The Lagos State Police Command on Tuesday warned against any form of street protest in commemoration of the #EndSARS anniversary in the state.
A statement signed by the Lagos Police Command’s Spokesperson, CSP Adekunle Ajisebutu, said that a post was being circulated on social media stating that the protest was earlier approved by the police.
The statement said that the police would only allow an indoor or virtual event for the commemoration of the #EndSARS anniversary.
“Attention of the Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to a post being circulated on the social media insinuating that the police in Lagos have agreed to allow street protests in commemoration of the one-year #EndSARS anniversary on Oct. 20.
“On the contrary, the police will only allow an indoor and virtual event in commemoration of the #EndSARS anniversary and will provide adequate security at the venue(s) if known.
“This is in recognition of the rights of every Nigerian to express his or her interest.
“We wish we could permit such street protests. However, intelligence at our disposal has revealed plans by some faceless groups or individuals to stage an anti-EndSARS anniversary protest in the state the same day.
“In view of the conflicting interests between the pro and anti- EndSARS anniversary groups and threat to cause mayhem, the Command once again warns both groups against any form of street protest between now and Oct. 21 and beyond,” it said.
The police in the statement acknowledged that citizens had the right to peaceful protests but security assessment had revealed that it would be inappropriate to allow such protests to hold.
It said that the command would not stand aloof and allow a breakdown of law and order which the protests may cause.
“To avoid a recurrence of the gory protests of last year during which some innocent Nigerians including police officers were gruesomely murdered, private and public property plundered and maliciously destroyed.
“The police will not abdicate their responsibility of protection of lives and property by allowing such avoidable incident to happen again in the state,” it added.
The statement also warned the organisers of the protests that the police would deploy all legitimate means to stop or neutralise the planned protests.
“Parents and guardians are admonished to warn their children and wards against participating in the protests.
“Similarly, youths and other individuals or groups planning to take part in the protests are further warned in their own interest to shelve the plan,” said the statement.