Protesters will no longer be allowed to block Lagos roads – Police

Lagos Governor, Babatunde Fashola

Police would commence strict enforcement of the law against illegal use of siren in the state.

The Lagos State Police Command has said that it would no longer tolerate the obstruction of vehicular traffic by protesters who deny others the right to use the roads.

The State Police Commissioner, Umar Manko, disclosed this while briefing journalists at the end of the State Security Council meeting, Wednesday, at Lagos House, Marina.

“The issue of blocking roads by protesters was considered very seriously at the Council meeting and we agreed that while people have the right to demonstrate, provided it is peaceful, they do not have the right to block roads and make other road users uncomfortable,” Mr. Manko said.

Armed police officers have clashed several times with polytechnic and university students in Lagos who have been protesting the prolonged industrial action and hike in their school fees respectively.

Last week, police officers fired gunshots and tear gas canisters at hundreds of students who had marched from the Yaba College of Education in Lagos, through the Murtala Mohammed Way, to set up a barricade at the Adekunle junction entrance to the Third Mainland Bridge.

Dozens of students were arrested and forced into a waiting Black Maria.

Also, on Wednesday, the police arraigned eight students of the Lagos State University, LASU, before an Ikeja Magistrate Court for alleged breach of public peace.

Some students of the university, who were protesting the school fees hike, had blocked a section of the Lagos-Abeokuta expressway causing a massive traffic gridlock.

“While people are allowed to go on demonstration peacefully, they should not block roads because that is not part of peaceful demonstration. That is not going to be tolerated by the security agents,” Mr. Manko added.

Other members of the State Security Council present at the meeting chaired by Governor Babatunde Fashola included Najeem Sanusi, an Air Commodore and Commander, Air Force Base, Ikeja; Emmanuel Uwadiae, a Navy Commodore and Commander, NNS Beecroft, Olokun, Apapa; Sadiq Maikobi, a Brigadier and Commander, 9 Mechanized Brigade; Yinka Salami, Assistant Director, State Security Service; and Tunde Panox, a retired Major, and Special Adviser to the Governor on Security.

Mr. Manko also said that the police would commence strict enforcement of the law against illegal use of siren in the state.

“Council has resolved that people not entitled to use siren should not use them because if they do, the law will be applied as it is,” Mr. Manko said. “The categories of people that are not entitled should not use it because it is against the laws of Lagos State, the Traffic laws of Lagos State.”

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