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[Opinion] #ENDSARS: The Police Shouldn't Be Blamed For Arresting Protesters At Lekki Toll Plaza

The highly anticipated October 20, 2021, is finally here, and protesters have taken to the streets of various cities in Nigeria, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the #ENDSARS protest that rocked the country in October 2020. It should be recalled that during the protest on October 20, 2020, men of the Nigeria Army allegedly opened fire on the peaceful protesters who had gathered at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos.

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The ugly incident which allegedly claimed the lives of some protesters, and left many others with various degrees of injuries, and also marked the point where the peaceful protest turned into a nationwide violence that almost consumed the country. As October 20, 2021, was approaching, the #ENDSARS protesters began to warm up for another protest in memory of the October 20, 2020 shooting at Lekki Toll Plaza. However, the decision to stage another protest in Lagos was not well-received by the Police.

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It should be recalled that before now, the Lagos State Police Command, had warned the protesters against staging physical protests in Lagos, citing that such a protest could be hijacked again by hoodlums (source: Vanguard Newspaper). Despite the warning by the police, the protesters defied it and stormed the Lekki Toll Plaza to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the #ENDSARS protest.

Image Credit: Social Media

According to a report by the Punch Newspaper, the Police have already arrested some of the protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza. This has undoubtedly begun to generate mixed reactions from the public. However, it is my view that the Police should not be blamed for arresting some of the #ENDSARS today at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos. This is due to the fact that the protest could once again be hijacked by hoodlums, as rightly said by the police.

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While it is true that those who lost their lives in the struggle against police brutality in the country, deserve to be remembered and honoured, it can be argued that this can be done without storming the streets for another round of protests. You will agree with me that many individuals and businesses have not fully recovered from the losses they recorded during the #ENDSARS protest in October 2020.

Image Credit: Social Media

With this in mind, allowing such a protest to once again hold, could endanger more lives and businesses. Therefore, I am of the view that the police should not be blamed for arresting anyone who defied them to storm the streets for the #ENDSARS memorial protest. It is the responsibility of the police to maintain law and order. As such, arresting anyone whose action is believed to be capable of breaching public peace, cannot be said to be out of place.

Content created and supplied by: Homopoliticus_Bosco (via Opera News )

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