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#EndSARS: No protest will be allowed in Lagos – Police PRO

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THE Lagos Police Public Relations Officer Adekunle Ajisebutu has told those planning to protest in commemoration of  one year anniversary of #EndSars today to stay off Lagos streets.

He said this in a statement titled ‘#EndSARS anniversary: No streets protests in Lagos.’

He attributed the reason to the fact that there might be a breakdown of law and order if the protests were allowed to go on.

Part of the statement read:
“The police will only allow an indoor and virtual event in commemoration of the EndSARS anniversary and will provide adequate security at the venue (s) if known. This is in recognition of the rights of every Nigerian to express his or her interest.

“We wish we could permit such street protests. However, intelligence at our disposal has revealed plans by some faceless groups or individuals to stage an anti-EndSARS anniversary protest in the state the same day.

“In view of the conflicting interest between the pro and anti- EndSARS anniversary groups and threat to cause mayhem, the Command once again warns both groups against any form of street protest between now and 20th October 2021 and beyond.

“It is acknowledged that citizens have the right to peaceful protests. However, in this instance, having carried out a critical security assessment and intelligence report at the disposal of the Lagos Command in respect of the planned protests and attendant implications on public safety, the Command considers it inappropriate to allow such protests to hold. It will not stand aloof and allow the breakdown of law and order which the protests may cause.

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“Therefore, in the interest of security and public safety, the Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, wishes to warn the organisers of the protests that the police will deploy all legitimate means to stop or neutralise the planned protests.”

However, several groups are protesting in Lagos at the time of writing the report, defying the Police’s warning.

Commissioner of Information in Lagos State Gbenga Omotosho said on Arise TV on Wednesday that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-Olu would not stifle free speech and was interested in guaranteeing peace in the state.

#EndSARS protest was a major event in 2020. It started as a campaign to end the Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit {SARS) by Nigerian youths for extortion, illegal arrest, extrajudicial killings among many other atrocities.
The protest later became bigger and it reached a climax on  October 20,2020 when soldiers were sent to disperse the protesters at the Lekki Tollgate. Shootings took place at the venue.

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