The police in Lagos have said that some faceless groups and individuals are planning to stage an anti-EndSARS anniversary protest in Lagos on October 20.
This is contained in a statement released on Tuesday by Adekunle Ajisebutu, the Lagos police spokesperson.
In the statement, the Lagos police command said a post being circulated on social media insinuating that the police in Lagos have agreed to allow street protests in commemoration of the one year EndSARS anniversary is false.
“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.
“On the contrary, the 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 known. This is in recognition of the rights of every Nigerian to express his or her interest,” the statement read.
The police said in view of the conflicting interest between the pro and anti- EndSARS anniversary groups and threat to cause mayhem, youth are warned against protests.
“It is 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.”
The police had earlier said it will not allow any form of protests to hold in the state, saying Lagosians cannot afford to relive the “distasteful experience” of last year’s protests which “caused pain, anguish, needless loss of lives and wanton destruction of public and private properties.”
Several groups and human rights organisations condemned the attempt by the police to clamp down on protesters, saying it is a fundamental right.
Again, in its recent statement, the police command maintained its position against planned protests.
It said this is “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
“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,” the statement reads.
Mr Ajisebutu, a Chief Superintendent of Police, said parents and guardians ”should warn their children against participating in the protests, while youths or groups planning to take part should in their own interest to shelve the plan”.
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