The Lagos State Police Command says it would resist any attempt by any group to hold the proposed EndSARS protest, scheduled for February 13, at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos.
Recall that the Hashtag #OCCUPYLAGOSLEKKITOLLGATE, has been trending, calling on youths, to come out in mass on the said date to protest the reopening of Lekki Toll Gate.
Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, who said this, on Thursday, maintained that the Command would employ all available resources at its disposal to do the needful.
Addressing a joint press conference with the Honourable Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Odumosu revealed that intelligence available to the state has it that the proposed protest is being orchestrated by the enemies of the state to cause pandemonium.
He maintained that the state government was yet to recover from the economic and infrastructural loss it suffered during the initial #EndSARS protest, adding that this was no time to plan another protest especially with the rising cases of COVID-19.
Said he, “The command has gathered intelligence that some hidden agents of destruction and shadow parties that planned and orchestrated the last #EndSARS violence have concluded plans to cause another set of mayhem in Lagos State and spread same to other parts of the country, tactically and spontaneously, like the recent violence.
“Premised on the available intelligence and due threat analyses carried out on the planned protest, the command perceives such proposed protest as a calculated attempt to cause pandemonium, brouhaha and massive destruction of lives and properties under whatever guide and such will not be allowed in Lagos State.
“The Lagos State, its people and the Nigerian nation at large are still groaning (in pains) for the aftermath of the last EndSARS violence that left many lives and properties lost. It is therefore not reasonable to allow same to repeat itself in the state. More expedient why such gathering should not hold is the prevailing Covid-19 virus which is rampaging in the country. You will all recall four days ago, the Federal Government Task Force on Covid-19 declared that the country now has 13 variants of Covid-19 virus which makes it more deadly.
“In addition, the judgement pronounced on the reopening of the Lekki Toll Gate plaza has been misconceptualised by the #EndSARS agitators.
“The Panel of Inquiry on EndSARS Violence in the state has taken drastic steps to forward reports to the state government on the payment of compensations to affected individuals that were adjudged victims of Police brutality and excessiveness.
“The government has released some amount of money to take care of these compensations accordingly.
“On this note, the Command therefore warns that, in as much as the Police respects peoples opinions and human rights, no protest will be allowed in any part of the state as the security of lives and properties of the Government and the good people of Lagos State is paramount and not negotiable.”
The police boss said that arrangements for the massive deployment of security operatives to different parts of the state to stop any form of violent protest, gathering or procession.
He urged parents and guardians to admonish their children, wards not to participate in the proposed protest.
“The Command also warns that adequate arrangement and deployment of security forces to kick against and dislodge any violent protest, gathering and procession in any part of the state has been emplaced. The decision of the command in this regard is in the interest of all and sundry in Lagos and to ensure that the statutory responsibilities of the Nigeria Police Force are not compromised.
”I therefore appeal to the general public, particularly parents and guardians, to discourage and warn their children and wards to ignore any unreasonable call or mobilization for protest or gathering which runs against the existing peace and security situation of the state.
“ I wish to also warn that the command will not hesitate to resist any protest and gathering with all available resources at its disposal but within the ambit of the law, ” he warned.