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Opinion & Views

OCTOBER 20: Who Will Rescue Lagos From The Looming Anarchy? – Rescue Lagos Team

By Olufemi Ibitoye

Believe it or not, the forthcoming one year anniversary of the unforgettable End SARS protest in the country can pose a big problem for Nigeria and a bigger problem for Lagos State.

The insensitivity of the Lagos State government to the plight of the people during the End SARS menace last year which caused the unrest and lots of systemic breakdown is still fresh in the memories of Lagosians. And, many believe it is time to breathe a fresh air and for all Lagosians to Shine their Eyes and support the youth movement to achieve a greater and better Lagos for all.

The warning from the Lagos Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, against the anticipated End SARS anniversary protest on October 20, 2021 is likely another dooms day for Lagosians at large. It’s a known fact that numerous groups and individuals are planning to commemorate the one year anniversary of the Lekki Toll Gate shooting by the Nigerian Army troops with the unknown soldiers killing Nigerian youths without claimed of authorization by the government in power. No doubt, the police and other security agencies are warming up with their clandestine plans to stop good citizens from exercising their fundamental human rights.

Beyond the End SARS, the people in power in Lagos State always believe in the power they hold at the moment and forgetting that they have no authority to prohibit protests and proceeding with the threat by acting beyond the limit of their powers and against the constitution of the land. And those in the know that are truly Lagosians with the masses in their hearts are of the opinion that the only legal duty of the state governor and the commissioner of police is to ensure the security and welfare of all the protesters and it must be professionally done without any cause for alarm.

Nevertheless, it is a right guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution and any law that attempts to curtail such right is null and void and of no effect whatsoever .And, if truly they practice what they preach for a Greater Lagos, they should know that it is certain in democracy that the right of the citizens to conduct peaceful procession, rallies or demonstration without seeking and obtaining permission from anybody through the sacred nature of the right to protest in a constitutional democracy is valid.

Funny enough, what is their fear for the one year anniversary to take place in the streets of Lagos, if truly the kangaroo EndSARS panel of inquiry had done good justice to the findings on what really happened at the Black Tuesday on October 20, 2020 when the shooting took place at Lekki toll gate in Lagos State. Looking ahead, instead of the power that be in Lagos becoming restless about the looming inevitable revolution that will be witnessed in our country and Lagos State as the anniversary nears in the fullness of time, the people in government should ensure that the rights of protesters are fully protected against all odds.

October 20 is a date that can never be forgotten so soon in the history of our nation and the killings in Lagos State except the masses begin to think anew and act anew for such gory event not to ever occur again with the wrong people in power. Olufemi Ibitoye

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