BY ISMAILA OGUNTADE, Lagos
There was a heavy police presence at the Lekki Toll Gate area, Lagos, ahead of a planned mass action by #EndSARS protesters to protest the planned reopening of the Lekki Toll Gate.
LEADERSHIP Weekend observed that more than a dozen armed police officers were stationed outside the Toll Plaza last night preparatory to the planned protest scheduled to begin from 7: 00am today.
The mass action is to protest their misgivings on the order permitting the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) to repossess the toll gate in the state.
The state commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, had at a previous briefing said the security intelligence gathered by the Police Command indicated the “Occupy Lekki Toll Gate” protest and planned counter rallies would degenerate into a breakdown of law and order, stressing that the police will not allow any group to carry out the action.
The police chief said adequate arrangements on the deployment of security forces had been put in place to stop any violent protest, gathering and procession in any part of Lagos, stressing that the Police Command would rise in protection of law-abiding residents from any form of the violence.
He said: “The Police Command has gathered credible intelligence that some hidden agents of destruction and shadow parties that orchestrated the last EndSARS violence have concluded plans to cause another mayhem in Lagos and spread the same to other parts of the country, tactically and spontaneously, like the recent violence.
“Premised on the available intelligence and due threat analyses carried out on the planned protest, the Police Command perceives such proposed protest as a calculated attempt to cause pandemonium and massive destruction of lives and properties under whatever guide; such will not be allowed to hold in Lagos.”
Odumosu appealed to the general public to advise their wards to ignore mobilisation for the protest and gathering in flouting the existing peace and security situation of the state.
He said the police would resist the protest with necessary force, while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.