Thursday, December 8, 2022

We fired tear gas at #EndSARS protesters to relieve traffic on Lekki Tollgate: Police  

The youths had gathered in early Thursday at the Lekki Tollgate to commemorate the second anniversary of the nationwide movement.

• October 20, 2022
SP Benjamin Hundeyin
SP Benjamin Hundeyin

The police in Lagos on Thursday said they dispersed #EndSARS protesters demonstrating at the Lekki Tollgate to relieve traffic caused by the demonstrators.  

Armed policemen, who stormed the venue of the protest, fired tear gas at the protesters who are mostly youth. 

The youths had gathered in early Thursday at the Lekki Tollgate to commemorate the second anniversary of the nationwide movement. 

Joined by popular Nigeria music artist, Folarin Falana (Falz) and skit maker, Adebowale Adedayo (Mr Macaroni), the demonstrators assembled at the Lekki Tollgate with coffins and placards bearing different inscriptions. 

But appearing on Channels Television this evening, police spokesman in Lagos, Benjamin Hundeyin, said some “troublemakers” had wanted to breach peace during the protests hence the police swung into action. 

“Everything was going fine until they stopped and started laying the coffins on the ground and all. They were doing all these and traffic at the tollgate was building,” Mr Hundeyin said while on live TV. 

He added, “We needed to ensure that there was free flow of traffic in the area because the agreement was that the procession would not stop, that was why we fired tear gas. After the crowd was dispersed, no single canister of tear gas was fired again.

“Right now there is a free flow of traffic in the area and calm has been restored.”

He added that the security agents have the duty to ensure peace and orderliness during a public demonstration. 

According to Mr Hundeyin, those arrested by the police during the protest have already been freed and released. 

“But after everything had calmed down and the protesters dispersed they were all released. I can confirm that we have no one in our custody at the toll gate now,” he said. 

The protesters had on Tuesday announced it would go on a procession at the Lekki Tollgate to commemorate the massacre of unharmed youths at the tollgate on October 20, 2020.

The #EndSARS protest held nationwide for two weeks was a struggle initiated by the youth demanding an end to police brutality, extortion, extrajudicial killing, and bribery. 

The demonstrators had also called for the disbandment of the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad. 

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