By Anayo Ezugwu
IN a bid to avert impending nationwide crisis over the EndSARS protests, Lagos, Edo, Plateau, Abia, Ekiti, Osun and Ondo states have imposed curfew in their respective states. The governors alleged that hoodlums have hijacked the protest and using it to unleash violence on residents.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Tuesday, October 20, declared a 24-hour curfew in the state to quell the violence, blood bath and deaths from the #EndSARS protests in the state.
The governor in a statement said the move became necessary, following the degeneration of the #EndSARS protests to pockets of violence across the state.
“I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society. Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state. As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #EndSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.
“I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October, 2020. Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets.’’
But the curfew imposed by the Sanwo-Olu did not help matters as pandemonium broke out at the Lekki Toll Gate Area of the state. Realnews learnt that armed security personnel stormed the scene of the #EndSARS protests and opened fire at protesters. The violence, it was gathered, recorded casualties, with many sustaining gunshot wounds.
In some videos trending online from eyewitnesses at the scene showed some persons bleeding seriously, while others tried to extract the bullets. Others were seen administering CPR to some injured persons to resuscitate them.
Earlier at the Lekki Toll Gate, which has been one of the major converging points, peaceful and unarmed protesters gathered in large numbers around 5:00 pm, an hour after the curfew was to have commenced. The situation, however, took a turn for the worse around 7:00 pm when the security operatives stormed the area and started shooting sporadically.
In Ekiti, Governor Kayode Fayemi imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state over the continued ENDSARS protest. A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, noted that hoodlums have capitalised on the protest to rape, assault, rob and extort innocent citizens across the state.
“These are in addition to the wanton destruction of properties, particularly private properties. Government is concerned that if this state of affairs is allowed to continue unabated, it will lead to a breakdown of law and order thereby threatening the wellbeing of the people of Ekiti State.
“In the past 48 hours, there have been incidents of gang-rape, robberies, physical assaults on innocent people, looting and burning of a police station. These acts of brigandage are not in consonance with the legitimate aspirations of the protesters. It cannot be logical to seek to remedy impunity with impunity.’’
The government said it could not afford to watch a deliberate enthronement of anarchy by some bad Elements, who have hijacked the protest for some clandestine reasons. “Consequently, the Governor of Ekiti State, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, hereby imposes a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State starting from 10.00 pm tonight, Tuesday, October, 20, 2020. Only essential workers and service providers with valid means of identifications are allowed to move around during the period of the curfew.
In Plateau State, at least three persons have been confirmed killed while six cars burnt with several buildings destroyed in Jos North Local Government Area of Plateau State on Tuesday as hoodlums hijacked the End SARS protest, attacking and burning properties on sight.
Following this development, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State imposed a 24-hour curfew in Jos South and Jos North Local Government Areas with effect from 8:00 pm on Tuesday, to forestall further break down of law and order in the state. He said by the directive, all forms of protests are banned in the affected LGC.
“Government has watched closely these protests which are normal in a democracy that guarantees the rights of citizens to ventilate their grievances over any matter. However, it is rather unfortunate that in the past few days, the #EndSARS protests which began peacefully have gradually degenerated to the situation where hoodlums have attacked and molested innocent citizens who are going about their normal businesses.
“This development took a new turn on Tuesday 20th October 2020 when the protests led to the destruction of properties, cars and looting of business premises along the Ahmadu Bello way as well as the burning of a place of worship along Gyero Road in Bukuru. In addition, three deaths have been recorded,” he said.
Likewise, in Abia State, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has imposed a 24-hour curfew on the state capital, Umuahia and Aba, the commercial nerve centre of the state with effect from 6 pm on Tuesday. This was contained in a press statement issued by the Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, which was obtained by LEADERSHIP in the capital.
The development followed an attack last night by suspected hoodlums on a police team, which was on duty around Azikiwe Road by Asa, Aba, during which one death was recorded. According to Kalu, the suspects believed to number over 30 also carted away arms and ammunition from the team, while one of them, who sustained gunshot wounds was apprehended.
The commissioner also said the governor had approved a cash reward of N5m for anyone who provides the police with useful information that would lead to the arrest of the suspected assassins. “This is in addition to the approval of a reward of N1m for each authentic video evidence on brutality and extra judicial killings by security agents in the state,” he said.
In Osun State, Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, has imposed a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the state, effective from 11.59 pm, Tuesday, October 20, until further notice. A release by the Secretary to the State Government, Wole Oyebanji, urged citizens and residents to comply with the directive as any person found contravening the order would be arrested and made to face the wrath of the law.
According to him, by implication, there shall be no movement except those on essential duties, who will be permitted to move around. “These set of persons must have valid identifications to move around during the period of the curfew”.
The state government, according to him, noted with a high sense of responsibility the unfortunate dangerous dimension the #EndSARS protests have assumed across the country, particularly in the South West States. He added that the events of the last 48 hours have shown clearly that the protests have been hijacked by criminals and hoodlums.
In Ondo state, following reports of the violent trend of #EndSARS protests emanating from neighbouring states, the state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has directed that thereshould be 24 hours curfew in the state till further notice. The Curfew starts by midnight today.
Akeredolu said that certain elements had hijacked the agitation originally meant to correct the manifest wrongs for which the operatives of the defunct SARS were accused. He made this known during a special broadcast to address the people of the state on the nationwide protests organized by the youths on alleged police brutality by officers and men of the Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).
– Oct. 21, 2020 @ 9:35 GMT |