Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have fired teargas at protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate commemorating the first-year anniversary of the #EndSARS protest.
Young Nigerians are using various activities to mark the agonising end to the nationwide protests led by Nigerian youths across the country, demonstrating against police brutality committed by the now-disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force, on October 20, 2020.
To mark the anniversary, the protesters, however, changed tactics and opted for a car procession, instead of physical convergence, to pay respect to those who were victims of the shooting at the toll gate on October 20 to avoid confrontation with the police.
However, some of the protesters came out of their calls and strolled towards the toll gate, thereby causing traffic gridlock at the plaza.
In a bid to disperse the protesters, the police fired tear gas at the protesters and used brutal force to clear them away.
Addressing journalists shortly after at the plaza, Hakeem Odumosu, Lagos Commissioner of Police, claimed that the protesters had violated their agreed plan of staying in their cars to protest with the physical walk of some of them.
He further claimed that the protest had been hijacked by miscreants, saying police officers on the ground arrested about 12 persons allegedly wielding dangerous weapons.
He said: Between 8am and 10am, anything, after 10 am is a nuisance.
“I discussed with them and they said they will end the protest by 10 o’clock. Any other person doing it now… that’s nuisance…. that have guns, the ones with machete, hammer, are they protesters or miscreants?
“The protesters are free; they have done their thing and left. Any other person remaining are the miscreants, hoodlums that want to capitalise on that to attack innocent people and start robbing people. We will not allow that.”