The Lagos State Police Command has threatened to close the African Shrine, Ikeja, over the hosting of a programme to evaluate the achievement, lessons and tasks arising from the recent #EndSARS protest.
The programme, which is organised by Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, was originally scheduled to be held on Tuesday at the African Shrine.
The police have now threatened to close down the place if the programme went ahead.
Seun revealed that the police invited his sister and threatened to shut down the facility if the meeting holds.
In a letter to the Kuti family and manager of the African Shrine, the police said the programme was not welcome and will be tagged a deliberate action to sabotage the restoration of peace in Lagos.
The police cited the recent violence arising from the #EndSARS protest as its reason for ordering the suspension of the programme.
“It is on this premise that I write that such a gathering or meeting planned to be hosted at your venue is not welcome at this perilous time when the security of the nation is trying to find her feet to stabilize all threat to life and properties.
“You are hereby warned to suspend such gathering as any infraction that may emerge from this gathering will be tagged a deliberate action to sabotage the transition and restoration of the peace in Lagos State by the Lagos state Government and the Nigeria police Force,” the letter to the Kuti family partly reads.
Reacting to the letter by the police, Seun said he will go ahead with his programme but at a different venue.
He also queried why the government was hinged on infringing on the rights of the people to freedom of association, adding that it was an undemocratic act.
He said, “I respect my family’s decision not to hold the event but I will still go ahead with all the other organisations to launch the Movement of the People tomorrow and start our political resistance to the tyranny of this oppressive regime.
“This is a meeting, just a meeting of organisations and they are basically banning the right of association. Why are they afraid of the people organising? What is democratic about this act?
“The last time we tried to launch the government quickly called curfew and this time they have used threats but you can’t stop the will of the people.”
So yesterday the government called my eldest sister @yeniakuti and threatened to close the shrine if I hold my event there tmr and also sent a letter to back it up. I respect my families decision not to hold the event as is but I will still go ahead with all the other... pic.twitter.com/ZKpSkhN242— Seun Anikulapo Kuti (@RealSeunKuti) November 16, 2020
...organizations to launch THE MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE tomorrow and start our political resistance to the tyranny of this oppressive regime. Slide left and you will see the flier. This is a meeting, just a meeting of organizations and they are basically banning the right of... pic.twitter.com/Sm2dz0d7Cm— Seun Anikulapo Kuti (@RealSeunKuti) November 16, 2020
...association. Why are they afraid of the people organising? What is democratic about this act? The last time we tried to launch the government quickly called curfew and this time they have used threat but you canât stop the will of the people. ~ #EndOppression Seun Kuti pic.twitter.com/lEtF5ZudI3— Seun Anikulapo Kuti (@RealSeunKuti) November 16, 2020
A wave of street protests swept across Nigeria in October as young people poured out to demand an end to police brutality and bad governance in the country.
In a bid to break the peaceful demonstrations, the government sent in armed thugs and security operatives, who unleashed terror on the people.
The climax came on October 20 when the Lagos State Government drafted in soldiers of the Nigerian Army to attack demonstrators at the Lekki Toll Gate area of the state.
According to Amnesty International, over 10 persons lost their lives following the attack by the soldiers.
A Judicial Panel of Inquiry has been established by the Lagos Government to unravel the incident of October 20 and brutality by personnel of the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad.