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Protests ground commercial, vehicular activities in Lagos

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Foreign carriers review services over curfew as mixed reactions trail imposition
• Protesters ground operations at ports

The ongoing #EndSARS protests, yesterday, took a more devastating dimension as vehicular and commercial activities were grounded to a halt in some parts of the state.

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From Abule-Egba Bus Stop to Oshodi Motor Park, at least, seven different roadblocks were mounted at different points on the ever-busy road.

Also in Agege, the protesters were seen with several barricades across the entire area.
HOWEVER, hours after the curfew was imposed, some protesters failed to abide by the governor’s directive.

From Iyana-Isolo to Ilasa, Iyana-Itire, Cele to Mile 2, it was still business as usual for the protesters. They blocked the road, with their deejays playing music with participants dancing away.

Meanwhile, a co-ordinator of the EndSARS protest, who refused to give his name for fear of reprimand by his employer, has said that the protests may be suspended in obedience to the 24-hour curfew imposed by the Lagos State Government.

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The protest co-ordinator, who spoke with The Guardian in Ogba during a rally by the protesters, said: “We heard about the curfew a few minutes ago. We are going to listen to them because we are law-abiding citizens. But whenever they lift the curfew, we will go back to the streets again if they fail to address our grievances.”

IN another development, foreign airlines operating on Nigerian routes have started reviewing their operations in lieu of the worsening EndSARS protests and curfew already imposed in Lagos.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) said though international flights had not been cancelled, the carriers are considering either to cancel or reschedule some flights over growing insecurity.

As of yesterday, Delta Air flight DL54, scheduled to arrive in Lagos at about 5:00 p.m., made an air return, citing the 24-hour curfew in Lagos.

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The Guardian also learned that the New York-Lagos flight first diverted to Dakar, Senegal, before returning to the JFK Airport, New York, with all crew and passengers intact.

General Manager of Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos, Victoria Shin-aba, confirmed the Delta Air development, though assured that other foreign carriers were still being expected for landing and take-off yesterday.

Shin-aba said British Airways was still being expected for yesterday evening and would depart with checked-in passengers to London before midnight.

MEANWHILE, some pundits have expressed diverse views on the imposition of a curfew.

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The Editor-in-Chief of Chief Detectives Magazine, Dipo Kehinde, noted that the protesters were ‘riding on the crest of a wave.’

While former military personnel and Managing Director of Strict Guard Limited, Mr. Bone Efoziem Chinye, said the curfew was a right step by the government since the protest has now taken a violent dimension, a security analyst, Christopher Oji, described the curfew as the best option considering the spate of destruction of public infrastructure.

In a related vein, aggrieved youths, yesterday, barricaded the entrance to the Apapa and TinCan ports in Lagos.

The protesters blocked access roads leading into the ports with articulated vehicles, stalling entry and exit operations.

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