The Lagos State government has prohibited the plans by some youths to embark on protests on Saturday, February 13 over the decision of the judicial panel to reopen the Lekki tollgates.
The state government during a joint press conference on Thursday by the Attorney General of Lagos, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, and Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu state that the protesters will not be allowed to push the state into trouble.
To this end, it warned that #OccupyLekki protesters, as well as #DefendLagos protesters, should all sit at home and give peace a chance.
The government added that the state is yet to fully recover from the impact of the #EndSARS protests and the recovery efforts should not be derailed by another round of protests.
While acknowledging the constitutional rights of citizens to peaceful gathering and protests, the government warned that some elements in the society are ready to use the opportunity to incite violence and cause destruction of properties.
The Chief Press Secretary to the Lagos State Governor, Gboyega Akosile quoted Onigbanjo to have said in a statement from the press conference that: “Attention of the State Government has been drawn to the planned protest scheduled for Saturday February 13, 2021 at the Lekki Toll Gate for and against the opening of the Admiralty Toll Gate.
“The State is aware of Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. However, such right does not permit the violation of the rights of other citizens in the State.”
“While the State recognizes the importance of exercising the rights to peaceful protests, the same cannot extend to blockage of roads or actions preventing other members of the public from enjoying their fundamental rights to move freely within the State. Any individual or corporate body that incites or condones any act leading to the destruction of public and private properties shall be prosecuted under the extant laws and in addition to any penalty the court might pronounce. Such person or body will be liable to compensate for any damage, which may arise as a result of the action or inaction of such person or body.”
The Attorney General noted that the Police has been put on high alert to stop any form of protest regarding the Lekki tollgate on Saturday.
The Police Commissioner also revealed that all arrangements have been concluded to prevent any form of breakdown of law and order.
He said: “The Police Command has gathered credible intelligence that some hidden agents of destruction and shadow parties that orchestrated the last EndSARS violence have concluded plans to cause another mayhem in Lagos and spread the same to other parts of the country, tactically and spontaneously, like the recent violence.
“Premised on the available intelligence and due threat analyses carried out on the planned protest, the Police Command perceives such proposed protest as a calculated attempt to cause pandemonium and massive destruction of lives and properties under whatever guide; such will not be allowed to hold in Lagos.”
Meanwhile, it will be recalled Naija News earlier reported that the federal government of Nigeria has warned that it will not allow any fresh protest at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos on Saturday by #EndSARS protesters.
The government in a press statement on Thursday by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed warned that security operatives have been directed to crush any protest.
Mohammed noted that government already has intelligence reports that some people want to hijack the protest to cause violence, and security operatives have been put on alert to prevent such action that could destabilize the peace of the country.
He added that while protests are constitutionally allowed, they must be done within the provisions of the law and the law does not allow protest to be done at toll gates.