The myriads of fatal and tragic fallouts of #EndSARS protest, especially in death toll across the country clearly shows that miscreants, hoodlums and most likely “hired” or “sponsored” thugs, have hijacked the well intended peaceful protest started last week by Nigerian Youths seeking and end to police brutality.
It is now certain that such miscreants have ulterior motives different from what the protest initially aimed to achieve. It is equally believed by many that Federal Government’s bad antecedent of failure to honour past agreements or assurances to agitating groups may have caused the persistence of the protest in spite of government’s acceptance to meet the five-point demands of the country’s protesting youths.
It is unfortunate that this continued protest in spite of appeals to the youth by well meaning persons and groups to mellow down has provided hoodlums the opportunity to unleash mayhem on the society.
The perpetrating of lawlessness which started the pervious week reached a climax last Tuesday with 49 deaths recorded as protests turned bloody in several parts of the country.
The troubled spots included parts of Lagos, like Mushin, Lekki, Ketu and Ikorodu. The police encounter with the protesters at Oyo, Ogun, Kano, Benin, Aba in Abia State, Port Harcourt in Rivers State and Owerri in Imo State were all bloody. In all the cases, police stations and properties were burnt or destroyed.
Last Tuesday, October 20, 2020 in Lagos alone, no fewer than 27 people including two police men were killed when Police shot protesters in different parts of the state.
Report reaching us stated that while some of the policemen lost their lives as hoodlums burnt police stations, the police themselves were accused of pulling the trigger that killed some of the protesters. The worst scenario was at Lekki area of Lagos state where armed soldiers allegedly shot sporadically at the #EndSARS protesters, killing not less than seven.
On their own part, the police has also bemoaned their losses. Hear the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Lagos State Command, Muyiwa Adajobi: “Most of our formations have been set ablaze and some of our properties destroyed. Two patrol vehicles have been burnt on Ojo Division, Ilemba Hausa is under Siege as I speak with you. Amukoko and Orile Divisions are burnt. Cele outpost under Ajegunle has been burnt. Ajeromi Ifelodun Secretariat has been burnt and we are hearing that they still want to attack police men going about their lawful duties.”
In Imo State, four persons, including security personnel were said to have lost their lives on Wednesday when hoodlums set ablaze two Police Stations in the state – one at Nwaorieubi, Mbaitoli LGA and another at Orji Owerri North LGA. Army check point was also set to have been attacked.
In Ogun State, the method of protest was different as their targets were Nigeria Custom Services formations.
Here again, hoodlums hijacked the protest, killed an officer and injured another during an, attack on customs men along Owoden Idiroko road, Ogun State. It was learnt that residents of the border communities seized opportuinity of the protest to demand an end to incessant killings in their area by operatives of NCS. The attack was confirmed by the NCS spokeman, Hammed Oloyode.
Reports from Kano show that last Tuesday also, a supposedly peaceful #EndSARS protest later turned violent claiming the lives of four at Sabon Gari when hoodlums hijacked it.
In Edo State, inspite of the 24-hour curfew imposed by that state government on Monday, following the jail-break that occurred when the protesters attacked the Correction Centre setting free the inmates on Tuesday, two protesters were shot dead by the police whom they confronted at Sapele Road.
The Abia State PPRO, Geoffrey Ogbonna has also confirmed that hoodlums killed two police officers when angry youths attacked and set ablaze a police station at Ogbor Hill and another at Eziama Police Division.
In Port Harcourt protest became violent when policemen at SARS office shot live-bullets while youths were protesting according to the Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukan, who explained that the youths had thought that the SARS office was operational.