GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwoolu has imposed a 24 curfew across Lagos State starting from 4pm today in response to the recent violence that has resulted from hoodlums hijacking the peaceful #EndSARS protests and setting the state ablaze.
Over the last fortnight, Nigerian youths have been organising a peaceful protest to demand the dissolution of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (Sars) police unit. It all sparked off a fortnight ago when Sars operatives killed a young boy identified as Joshua Ambrose in cold blood in Delta State but unfortunately for them, videographer Prince Nicholas Makolomi, recorded the whole incident live.
So fierce has been the public mood that the inspector-general of police Mohammed Adamu has been forced to announce the dissolution of the Sars unit. Despite the government promising to address the issues raised, the protests have continued as the demonstrators do not trust that these promises will be kept.
In response, several pro-government groups have begun hiring thugs to attack the protesters and some have even engaged in acts of violence which they blame on the demonstrators to discredit their cause. Today, the while matter degenerated into full blown violence as a police station was burnt down in the Orile Iganmu area of Lagos metropolis.
This follows on from an attack on Benin Prison in Edo State yesterday when hoodlums attacked the facility and freed hundreds of inmates. Governor Godwin Obaseki imposed a curfew on Edo State yesterday and this morning, Governor Sanwoolu has done likewise in Lagos State.
Governor Sanwoolu said: “Dear Lagosians, I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society. Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state.
“As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state. I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the state as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020.Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets.”
This morning, the burning down of the police station took place around 9.45am after policemen shot at the hoodlums. Apparently, the burnt Station is in Apapa Iganmu but serviced both Iganmu community in Apapa Iganmu and Orile Community in Coker/Aguda.
One eyewitness said: “As they were protesting, police officers attempted to disperse them and they resisted the police. Before you know it, two boys were shot in the shoulder and chest. The two of them have died.”
In Abuja too, there was tension in some parts of Kubwa following an invasion by soldiers who fired sporadically into the air to disperse #EndSARS protesters who had gathered to begin the day’s protest. While passers-by scampered to safety, residents who were still in their houses immediately shut their doors and windows.
Motorists on the Bwari-Dutse Alhaji road became stranded due to the ensuing gridlock on the route. Protesters had erected a barricade at the Sokale roundabout area and Winners Road and had begun settling into the protest before the invasion by soldiers in three trucks.
Meanwhile, hoodlums have taken over some parts of the Apo Mechanic Village, attacking motorists and attempting to loot some shops in the area. These hoodlums who had earlier attacked #EndSARS protesters yesterday, were said to have mobilised to the area this morning to halt the peaceful protest.