The Lagos State Police Command on Tuesday said it will only allow indoor and virtual events in commemoration of the #EndSARS protests of last year.
Police Public Relations Officer, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, in a statement, said the police is willing to provide adequate security at the venue of such events.
This is despite the insistent of activists to stage #EndSARS Memorial protests in the state, a thing the police command fears may lead to a repeat of the destruction witnessed last year.
Ajisebutu, in a statement titled, ‘#EndSARS Anniversary: No Street Protests In Lagos,’ said no protest, whether in favour or against #EndSARS, is allowed in the state starting from now and beyond.
The statement read, “Attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a post being circulated on the social media insinuating that the police in Lagos have agreed to allow street protests in commemoration of the one year EndSARS on 20th October 2021.
“On the contrary, 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 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 breakdown of law and order which the protests may cause.
“To avoid a recurrence of the gory protests of last year during which some innocent Nigerians including police officers were gruesomely murdered, private and public property plundered and maliciously destroyed, the police will not abdicate their responsibilities of protection of lives and property by allowing such avoidable incident happen again in the state.
“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.
“Parents, guardians are admonished to warn their children against participating in the protests. Similarly, youths and other individuals or groups planning to take part in the protests are further warned in their own interest to shelve the plan.”
Recall that the command had gone on a show of force with its personnel seen patrolling the streets in armoured tanks and other vehicles ahead of October 20, the day set for the #EndSARS Memorial protests.
October 20, 2020, saw soldiers of the Nigerian Army disperse a crowd of young protesters airing their grievances against police brutality at Lekki tollgate, the epicentre of the #EndSARS protests.
Some quarters hold the belief that shots fired by the soldiers on the night killed some protesters.Follow us on social media