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Lagos State Environmental Tasks Force officials with policemen and persons suspected to be thugs have burnt down a community whose residents witnessed and provided details of the incident of October 20 direct shooting of peaceful #ENDSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lekki Tollgate.

Residents of the community also accused the divisional police officer of the nearby Maroko Police Division, Raji Ganiyu, of shooting and killing some of the protesters. Mr Ganiyu denied the allegation.

Residents of the community who spoke to newsmen said policemen and some officials of the environmental task force, arrived at the community and told them to vacate their residences within 24 hours.

When reached for comment, the spokesperson of the Lagos State Environmental Taskforce, Taofeek Adebayo, asked for 30 minutes to find out why the community was demolished and burnt.

When he was reached later, he directed newsmen to the police for comment.

The Lagos State Police Command spokesperson, Muyiwa Adejobi said he was not aware of the demolition but promised to find out. He is yet to revert on this.

Police have arrested at least 10 protesters on Saturday morning at the Lekki Tollgate. 

Kunle Ajayi, one of the organizers of the #OccupyLekkiTollgate said, “Police have just arrested 10 protesters – Four ladies and six guys. They were beaten mercilessly and injured,”

In a video on social media, one of the arrested protesters also said, “We have been arrested. Over 10 of us. We are kept in a black maria stationed at the toll gate now.”

The Federal Government had previously warned the youths against the planned protest at the Lekki Tollgate. However, young Nigerians defy the government’s order by protesting under the aegis of #EndSARS Season 2 and #OccupyLekkiTollgate on Saturday.  

Moreover, the other group #DefendLagos takes no part in a protest following the directive of the government that went against the protest. 

The organizers of the EndSARS protests to be held at the Lekki tollgate have added the ban on cryptocurrency amidst other reasons why the protest must hold. 

In a press statement on Thursday titled ‘EndSARS Season 2; Why we will #OccupyLekkiTollGate on Saturday —Campaigners’, the reason for the protest is linked to the decision of the Lagos State Judicial Panel probing the alleged killings of protesters at the Lekki tollgate on Oct. 20, 2020. 

The organizers of the protest have also shown no concern for the warnings of security operatives and counter-protesters.  

According to the statement, “After commiting genocide by killing scores of people who were peacefully protesting at Lekki Tollgate and other parts of Lagos, Governor Sanwo-Olu and other oppressors wants to spit on the dead and dance on the blood of the innocent by reopening the yahoo gate to be collecting their blood money as again.

We say NO! We are undaunted! We will be occupying Lekki Tollgate again starting from Saturday February 13. We urge all well-meaning Nigerians to storm back all the barricades as our rulers have shown that they can never change. Since the #EndSARS, they are yet to effect any of the promises. Police brutality is still raging and SARS is still operating.

Despite overwhelming and highly compelling evidence showing how several protesters were shot by the military, no single military personnel has been brought to book.

Deaths have been established and many victims of the Lekki shootings have surfaced, yet neither the victims nor families of our deceased colleagues have got justice.

After close to five months of sitting, the judicial panel meant to inquire into the Lekki massacre has refused to deliver justice to victims of the massacre most of whom have either lost their limbs due to gun wounds or have become deceased.

Government has refused to provide employment for young people, yet they went ahead to ban the most promising source of income of young people; cryptocurrency.

Nigerians are extremely poorer and yet the cost of food is on the high side with increased cost of electricity that only produces darkness. Petrol price is being increased as marketers want it at #190 per litre.

Nigerians are no longer secured in any part of the country; when they are not being harassed or extrajudicially murdered by police, they are being kidnapped, mimed and killed by bandits.

Today, the life of cows has become more valuable than those of Nigerians even as our streets and communities have fallen to the rule of kidnappers and bandits.

It is to this end that we call on you all to come out enmasse to demand not just justice for victims and fallen heroes of the October 20 killings but that all involved in this heinous criminality be brought to book. Come out to demand the right to life and to exist in a country that respects our rights as citizens, abhors police brutality/extrajudicial killings, provides us with security, decent jobs with good wages and other such socio-economic rights that come with being a citizen.”

The Federal Government has promised to hunt down any new #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki Tollgate. 

It said protesters are only constitutionally allowed at designated places, not toll gates. 

It, therefore, warned Nigerians against blocking toll gates as protests are usually taken over to destroy properties and cause violence. 

The minister of Information, Alh. Lai Mohammed in Abuja spoke against the renewed #EndSARS protest coming up on Saturday. 

He said, “However, any further resort to violence in the name of #EndSARS will not be tolerated this time. The attack, looting, and razing of 269 private and public property will not happen again. The killing of 57 civilians will not be re-enacted, ” he said.

He also added that the planners of the protest are non-Nigerian and securities are put in place to curtail the protest. 

The government has approved to re-open the Lekki toll gate and this has triggered a feeling of anger in the hearts of some Nigerian youths. 

Youths have threatened to begin a fresh protest if the government re-opens the toll gate without justice for those who died during the endsars protest.

In preparation, the Nigerian youths has taken to their social media handles with #RevolutionNow and #OccupyLekkiTollGate to mobilize others, fliers, pictures and hashtags have gone viral on twitter to create an awareness. 

The protest is scheduled to kick off at 7am on Saturday, February 13, 2021.

On Sunday, the Lagos State Government said full implementation of the cashless policy at the Lekki/Ikoyi Bridge Toll Plaza would commence on Monday, January 20th.

 Dr Frederic Oladeinde, the state Commissioner for Transportation, in a statement by the Public Affairs Unit of the Ministry, said that full implementation of the policy had become necessary. He said the cashless toll initiative had the objective of impacting positively the “reduction of traffic queue length and journey time for Lagosians.”

Oladeinde urged those who are yet to obtain their e-tags to do so as full compliance is being enforced, since the additional two weeks grace for motorists to align had elapsed. He praised the general public for their cooperation and compliance during the implementation period.

Mr Yomi Omomuwasan, the Managing Director, Lekki Concession Company Ltd., also highlighted fIve seamless ways by which people could make their e-payments. The methods include: Interswitch Quickteller Payout, Unified Payment, One Card Direct Top Up, Capricorn Digital And GT Bank’s Simple Pay.

Omomuwasan said that these included e-tag, the vouchers system, the e-card and the LCC Mobile App for top-up. He promised that the company would work round the clock to ensure the success of the new policy. (NAN)