'If you must protest, do not block roads,' Police warn #EndSARS activists

The police won't allow another breakdown of law and order in the nation's commercial capital.

L-R: Commander, 9 Brigade, Ikeja Army Cantonment, Brigadier General Etsu Ndagi; Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu; State Commissioner for Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu; Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft, Apapa, Commodore Ibrahim Aliyu and Commander, 651 Base Services Group, Ikeja, Air Commodore Sunday Makinde, during a media briefing after the State Security Council meeting at the Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Tuesday, November 26, 2019. (twitter.com/@Mr_JAGs)

The Police in Lagos has asked protesters not to impede free flow of traffic in a state notorious for its gridlock.

There are reports that young people campaigning against police brutality under the #EndSARS banner, intend to take their protest to the Lekki toll gate, one year after armed soldiers shot into a crowd of peaceful protesters at the location.

The Lagos State Police Command had earlier said that “to forestall breakdown of law and order, the police will use all legitimate means within their constitutional powers to suppress the planned protest."

However, Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, now says: “If you want to protest, it is your right under the law but you don’t have to block the road because, in the process of obstructing the road, you are no longer protesting for a better life for people.

“However, what happens to pregnant women in an emergency, what happens to collapsed buildings, fire incidents when the roads are blocked?

“Don’t forget that this is Lagos, it is the economy of the country and it is equally a working day and you can imagine those lives that earn their living on a daily basis.

“There are some people that cannot feed their families when protesters block the road indefinitely."

The National Economic Council (NEC) has also warned against the protests.

On October 20, 2020, armed soldiers stormed one of the venues of the protest in Lekki, Lagos, and fired live rounds into a crowd of young, peaceful protesters.

Afterwards, arsonists and hoodlums seized on the breakdown of law and order that ensued, to loot and burn down government facilities and buses.

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