By Tunde Oguntola, Samuel Abulude |
Ahead of a planned protest by #ENDSARS proponent on February 13 at the Lekki toll gate, the federal government yesterday warned that such protest will not be tolerated.
The federal government said while peaceful protests are the constitutional rights of Nigerians, violent protests are not.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja, the minister of information and culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said anyone that is found protesting at the tollgate will be arrested by the security agencies.
‘’At this time, the chances that any peaceful protest will be hijacked are very high. Based on the intelligence at the disposal of the federal government, some Nigerian activists have linked up with others outside Nigeria, including subversive elements, with a view to destabilizing the country. We cannot and must not allow this to happen,’’ he said.
LCC appeals to a group of protesters to cease the planned protests.
Also, the management of the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) yesterday appealed to the two groups of protesters: #OccupyLekkiTollGate and #DefendLagos to refrain from their planned protests on Saturday, February 13 at the Lekki tollgate plaza.
The LCC noted that the protests if allowed to hold could further exacerbate the plans of the management to put the toll plaza back into operation and lead to loss of jobs which in effect would project a bad image on how International lenders would view doing business in Nigeria.
The managing director of LCC, Mr Yomi Omomuwasan, speaking in a media brief in Lagos said, the company was aware of misinformation circulating especially in the social media and noted that the LCC like many Nigerians was distressed by the violence that resulted from the protests and the resultant disruptions to people and businesses.
“We have lately been made aware from media reports that two different groups – #OccupyLekkiTollGate and #DefendLagos/#DemNoBornDemPapaWell – are planning to demonstrate at our already destroyed Admiralty Circle Toll Plaza on Saturday, February 13, 2021 following the decision of the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry to hand the Toll Plaza back to us.
“It was in a bid to halt further losses to our operations, especially given our subsisting financial commitments to local and foreign financial institutions;, that we approached the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry for permission to repossess our facilities.
“Our intent with the request was to enable us evaluate the damages, process insurance claims and rebuild the burnt facilities before the commencement of operations in order to continue to fulfil our loan repayment and other financial obligations,” he added.