MANY residents of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) took to the streets on Wednesday in commemoration of the nationwide #EndSARS protests held in October 2020.
The protesters converged at Unity Fountain and began a march towards the National Assembly complex where they planned to air their grievances.
Midway into the march, they were restricted from going forward by the FCT Police Command and Civil Defence Corps officials.
Human Rights Activist Omoyele Sowore, who was part of the protesters, told The ICIR that the security operatives asked them to return to the convergence point and await the Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila.
“They are insisting that we must go back to the Unity Fountain. Our idea from the beginning was to start from the Unity Fountain as a convergence zone and go to the National Assembly where the lawmakers can be told in unambiguous times why this commemoration is happening today.
“And he has indicated that the speaker of the House actually wants to meet but the speaker wants to drive over here. The speaker has no right to determine where we meet. We meet the speaker where we meet the speaker,” he said.
Convener of ‘Unemployed People of Nigeria’ and author of ‘#Endsars: War Against Impunity’ Uzor Ngoladi described the restriction by the security operatives as a metaphor representing the travails of the average Nigerian youth.
“They don’t want us to move forward. I can tell you that it is exactly a metaphor for what we young people have passed through in Nigeria. They mortgaged our dreams, they’ve aborted our aspiration as a country to grow, the older generation of Nigeria is a failed generation.”
Expressing concerns over the continuous detention of #EndSARS protesters, Legal Practitioner Timi Otobo called for the release of protesters who had remained in Police custody over the past year.
“We will not forget what happened in Lekki. There are also persons that are being detained as we speak. They should release those people. One year after, what is the progress? Nothing. There is still Police brutality everywhere,” she said.