Officers of the Nigerian Police Force have arrested #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on Saturday morning.
This was confirmed by multiple media images and videos on social media, showing the protesters being arrested and loaded inside police trucks and van, popularly known as Black Maria.
Among the arrested protesters is popular social media comedian, Mr. Macaroni who has been at the forefront of the #EndSARS protest since it commenced in October 2020.
Apart from the assault and arrest of the protesters, their phones were also reportedly seized by the officers to stop them from recording the maltreatment.
The recent #OccupyLekkiTollgate protest was informed by the decision of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry to allow the Lekki Concession Company to reopen the Lekki tollgate without the complete prosecution of soldiers responsible for the shootings at the toll gate on October 20, 2020.
A counter-protest group who identified themselves as #DefendLagos had earlier vowed to oppose the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters with the view that the protest was sponsored by elements to destabilise the state.
The group later withdrew from the protest, noting that it was in accordance with the government’s directives that no protest should hold, but threatened to resume if the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protesters embarked on their own protests.
Many Nigerians have taken to social media to condemn the arrest of the protesters, querying why peaceful protesters are assaulted and maltreated in Nigeria for trying to express their rights.
— Amnesty International Nigeria (@AmnestyNigeria) February 13, 2021
Mr Macaroni was arrested this morning. Our job is simple, stand for him with our voices #EndBadGovernanceInNigeria !!
— SUN? (@shank_comics) February 13, 2021
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported earlier that the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed said the planned #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest is a plan by Nigerian activists who have linked up “with others outside Nigeria, including subversive elements, with a view to destabilizing the country.”
- It would be recalled that in October 2020 during a peaceful #EndSARS protests at the Lekki toll gate, several protesters were shot at by the officers of the Nigerian Army, an incident which sparked wide condemnation within and outside Nigeria.
- Unfortunately, the protest was hijacked by hoodlums who took the opportunity to kill, destroy public and private properties in several parts of the country.