Police in Lagos fired tear gas on Wednesday to disperse young people marching in memory of last October’s #EndSARS protest and the shooting of protesters at Lekki’s door.
What started as a peaceful procession of cars to mark the first anniversary of Leki’s shooting turned into violent demonstrations when security forces arrested more than five protesters.
Among those arrested was a man armed with a machete and other dangerous objects.
At around 8:40 am, protesters in various vehicles flooded the door of Lekki tollgate despite many police holding Nigerian flags as they chanted and played #EndSARS.
Two organisers, Nigerian rapper Folarin Falana, known as “Falz”, and comedian Adebowale Adedayo, known as “Mr Macaroni”, also commented on the demonstration.
Although the police allowed the protesters to move for about an hour, they started firing tear gas at the protesters.
Police Commissioner Hakim Odumosu, who also stood outside Lekki’s paygate on Wednesday, said the youth’s activities had caused public discomfort and could not continue.
Odumosu said he had ordered the firing of tear gas to avoid breaking the law as protesters defied an earlier promise that the march would start at 8am and end at 10am.
“The protest was between 8am and 10am, anything after 10am is an inconvenience.
I discussed with them and they said they would end the protest at 10am. Anyone else doing it now is just causing trouble. Did anyone carry machetes, hammers, protesters or criminals?
“The protesters are free; They did their job and left. “Everyone else is bad people, criminals who want to take advantage of this to attack innocent people and rob people. We won’t let that happen,” said Odumosu.
As the arrests of several demonstrators continued, journalists were not spared either.