The Lagos State Police Command said on Thursday it will resist any planned protest, procession, or gathering in Lagos State. The police said this amidst plans for the #EndSARS protest to resume weeks after violence erupted in Lagos following the shooting of protesters by soldiers. Police said they would disallow the constitutionally allowed demonstrations because the state was yet to recover from the damage that followed the last protest.
“As the government and people of Lagos still nurture the wounds of the recent Endsars violence that wrecked havoc across the state, the command wishes to inform the general public that based on intelligence gathering from relevant intelligence agencies, some unpatriotic elements or group of people have concluded plans to orchestrate another set of violence in the state in furtherance to the recent Endsars violence, which has been analysed as dangerous and counterproductive,” ” police said in a statement by Olumuyiwa Adejobi, the Lagos police spokesperson.
“Premised on this, the command, therefore, wishes to warn any individuals, group of students or any groups who might want to stage any form of protest, either “peaceful” or violent, or gathering whatsoever, to desist as the police and other security agencies will collectively and tactically resist any security threats or threats to public peace which might be triggered by protest or protesters in Lagos State.
“The Police command, emphatically, warns parents and guardians to discourage their children or wards from embarking on any protest in the state as the possibility of hijacking it by armed hoodlums to cause grieve and pains like the recent past is evident,” the statement reads.
Newsmen earlier reported the planned continuation of the #EndSARS protest by Youth Rights Campaign and other youth groups in Lagos.
The EndSARS protests held peacefully for weeks in several cities across the country, with the central campaign against police brutality. Protesters demanded the disbandment of the notorious police anti-robbery squad, SARS, known for extortion, harassment and extrajudicial killings. The demonstrations continued despite the government’s announcement that the unit had been disbanded, with calls for wider police reforms. They ended only after soldiers opened fire on unarmed and peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos, killing at least 10, according to witnesses.
The attack was followed by a rampage by hoodlums in Lagos, who razed and looted several public and private property. “We encourage the general public to ignore any call for protest and go about their lawful businesses as all hands are on deck to maintain law and order and public safety across the length and breadth of the state,” the police said.