Lagos Police says it will only allow indoor, online #EndSARS protests tomorrow

The Lagos State Police Command won't allow street protests.

Law enforcement officers are gearing to crack down on street demonstrations in Lagos on the anniversary of the October 20 shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has warned residents of the state against street protests for the foreseeable future.

#EndSARS protesters are planning a memorial procession on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 to mark the anniversary of security forces firing on peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate last year.

Organisers urged protesters to only pass through the toll gate in cars to avoid police harassment witnessed during last October's historic demonstrations against police brutality.

However, Lagos Command spokesperson, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, said in a statement on Tuesday, October 19 that only indoor and virtual commemoration events will be allowed by authorities.

He said the Force won't allow street protests because there are reports that anti-EndSARS protesters also plan to protest on Wednesday, and that a clash is feared.

"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," he said.

Despite acknowledging that citizens have a right to protest peacefully, Ajisebutu said currently planned protests can jeopardise public safety.

The shooting of protesters at the toll gate last year caused widespread condemnation of the government and brutality of security forces.

Numerous eye-witness accounts reported more than a dozen dead, and their bodies taken by soldiers, but the government has always denied that anyone was killed as a result of the shooting.

The incident sparked a breakdown of law and order in Lagos and across the nation, leading to unrest that lasted for days.

The government reported that the #EndSARS demonstrations led to the death of 57 civilians, 37 police officers, six soldiers, and the looting and destruction of 269 private and public property.

Ajisebutu said in Tuesday's statement that a recurrence of the violence that took place last year will not be allowed.

"It will not stand aloof and allow breakdown of law and order which the protests may cause," he said.

A judicial panel was set up last October to investigate the shooting of protesters at the toll gate, but a report of its findings is yet to be concluded.

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