise #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest over the move to reopen Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos State.

The State Judicial Panel of Enquiry had granted LCC’s request to take repossession of the toll gates at Lekki-Epe expressway and Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge. However, the panel was divided over the decision.

Following the decision, the organisers of the #EndSARS began to mobilise for another round of protests tagged; #OccupyLekki while another pro-government group also launched a counter move with #DefendLagos and #DemNoBornDemPapaWell.

The Lagos State Police Command immediately deployed its men to the Lekki toll plaza along the Lekki-Epe expressway.

Just recently, Nigeria police opened fire on members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), also known as Shiites during a peaceful procession in Abuja. 

Also, during a peaceful protest on Nigeria’s independence day, men of the Nigeria Police Force fired tear gas canisters at protesters in Abuja. 

The peaceful protesters could be seen chanting and displaying banners and placards saying ‘Buhari Must Go’. 

Six of them were arrested by the police, brutalised and detained for demanding the resignation of Buhari. 

They were later released. 

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