Defend Lagos warns against plans to mark #EndSARS anniversary
A coalition of concerned Civil Society Organisations, Defend Lagos, has cautioned youths, individuals and groups warming up to mark the first year anniversary of #EndSARs protests, to have a rethink and not allow a repeat of the mayhem witnessed last year.
The group, in a statement, yesterday, said it was unfortunate that the good intentions behind the 2020 #EndSARS protests was destroyed, when hoodlums hijacked the process to destroy significant monuments, lives and even various security posts in the country, especially in Lagos State.
Speaking on behalf of the groups, Nelson Ekujumi said the coalition is ready to support every legitimate protest that would be done peacefully within the confine of the law, and not one that would lead to anarchy, destruction of lives and property or infringe on others’ fundamental human rights.
He said: “The #EndSARS protests of October 2020 across the country, though legitimate, because it was an agitation against impunity and lack of accountability in public office encapsulated in the activities of the disbanded Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), nevertheless, at the end of the day, left a sour taste in our mouths and sorrow in our hearts, because of the needless killings of civilians, security agents, looting, destruction of public and private assets that trailed it, most particularly in Lagos, which was the hardest hit.”
Although the coalition recognised the inalienable rights of citizens to ventilate their grievances, it said such must be exercised within the ambit of the law and with recognition of the fact that others’ right must not be infringed upon in the process.
The coalition also appealed to those planning the #EndSARS protests anniversary to have a rethink in view of the likelihood of the forces of evil that might want to hijack the exercise again to unleash mayhem.
It called on the Nigeria Police force to recognise the fundamental rights of citizens and urged it to exhibit professionalism in its efforts to protect the economic and human rights of citizens of the state to move about without hindrance.