#EndSARS: Hoodlums injure 19 policemen, vandalise vehicles
•Residents walk in Lagos, Ibadan, Akure, Ado-Ekiti, Abuja, Benin, others •Air travellers miss flights •Protests spread to more northern states
THE agitation against police brutality by the youth, code- named #EndSARS, got worse on Mon- day, as hoodlums attacked 97 police officers of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) at the Adekunle Area of Yaba, Lagos State, around 10.00 a.m., leaving 19 of the officers hos- pitalised as a result of injuries they sustained.
Four vehicles belonging to the police were also vandalised by the hoodlums.
The policemen, who were in a convoy on their way to Vic- toria Island, to relieve their colleagues who had worked overnight, were reportedly attacked by the hoodlums said to armed with cutlasses, broken bottles, iron rods, planks and other dangerous weapons.
Some of the injured policemen escaped to the State Criminal Investigations Department (SCID), Panti, where they were admitted for treatment.
Confirming the incident, the image maker of the state police command, Muyiwa Adejobi, in a statement, de- scribed the protest as “grad- ually becoming violent.”
Condemning the attack, the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, urged officers and men of the com- mand to remain calm.
In Lagos, men of the Nigerian Police and Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) were conspicu- ously absent on the roads.
Visits by the Nigerian Tribune to some parts of the metropolis revealed that designated spots where those officers are usually stationed to ensure free flow of traffic were vacant.
For instance, while there were no signs of protests at Abule Egba area of the metropolis as of the time of the visit, Nigerian Tribune ob- served it was the traffic light that was controlling vehicular
movement under the Jubilee Bridge at Abule Egba.
Iyana Ipaja and Ikeja along Agege Motor Road were not in any way different, when the Nigerian Tribune visited.
Also, the usual spectacle of the police, LASTMA and men of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) that manage traffic on the Third Mainland Bridge, especially at this pe- riod when the bridge is undergoing repairs, was completely absent.
As early as 8.00 a.m., the Berger/Secretariat axis had already begun to experience traffic hiccups, due to motorists driving against traffic.
The protesters, in their hun- dreds, marched through the outside terminal building of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, causing traffic gridlock in the area, resulting in many passengers missing their flights.
The protesters, who had gathered in the area as early as 7.00 a.m., were prevented from accessing the local wing of the airport through Ikeja as the uniformed personnel within the airport, includ- ing the Air Force, were seen manning the entrance close to the Forte Oil and GAT axis.
Many passengers eventually missed their flights, while some had to cancel theirs.
Youths under the aegis of the United Apapa Youths Fo- rum (UAYF) and some truck- ers on Monday gathered in front of the Apapa port, chanting solidarity songs, while some clearing agents have vowed to shut down port operations by joining the protest in full force today.
A cross section of agents who spoke to the Nigerian Tribune said by today, no cargo clearance would be allowed in or out of the port.
Protesters took the agita- tion further into the communities, as they blocked inner roads to prevent motorists and motorcyclists, many of whom had been using those
roads as alternatives to the highways.
Commuters were at the receiving end of the development on Monday, as commercial drivers and mo- torcyclists resorted to charging exorbitant fares, even as some of them had to trek long distances.
The Lagos- Ibadan Expressway was affected as the two sides of the road were barricaded, while at the sideway at Berger Bus-Stop, some youths took the advantage to play football.
The two main gates to the Secretariat in Alausa were shut, following attempts by #EndSARS protesters to forcefully gain entrance to the premises.
Vehicular and human move- ments were at standstill at Ijanikin, Iyana Isashi and Ag- bara axis on Lagos–Badagry highway on Monday.
The protesters blocked the highway with two articulated vehicles at Agbara, prevent- ing vehicles from coming or going out of the area.
Also, students of Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Educa- tion, Ijanikin, joined the pro- test en masse to block the road all the way to Agbara, while some were seen play- ing table tennis on the road.
At Iyana-Era and Iyana Ishashi, some hoodlums also blocked the Badagry high- way, using the protest to ex- tort money from commercial motorcyclists.
In Ibadan, Oyo State, pro- testers locked down the en- tire city, preventing vehicular movement for hours.
From Mokola to Eleyele, Ologuneru, Alesinloye Market, Molete, Challenge, Toll Gate, Iwo Road, Bodija and other areas, commuters, mo- torists, motorcyclists and pe- destrians were stranded for hours as vehicles got struck, following traffic congestion ocassioned by the protests.
Commercial buses and other public transport operators withdrew their services, forcing people to trek far dis- tances before reaching their destinations.
Some youths in Ibadan ex- ploited the ongoing #End- SARS protests, on Monday, forming “toll gates” across streets and major roads where motorists had no op- tion but to part with some money to continue their movement.
From Challenge through Felele, Molete, Bode, Idi-Arere, Oja-Oba, Beere, Oje, Agodi gate, it was a field day for the youth who formed barricades almost at every 100-metre distance to extort amounts ranging from N50 to N200 from motorists and motorcyclists.
Using tyres, traffic stands, planks, sticks, sacks of refuse picked from the medians, the youth effected their toll gates for several hours.
There was high build-up of traffic in areas like Chal- lenge, Molete, Apata, Sango, Secretariat, Akobo, Bodija, Idi-Ape, Iwo Road, University of Ibadan road, Orita, New Garage and the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan highway.
Schools in some parts of Ibadan also closed earlier than usual as management called parents to pick up their children or wards.
In Ado-Ekiti, Ekiti State, youths took over every sec- tion of the state capital in protest.
Virtually all the strategic roads in the metropolis were blocked, including Fajuyi Park, Okeyinmi, Ijigbo, Basiri, Matthew area, Ajilosun and Adebayo, among others.
Most commercial banks and supermarket hurriedly closed to business.
Students in public and pri- vate schools who had earlier resumed in schools were hur- riedly asked to return home.
Civil servants were left stranded on their way to work while some of them were seen returning home in frustration.
Those workers who were already in their offices at the state Secretariat and other offices were asked to go home and not to return to work today.
Thousands of people were left stranded in different parts of Ogun State, as the #EndSARS protesters re- sumed protest.
Nigerian Tribune gathered that protesters blocked the Lagos/Abeokuta highway at the Papalanto end, preventing vehicular movement in-bound Abeokuta and out -bound Lagos in the early hours of the day.
It was the same develop- ment in Abeokuta, the state capital, as the protesters mounted roadblocks at the NNPC junction, Panseke and Camp areas.
Civil servants, school children, market men and women found it hectic to get to their destinations.
Many government workers abandoned their vehi- cles within the Ibara GRA and Legislative Quarters and trekked to the Oke-Mosan secretariat.
Vehicles travelling from La- gos or other parts of Ogun enroute Abeokuta-Kopabe- Siun-Sagamu highway had to find alternative routes to Abeokuta.
The protesters, however, gave way to emergency situa- tion, despite the roadblocks.
Protesters woke Benin res- idents up to early morning blockades.
As against the information that the protests across the city would commence by 10.00 a.m., the protesting youth stormed the streets as early as 7.30 a.m., setting up blockades at different in- tervals.
On Ekenwan Road for in- stance, from Agho Junction to the popular Ekenwan Military Barracks, they con- verged on Evbotubu Junc- tion, Utagban Junction; First
and Second Power Line Junctions;Debvekewen Junction; Leaders College Junction; Ugbihoko Primary School; Aghewwenghe and Uholo, in what turned out to be pro- tests in their various localities.
In the main town, the entire city was on complete lockdown as protest points were set up in the various road net- works such as Airport Road, Akenzua/Plymouth Road, Ring Road; Siluoko Road, Ak- pakpava by First, Second And Third East Roads.
Circulation vans of the various newspaper houses bringing the dailies to the city had a tough time passing the blockades along the busy Benin-Lagos expressway, where the blockades stretched up to the Ovia River axis, some kilometres away from the University of Benin (UNIBEN) main gate.
Nigerian Tribune circulation van driver, Ademola Adebisi, said he had to park his van by Ovia River, before Ekiadolor and hired a commercial motorcycle to help in conveying the consignment.
“At a point, I carried the papers on my head because there were no bikes again and now, I am using wheelbarrow to carry the papers,” Adebisi narrated his ordeal.
4 shot as protesters attack soldier in Auchi
The #EndSARS protest which started on a peaceful note in Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of Edo State on Monday, later turned violent with four per- sons reportedly shot dead.
Trouble was said to have started when the protesters were said to have beaten up a military man, who later mobilised soldiers to react and, in the commotion that ensued, the victims were re- portedly shot.
The coming in of the soldiers, it was gathered, led to the protesters abandoning their Jattu Junction base and thereafter, the gridlock on the Auchi-Okene-Lokoja road, which had built up to the neighbouring Aviele, eased off.
#EndSARS protesters also blocked the Asaba/Benin highway by Summit junction in Delta State with their vehicles thereby causing heavy traffic for several hours.
The protesters took over the Ibom Plaza in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, armed with plac- ards.
According to them, they took the decision to occupy the city centre “for govern- ment to know that the youth are tired of bad governance in Nigeria.”
Meanwhile, the protests spread to more northern states on Monday as Minna, the Niger State capital, wit- nessed army of young people from different parts of the state to participate in #EndSARS protest.
The youth, who converged on Mobil roundabout as early as 6:00 a.m. were orderly and walked for about five kilo- metres as they entertained themselves with music.
Mothers and the elderly also participated with some of them taking their children along.
Chairman, National Youth Council of Nigeria, Niger State chapter, Malam Bello Barau Sheriff, said arrangements had been put in place to ensure the struggle gets the required participation of youths throughout the state.