#EndSARS: There’ll be memorial protests, Sowore tells police “Nobody can suppress the will of Nigerians”
A human rights activist and publisher of SaharaReporters, Omoyele Sowore, has said there will be #EndSARS memorial protests on October 20.
This is despite a warning by the Lagos State Police Command against protests that might disrupt the peace currently being enjoyed in the state.
In a statement issued by the Command’s Spokesperson, Adekunle Ajisebutu, the police said they will use all legitimate means within their constitutional powers against such.
According to the statement, “Credible intelligence at the disposal of the command has revealed clandestine plans by some youths, individuals or groups to embark on a protest today in commemoration of the one year anniversary of #EndSARS.
“Lagosians and indeed Nigerians cannot afford to relive the distasteful experience of last year’s protest which caused pain, anguish, needless loss of lives, and wanton destruction of public and private property.
“In view of the volatility of the present situations in the country and the breakdown of law and order which the planned protest might cause, the Lagos State Police Command sternly warns against any form of protest today.
“The command wishes to use this medium to warn the youth, groups, or associations planning such protest to jettison the idea forthwith.
“The police in the state will not fold their arms and allow some misguided elements disrupt the peace and serenity currently being enjoyed in the state.
“To forestall breakdown of law and order, the police will use all legitimate means within their constitutional powers to suppress the planned protest.”
What #EndSARS protests were about
The #EndSARS protests which were held in October 2020 were against the activities of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigeria Police Force which was accused of police brutality.
The epicentre of the protests was the Lekki tollgate in Lagos where many youths gathered day and night to air their grievances against police brutality and bad governance.
They were dispersed from the location by gun-wielding soldiers on October 20, 2020, an action which some quarters believe led to the loss of lives.
This was followed by the destruction of private and public properties by hoodlums in Lagos, an incident that informed the latest warning issued by the police in the state.
However, Sowore, in a post on his verified Twitter handle on Monday, disregarded the warning issued by the police.
According to him, “@PoliceNG in Lagos & across Nigeria, there will be #EndSARS memorial protests and direct actions on October 20, 2021.
“Nobody can suppress the will of Nigerians to repudiate the mass atrocities of the @mbuhari regime on that day and beyond.”