ALABI Oladimeji, convener of #DefendLagos, has announced that the group has shelved plans to organise a counter-protest against the #OccupyLekkiTollGate demonstration scheduled for today in Lagos.
He disclosed this in a video on his Facebook page, stating that the suspension of the protest was based on assurances the group received from the federal and state governments that no protest would be allowed to hold.
“No protest from #DefendLagos on Saturday. We are simultaneously respecting the state and federal governments.
“I am proud to announce that for the main (sic) time, we will be pending this protest due to the law of the Federal and state governments. We are law-abiding and good citizens, definitely, we should not be the ones seen disobeying any law,” he said.
The ICIR had reported that both #OccupyLekkiTollGate and #DefendLagos camps had planned to hold separate protests in Lagos State on Saturday, which was prompted by the controversial ruling of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry to reopen the Lekki toll gate.
The Lekki toll gate has been shut by the panel since last October 20, 2020, when armed soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters, allegedly killing some protesters and injuring others.
Oladimeji said the #DefendLagos group would organise another protest if the security operatives allowed the #OccupyLekkiTollgate protesters to hold their planned protest.
“We are not going to hold any protest again on Saturday, but if Lagos and FG fail us, we will come out huge and protest on Monday,” he said.
He explained that though depressing, the plan to protest was never for personal benefits but to ensure that no destruction occurred in Lagos State.
“It is depressing news for me because we have invested personal resources to produce banners, posters among others on this. But this is not an avenue for us to make money like those in the OccupyLagos,” he claimed.
The #DefendLagos campaigner also urged the government to arrest anyone that contravened the directives stopping protests in the state.
The federal government and the police had earlier warned youths who planned to protest at the Lekki tollgate on Saturday to have a rethink and desist from the demonstrations.
Amos Abba is a journalist with the International Center for Investigative Reporting, ICIR, who believes that courageous investigative reporting is the key to social justice and accountability in the society.