The Lagos State Police Command has warned against any form of street protest in commemoration of the first anniversary of the #EndSARS Protests.
In a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Adekunle Ajisebutu, a Chief Superintendent of Police, the state command denounced the post being circulated on the social media insinuating that the police in Lagos have agreed to allow street protests in commemoration of the #EndSARS anniversary on 20th October, 2021.
The statement said 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 know in recognition of 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,” the statement said.
The command 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,” the statement from the Lagos Police Command said.
In the same vein, the Osun State Police Command has also warned against any form of protest or unlawful gathering in respect of #EndSARS memorial.
In a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, Opalola Yemisi Olawoyin, a Superintendent of Police, the state Commissioner of Police said there is an intelligence report that there are plans by some youths/group of people to embark on protest in commemoration of one year anniversary of #EndSARS saga which is scheduled to hold on Wednesday, 20 October, 2021.
“In view of this, the Commissioner of police CP Olawale Olokode, warned individual or group of individuals that are planning such in the state and their sponsor(s) to stop the plan or any of such action (s) forthwith as the Command will not allow a repeat of last year ENDSARS saga and is fully prepared to use all legitimate means to avert such intending protest.
“Consequently, the State Police Command will not tolerate any unlawful protest/gathering or assembly that will jeopardize the peace of the state as the last year ‘ENDSARS saga protest’ still lingers in the minds of Nigerians especially the Police and other security agencies which caused pain, anguish, needless loss of lives and wanton destruction of public and private property.
“Therefore, the Commissioner of Police has given marching order to the Area commanders, Divisional Police Officers and Tactical units to be at alert and nip in the bud any act capable of truncating the peace of the state.
“The CP advised parents and guardians to warn their wards to be law abiding, and desist from such planned protest/gathering/ assembly as the State Police Command will arrest and prosecute defaulters.
“The CP advised the good people of the state to go about their lawful daily activities while the Command has taken necessary security measures to forestall any likely breakdown of law and order,” the statement said.