The Police were on red alert in several parts of Lagos State on Monday in readiness for the resumption of the #EndSARS protests by the Nigerian youths. Nigerian youths had taken over the streets of several states in the second week of October protesting police brutality and extra-judicial killings by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force. The protests were so pervasive that the federal government had to accept the five points demands of the protesters without delay.
Unfortunately, the peaceful and patriotic protests of the Nigerian youths were at a stage hijacked by certain individuals identified as hoodlums who turned violent, burning police stations, and killing police officers. The hoodlums, in Lagos State, set some public buildings on fire, including hundreds of BRT buses of the Lagos State government. they vandalized several private businesses, destroyed shops and others.
The discovery of hidden palliatives food items in some warehouses stipulated unauthorized distributed of the food items to individuals. This spilled over to looting of private businesses and homes of some top politicians, including the residence of Senator Folarin in Oyo State, former Speaker Yakubu Dogara’s residence in Jos, Plateau State, among others.
There were also aided and attempted jailbreaks in Edo and Lagos states.
However, the killing of police officers and the following arson were unpatriotic and diverted the goal of the protest. Unfortunately, the shooting at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on October 20 by the Nigerian Army sent dangerous signals the temporary halted the mass protests. before the halt, the shooting provoked unjustified burning of police stations and killing of police personnel, among others.
The protest, thereafter, resurfaced in Abuja. Certain counter-measures of the federal government which include reported temporary seizure of international passports and restriction of travel to overseas by principal actors in the #EndSARS protest were beginning to develop pressures in the Nigerian youths to resume the protest in Lagos. But the police and the Lagos State government have vehemently warned against a repeat of such action.
Accordingly, the police were noticed to have occupied sensitive locations in Lagos in the early hours of Monday. Detachments of police personnel were deployed to notable centres of mass action in the Lagos metropolis which include Alausa, Allen Junction, Ikeja Under bridge, Yaba, Surulere, Ojuelegba, Stadium, Lekki Toll Gate axis, Mile 2, Berger, Maryland, etc., on red alert to forestall resumption of protests in the states. The police personnel were civil and there was no harassment of citizens.
The Lagos State Police Command had at the weekend warned that the Force will not tolerate further protests in the state, threatening that those who dare to come out for protest will face the full wrath of the law. There were speculations that individuals were mobilizing to resume the mass action on Monday.