EndSARS Anniversary: Police Ban Street Protests in Lagos

Lagos Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu speaks on the pregnant woman, Mrs Rose Etunmisen's husbands' murder
Lagos Police Commissioner Hakeem Odumosu
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Gallantry personnel of Nigeria Police Force.
*Gallantry personnel of Nigeria Police Force.

The Lagos state police command has vowed to resist any form of protest in the state. This is in reaction to the planned October 20th EndSARS anniversary protest, in commemoration of the anti-SARS protests that swept across the country a year ago.

The reaction was contained in a statement issued on Tuesday by the Lagos State Police Command Public Relations Officer, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, a copy of which was made available to MetroWatch.

The police spokesperson said the command’s attention was drawn to a post being circulated on the social media insinuating that the Lagos command have agreed to allow such protests in Lagos state.

“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 rights of every Nigerian to express his or her interest,” Ajisebutu said.

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Regretting that the police cannot permit any street protest at this time, Ajisebutu revealed that, “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.

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“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,” the statement added.

The Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu, warned the organisers of the protests that the police will deploy all legitimate means to stop or neutralise the planned protests, in the interest of the public.

The command admonished parents, guardians to warn their children against participating in the protests, with a warning to youths and other individuals or groups planning to take part in the protests to shelve such plans in their own interest.

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