…Lagos govt warns against #OccupyLekkiTollGate
Organisers of the planned protest at the Lekki tollgate have said the ban on cryptocurrency accounts among other reasons triggered their action.
They gave the reasons in a press statement made available to our correspondent titled, ‘EndSARS Season 2; Why we will #OccupyLekkiTollGate on Saturday – Campaigners’, on Thursday.
According to the statement, the cause of the planned protest is beyond the ruling of the Lagos State Judicial Panel probing alleged killings of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020.
The organisers explained that they are undaunted by threats by security operatives and counter-protesters under the aegis of #DefendLagos.
The statement read, “After committing genocide by killing scores of people who were peacefully protesting at Lekki Tollgate and other parts of Lagos, Governor Sanwo-Olu and other oppressors wants to spit on the dead and dance on the blood of the innocent by reopening the yahoo gate to be collecting their blood money as again.
“We say NO! We are undaunted! We will be occupying Lekki Toll gate again starting from Saturday February 13. We urge all well meaning Nigerians to storm back all the barricades as our rulers have shown that they can never change. Since the #EndSARS, they are yet to effect any of the promises. Police brutality is still raging and SARS is still operating.
“Despite overwhelming and highly compelling evidence showing how several protesters were shot by the military, no single military personnel has been brought to book.
“Deaths have been established and many victims of the Lekki shootings have surfaced, yet neither the victims or families of our deceased colleagues have gotten justice.
“After close to five months of sitting, the judicial panel meant to inquire into the lekki massacre has refused to deliver justice to victims of the Lekki massacre most of whom have either lost their limbs due to gun wounds or have become deceased.
“Despite overwhelming grounds of involvement of Governor Sanwo-Olu and ex-army chief, Buratai in the Lekki Massacre, neither of them have been brought to book. President Buhari instead appointed them ambassadors so they won’t be arrested and prosecuted for genocide and war crimes at the Hague. Despite EndSARS, police brutality and extrajudicial killings continue unabated.
“Government has refused to provide employment for young people, yet they went ahead to ban the most promising source of income of young people; cryptocurrency.
“Nigerians are extremely poorer and yet the cost of food is on the high side with increased cost of electricity that only produces darkness. Petrol price is being increased as marketers want it at #190 per litre.
“Nigerians are no longer secured in any part of the country; when they are not being harassed or extra judicially murdered by police, they are being kidnapped, mimed and killed by bandits.
“Today, the life of cows has become more valuable than those of Nigerians even as our streets and communities have fallen to the rule of kidnappers and bandits.
The Nigerian government now negotiates and enriches terrorists and bandits while chasing after, arresting, shooting and killing protesters.
“It is to this end that we call on you all to come out en masse to demand not just justice for victims and fallen heroes of the October 20 killings but that all involved in this heinous criminality be brought to book. Come out to demand the right to life and to exist in a country that respects our rights as citizens, abhors police brutality/extrajudicial killings, provides us with security, decent jobs with good wages and other such socio-economic rights that come with being a citizen.”
Meanwhile, Lagos State government has warned youths planning a protest at Lekki Toll Gate on Saturday, to desist from doing so for the sake of peace.
The state Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotosho gave the warning during an interview with Arise TV on Thursday.
The commissioner said there was nothing that warranted a fresh protest in Lagos State.
Omotoso said: “We all saw what happened in October last year. How some of the iconic buildings in Lagos were razed. We saw how human lives were wasted, including policemen. Nobody prays for that kind of thing to happen in Lagos again. Because of that, the Lagos State Government has been suing for peace.
“Nobody wants to go back to the scene of October 2020. We are appealing to both sides not to cause trouble in Lagos. They should allow peace to reign so that we can continue to focus on the economic and social issues that are facing us”.
After the Lagos Judicial panel ruled that the Lekki Concession Company should returns to the Lekki Toll Plaza, youths in Lagos threatened to stage another protest.
#OccupyLekkiTollGate, has been trending across social media since then.
A counter-protest has also been planned by some other youths with the hashtags #DefendLagos and #DemNoBornYourPapaWell.