We won’t tolerate another round of #EndSARS protests — Police
•Protests premature, counter-productive —Gov Bello •Interior minister cautions youths against protests
POLICE authorities across states of the South West have strongly warned against any planned gathering or procession in the name of #EndSARS protests.
The warning comes against the backdrop of reports that some youths are planning to embark on another round of #EndSARS protests from today.
In statements issued by various commands, on Sunday, the police said it would not tolerate the repeat of #EndSARS protests that had in its wake disruption of order, destruction of properties, killings, looting and arson.
From Lagos to Osun and Oyo states, the police commands held that their opposition to any such protest was to prevent another hi- jack of such protests as it occurred during the #EndSARS campaign.
In its own statement, the Police Public Relations Of- ficer (PPRO) of the Lagos State police command, Muyiwa Adejobi, said it would professionally suppress any unlawful gathering, proces- sion or protest.
Noting that the command was not unaware of reports that some individuals/groups planned to commence protests on Monday, the command warned that security agencies would not sit by and watch set of individuals foist another round of violence and anarchy on the state.
In particular, the command urged parents and guardians to warn and discourage their children, wards from being lured into participating in any gathering or protest.
The statement read: “The Lagos State police command has again warned against any gathering, procession or protest in Lagos State as some unpatriotic individuals and groups are planning to embark on the replica of the recent destructive and violent EndSARS protest that left pains and agonies in Lagos State.
“The command has reliably gathered intelligence that certain individuals/ groups have concluded plans to lure unsuspecting Lagosians, especially youths, into their planned protest which is proposed to commence tomorrow (today) Monday, December 7, at designated locations in the state.
“The Lagos State police command wishes to re-echo and remind the general public that the government of Lagos State, businesses, indi- viduals and security families still groan in losses and pains that the last violent #End- sars protest occasioned. Lagos State is still nurturing the wounds orchestrated by some violent #Endsars protesters and not fit to accommodate such protest for now.”
Similarly, the Osun State police command, through its Public Relations Officer, Mrs Yemisi Opalola, maintained that there would be no room for such protest in the state going by the spate of de- struction of lives and prop- erties that was witnessed in the state during the previous #EndSARS protests.
Opalola quoted the state’s Commissioner of Police, Undie Adie, as stating that the Osun command would not allow a repeat of “barbaric” acts and would deal accordingly with anyone planning to cause havoc or unleash mayhem on the state once again.
Noting that the last protests were characterised by mass looting, arson, vandalisation of properties, killing, maiming and other nefarious acts perpetrated by some hoodlums, she said the police would ensure that orderliness is maintained in the state.
In the same vein, the Oyo State police command has said that it would not toler- ate the breakdown of law and order in the state as experienced during the last #EndSARS protest.
The state’s Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Olugbenga Fadeyi, stated this when the Nigerian Tribune enquired from him the position of the police in the state following the news doing the rounds that youths in some states were planning to resume the EndSARS protest.
Fadeyi said: “The Oyo State police command before now had put machineries in motion to ensure the protection of lives and property of all citizens in the state.
“Permission for protest is supposed to be sought and granted by the police, just as all protests are supposed to be done within the purview of the law.
“However, the police in Oyo State will not tolerate breakdown of law and order as experienced during the infamous #EndSARS protest and adequate security measures has been put in place in the state, especially during the Yuletide period and beyond.”
Meanwhile, the Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello on Sunday appealed to Nigerian youths to shelve any plan of embarking on another round of #EndSARS protests, saying such move would be premature, dangerous and counterproductive.
Bello, in a special broadcast to Nigerian youths on Sunday, said he was worried following intelligence re- ports that youths were mobilising to resume another round of #EndSARS protests in some selected cities be- ginning from Monday December 7.
According to him, there was urgent need for all rel- evant stakeholders to take steps that would ensure the country does not witness another round of #EndSARS protests.
He said the country was yet to recover from the dev- astating impacts of the last #EndSARS protests whichever were hijacked by hoodlums.
According to him, another round of protests will worsen the already precarious secu- rity situation and economic recession currently bedevil- ing the country.
Also, the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola, has cautioned youths against taking to another round of #EndSARS protests to push for a better Nigeria.
Speaking during the commissioning of a central mosque built by Ta’Awunu Islamic Group in Iwo, Osun State, on Sunday, Aregbesola noted that the nation would not experience the desired socio-economic development amid chaos.
He linked the hardship being faced by many Nigerians to COVID-19 pandemic and EndSARS protests that erupted in many states of the federation.