#OccupyLekkiTollGate: Nigerian govt fumes, says no protest will hold

AHEAD of Saturday’s planned #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest, the Nigerian government has issued a stern warning to those behind it to desist from doing so, stating that security agencies are ready for any eventuality.

Lai Mohammed, Nigeria’s minister of information and culture,  who gave the warning at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, said chances that any peaceful protest would be hijacked at this time were very high.

On Monday, The ICIR had reported how the plan to #OccupyLekkiTollGate came on the backdrop of the controversial ruling of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry to reopen the Lekki toll gate.

The Doris Okwubi-led panel ruled in favour of the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) to repossess the toll plaza for repairs and insurance claims at its last sitting on Saturday.

The ruling was supported by five members out of the nine-man panel, with four other members, including Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN), and the youth representatives, opposing it.

Some youths have also planned the #DefendLagos rally to counter the protest which is scheduled for Saturday 13th, February, 2021.

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 and injuring several others.

But Muhammed at the press conference claimed that there was intelligence that some activists within and outside the country in connivance with some ‘subversive elements’ were planning to destabilise the country with the protest.

“Any further resort to violence in the name of #EndSARS will not be tolerated this time.






     

     

    “The security agents are ready for any eventuality. A situation in which six soldiers and 37 policemen were murdered in cold blood by hoodlums will not repeat itself.

    “The attack, looting and razing of 269 private and public property will not happen again. The killing of 57 civilians will not be re-enacted.

    “We therefore strongly warn those who are planning to re-occupy Lekki Toll Gate on Saturday to desist. We know that many of those who have been loudest on social media in advertising the plan to reconvene in Lagos on Saturday are not even in Nigeria. They are elsewhere around the world fanning the embers of violence and inciting gullible people back home. No one should fall for their antics.”

    He added that “no government anywhere will allow a repeat of the kind of destruction, killing and maiming wrought by the hijackers of #EndSars protests last year. After all, only one policeman – (plus four others) – was killed in the invasion of the US Capitol in January, yet the FBI has continued to hunt down and prosecute the perpetrators. No life is more important than the other.”

    You can reach out to me on Twitter via: vincent_ufuoma

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