#DefendLagos group refuses to participate in the protest on the Lecchi motorway
Alabi Oladimeji, initiator of #DefendLagos, said the group has suspended a counter-protest scheduled for today (Saturday) on #Lekkitollgate.
He announced this at a press conference hosted on his Facebook page, noting that the suspension was prompted by assurances from the federal and state governments that the protest would not be resolved.
PUNCH reported that two rival camps – #OccupyLekkiTollGate and #DefendLagos – were planning to hold separate protests in Lagos state on Saturday.
Oladimeji, however, warned that #DefendLagos would be organizing a “huge” protest if security officials allowed #OccupyLekkiTollgate activists to carry out the planned protest.
He said: “No protests from #DefendLagos on Saturday (today). We respect the state and federal governments at the same time.
“I am proud to announce that in the meantime, we will look forward to this protest due to federal and state law. We are law-abiding and decent citizens, of course, we should not be seen in violation of the law.
“As for President Muhammadu Bukhari and Governor of Lagos Babajide Sanvo-Olu. I declare that all participants in the #DefendLagos I have initiated must suspend the protest immediately. On Saturday (today) we will no longer hold protests.
“If Lagos and FG fail, we’ll go out on Monday and protest.”
He explained that, while depressing, the plan for the protest was never aimed at personal gain, but was aimed at preventing destruction in Lagos state.
“This is sad news for me, because we have invested personal resources in the production of banners, posters and other things on this topic. But this is not the way to make money like OccupyLagos, ”he added.
The #DefendLagos activist also called on governments to arrest anyone who violates directives banning protests in the state.
“If they come out to protest, and the government allows it, then we can also protest. We trust governments. The state and FG have banned any protests in Lagos. If they come out and the government does not arrest them, it means that the government has let us down, ”he said.
The federal government and police have previously warned young people who intended to protest Saturday (today) at the Lecchi toll station to rethink and reject the protests.
But young Nigerians under the auspices of #EndSARS Season 2 and #OccupyLekkiTollgate have vowed to challenge the government order.
They said their actions were based on a decision by the Lagos State Judicial Investigation Commission allowing the Lekki concession company to reopen the Lekki toll collection point.
The #EndSARS protests spread across the country in October 2020 to record complaints from young people about the alleged atrocities of the Nigeria Police Anti-Robbery Task Force.
The protest, which attracted huge international attention, came to an end on October 20, 2020, when soldiers reportedly gunned down protesters at a toll station in Lecchi.
PUNCH said the Lagos State Judicial Commission investigating the alleged killing of #EndSARS protesters by soldiers at the Lecchi toll booth has approved the reopening of the toll booth on Saturday after approximately four months of investigating the Lekki shooting.
However, four of the nine members of the jury criticized the report of forensic experts hired to examine the scene for evidence.
The four members charged with the forensic report also denied a request from Lekki Concession Company, the operator of the Lekki toll station, to take possession of the facility, which has been closed since the investigation into the shooting began.
The four members who rejected the forensic report were two from civil society – Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (San Francisco) and Ms. Patience Udoh; and two youth representatives on the panel, Rinu Odwala and Temitope Majekodunmi.
But the chairman of the commission, retired judge Doris Okuvobi, and four other members of the commission agreed to the LCC’s request to return the toll booth.
The President was supported by Shogun Avosanya (better known as Segalink), Oluwatoyin Odusanya (Director of Civil Rights), DIG Taiwo Lakana (Ret.) (Police Representative) and Lucas Koyejo (from the National Human Rights Commission).