#ENDSARS: Lagos Deputy Governor narrates how SARS operatives harassed him 4 years ago

Hamzat assures ENDSARS protesters that the Lagos State Govt will engage the police and FG to address the problem.

Lagos State Deputy Governor, Obafemi Hamzat narrates how SARS operatives harassed him at Amuwo-Odofin. (Premium Times)

While addressing #ENDSARS protesters in Alausa on Friday, October 9, 2020, Hamzat said some SARS officers harassed him in the Amuwo-Odofin area of the state four years ago.

He said, “Every decent Nigerian will be upset. This happened to me four years ago. I was going to Amuwo Odofin…they (SARS operatives) were not in uniform, they had guns, they just double crossed us and said we should get out.

Hamzat assured the protesters that the state government will continue to engage the police leadership and the federal government to address the issues raised by the citizens

He said, “The tenet of the police operation is to protect the citizens. Security operatives don’t have the right to trample on the rights of law-abiding citizens, because of their unfamiliar looks, or because they are carrying laptops or iPhones.

"It is wrong for any police officer to expressly accuse or pronounce someone, irrespective of age, guilty because they have dreads or ride luxury vehicles.”

"As a government, we support evidence-based investigations and actions driven by intelligence. The procedure of arrest and prosecution must be followed through.

"We are equally aggrieved like every other law-abiding Nigerian. If a young man or woman who is legitimately doing his or her job is attacked or maimed by police officers for no reason, we will never support that. We condemn police brutality in whatever guise and we will continue to engage their leadership for change.”

The deputy governor however urged the protesters to be orderly for concerned authorities to get the point of their message.

We fully understand the reasons for your anger but this demonstration must also be carried out in line with the law.

"If we employ violence or destruction to drive home our grievances, we will also be hurting ourselves. The protest must be orderly, so that those concerned will get the salient point of the message.

“You can’t block the road, disrupt free flow of traffic and prevent other people from embarking on their lawful duties, especially the emergency responders.

"As citizens, it is within your rights to express your grievances, but let us exercise caution and eschew violence. The authorities have heard your voice and I hope we all leave the roads with the understanding that drastic changes will be effected.

Nigerian youths have since the beginning of the week been protesting against police brutality and calling on the government to disband the police unit that is often linked to killings and extortion.

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