#EndSARS protest: Many feared killed, as hoodlums burn, loot in Lagos, FCT, Kano Plateau, others

  • 24-hr curfew imposed in several states 
  • .SERAP condemns shooting at Lekki protesters 
  • US closes Consulate in Lagos 
  • NUJ urges Buhari to break his silence and address Nigerians  

Demonstrators have continued to persist in daily protests across the country, including the FCT, for almost two weeks over widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment and extortion by a police unit otherwise known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

In Kano, youths joined the nationwide #EndSARS protests. However, hoodlums reportedly hijacked the protest, killing two women along Airport Road.  Over 15 vehicles were said to have been set ablaze and others vandalised and smashed.

While in Lagos yesterday, the state governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu imposed a 24-hour state-wide curfew, in response to growing protests. Only essential service providers and first responders will be allowed on the streets.

Governor of Ekiti state, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, has also declared a 24-hour curfew in the state, effective from 10 pm yesterday. The governor, in a statement issued by the Secretary to the State Government, Biodun Oyebanji, added that due to the growing concern of how the protest, which started as a peaceful one against police brutality by youths, was hijacked by some hoodlums, who he said capitalised on the situation to rape, assault, rob and extort innocent citizens across the state.

In the same vein, the Edo State Government has extended the 24-hour curfew imposed on the state over the violent protest indefinitely,  and ordered that everyone is expected to remain indoors.

Also reacting, the non-governmental organisation, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has condemned yesterday’s alleged shooting at #EndSARS protesters in Lekki, Lagos state. According to the NGO, the authorities have a duty to protect the right, dignity, freedom of expression, and peaceful assembly of everyone.

The NGO called on the authorities to immediately probe into the alleged shooting at protesters at the Lekki toll gate plaza by security agents or other suspects and ensure they are brought to justice.

SERAP said that the Buhari administration is obliged to respect and protect the rights of people peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and assembly.

Meanwhile, the United States yesterday shut down its Consulate in Lagos for two days over the escalating protests. On its Twitter handle @USinNigeria, the consulate said: “Multiple demonstrations are ongoing across Nigeria – to include areas within the consular districts of Abuja and Lagos.

In another development, the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to break his silence over the ongoing #EndSARS protest that has engulfed the entire nation like wildfire.

The NUJ, in a statement titled “The #EndSARS protest: Speak up now, Mr. President”, issued yesterday by its National Secretary, Shu’aibu Usman Leman, described President Buhari’s continued silence as alarming and urged the president to stop keeping Nigerians waiting any further, noting that the nation is sitting on a time bomb.

The Union also called for the immediate end to all acts of impunity against journalists by the Inspector-General of Police.  

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