Abiodun OBA

 

Nigerian youths have made good their threat as they took over Lekki area of Lagos with the #EndSARS memorial protest on Wednesday.

There was a large turnout of protesters at the Lekki tollgate leading to gridlock in the area.

The protesters defied the threat by the police to hold the memorial protest at the Lekki Tollgate, though they were not allowed to block the road.

The protesters were armed with placards, one of which read: “End bad governance.”

The protesters insisted that some of them were shot at the Lekki tollgate on October 20, 2020.

One of the protesters, who showed scars from the injuries that he secured claimed that he saw three young people being shot.

But the Federal Government had denied that soldiers neither shot nor killed protesters.

However, the protester showed our correspondents covering the events some images on his phone.

The protester who identified himself as AK said, “I was shot. They shot us. I saw three young people on the floor. We were shot. Government is lying.”

Another protester lamented that there was no evidence to show that the banned Special Anti-Robbery Squad is no longer operating.

He complained that one year after the #EndSARS protest, youths are still “extorted” and “brutalised” in the country.

“There is still SaRS. They still brutalise us. We are here to tell the police to stop the brutality and extortion,” he said.

Shortly before the police dispersed the protesters with tear gas, another youth said, “Nothing has changed as regards oppression and brutality.”

Nigerian youths held memorial protests in Lagos and Abuja on Wednesday, one year after security forces violently suppressed mass protests against police brutality and bad governance.

Under heavy police watch, dozens of protesters rallied in a procession of cars waving green and white national flags from windows at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos, the site of the crackdown on last year’s #EndSARS demonstrations.

Nigerian singer Falz was among those who rallied in Lagos. 

“It is impossible for us not to memorialise our fallen heroes,” Falz wrote. “We will never ever forget.” 

“Innocent Nigerian citizens waved flags and sang till they were shot at, injured and killed.”

Police deployed at Lekki allowed the cars to pass through the tollgate as protesters blasted horns and chanted for justice.

Last year’s rallies began over brutality by the SARS police unit but snowballed into protests over bad governance in the largest mass demonstrations in Nigeria’s modern history.

Comedian Mr Macaroni and lawyer-singer Falz  led a car procession to mark the anniversary of the protest at Lekki tollgate.

Macaroni told reporters Nigeria must listen to the demands of youths and embrace good governance.

Falz, who also drove himself, said Nigerians must learn to stand up for their rights.

The protest had been peaceful until the Police tear-gassed the people thereby causing confusion in the area.

Publisher of Sahara Reporters Omoyele Sowore and activist, Deji Adeyanju also led the Abuja #EndSAR anniversary protest.

The protest held at the Unity Fountain, in the capital.

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