Armed operatives of the Nigeria police descended on unarmed and peaceful #OcuppyLekkiTollgate protesters who made do their threat to gather at the Lekki Toll Gate ahead of its reopening, months after a massacre of #EndSARS demonstrators.
The policemen who had stationed themselves at the venue ahead ‘of the rally, Saturday, forcefully arrested the protesters, including video comedy skit maker, Debo Adebayo, popularly known as Mr Macaroni.
Both the Federal and the state governments had earlier expressed disapproval over the planned protest.
A video circulating on social media Saturday morning with the hashtag #occupylekkitollgate, claims over 10 protesters have been arrested and forced into the police Black Maria van.
“We have been arrested—over ten of us. We are kept in a Black Maria stationed at the toll gate now,” the protesters said in the video.
Another protester, Kunle Ajayi, one of the coordinators, equally confirmed the development, saying, “Police have just arrested 10 protesters – Four ladies and six guys. They were beaten mercilessly and injured,” he said.
The video also confirmed a policeman’s voice, presumed to be the leader, instructing protesters to be placed into the Black Maria van and moved away.
Since the early hours of Friday, armed police officers have begun to station themselves at the toll gate to guide against any form of protest.
HumAngle reported how tension rose ahead of the protest after an announcement to reopen the toll gate suffice.
While several human right activists, social media influencers and lawyers have taken to their social media accounts to condemn the arrest of peaceful protesters, human rights organisation Amnesty International (AI) has also joined in the clamour for justice.
AI wrote on its Twitter page, “Amnesty International is calling on all Nigerian authorities to demonstrate a commitment to protecting the right to peaceful protest.
“Previous attempts by security agents to repress peaceful protests have led to human rights violations and abuses.
“The Nigerian govt. must ensure that when protesters exercise their right to freedom of assembly, it must be without fear of harassment or attacks by hoodlums or others opposed to the protests. Security operatives must refrain from excessive use of force on protesters.”
Additional info: HumAngle