The Lagos State commissioner of police, Hakeem Odumosu, has warned residents of the state to desist from participating in any form of protest planned in commemoration of the #EndSARS protest.

The police boss promised that his officers would resist any of such protests.

This is contained in a statement released on Monday by Adekunle Ajisebutu, the Lagos police spokesperson.

The statement reads: “Credible intelligence at the disposal of the Command has revealed clandestine plans by some youths, individuals or groups to embark on protest today in commemoration of the first anniversary of ENDSARS.

“Lagosians and indeed Nigerians cannot afford to relive the distasteful experience of last year protest which caused pain, anguish, needless loss of lives and wanton destruction of public and private property. 

“In view of the volatility of the present situations in the country, and the breakdown of law and order which the planned protest might cause, the Lagos State Police Command sternly warns against any form of protest today.

“The Command wishes to use this medium to warn the youths, groups, or associations planning such protest to jettison the idea forthwith. The police in the state will not fold their arms and allow some misguided elements disrupt the peace and serenity currently being enjoyed in the state.

“To forestall breakdown of law and order, the police will use all legitimate means within their constitutional powers to suppress the planned protest.

“Therefore, parents and guardians are advised to warn their children against participating in the planned protest. Individuals or groups sponsoring such protests are also warned in their own interest to desist from such unpatriotic plans or face the full weight or wrath of the law.

“Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police, CP Hakeem Odumosu assures all law-abiding residents of the state to go about their legitimate businesses without fear of harassment or intimidation. Adequate, additional security measures have been put in place to ensure the protection of their lives and property today and even beyond.”

In October 2020, Nigerians across the country stormed the streets to demonstrate against police brutality and bad governance under the #EndSARS campaign.

However, on October 20, soldiers from the Bonny Camp, 81 division, invaded the Lekki tollgate, where some demonstrators had gathered, and fired gunshots.

In his reaction to fresh plans by youth and groups to commemorate the first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest, the police commissioner urged the groups to shelve the idea.

Though the right to peaceful assembly and the right to protest are constitutional rights of Nigerians, the police have continued to clamp down on protesters.

Just recently, Nigeria police opened fire on members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) during a peaceful procession in Abuja. 

Also, during a peaceful protest on Nigeria's independence day, men of the Nigeria Police Force fired tear gas canisters at protesters in Abuja. 

The peaceful protesters could be seen chanting and displaying banners and placards saying 'Buhari Must Go'. 

Six of them were arrested by the police, brutalised and detained for demanding the resignation of Buhari. 

They were later released. 

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