The Federal Government has vowed to crackdown on any form of protest in and around Lagos in the name of #OccupyLekkiTollGate scheduled for Saturday, warning conveners of such protests to desist or face the heavy arm of law enforcement agents.
Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture, issued the warning at a press conference on Thursday in Abuja, stressing that the Federal Government will not allow a repeat of the kind of lawlessness that snowballed to wanton destruction of scores of lives and property worth trillions of naira nationwide.
Some #EndSARS protest proponents have given notice of their plan to return to Lagos-Lekki Toll Gate on February 13, calling for protest against the decision to open the Lekki Toll Gate for business, even as the panel investigating the alleged shooting of peaceful protesters at the toll gate last year was yet to conclude its finding.
The decision of the panel to open the Lekki Toll Gate had polarised the panel members who accused their chairman of bias.
The #OccupyLekkiTollGate flyers have been circulating online, with the proponents threatening that “Lagos will burn” again.
The minister, however, warned those eager to unleash mayhem again on Lagos to desist, insisting that much as government allows people to protest peacefully, that there is no guarantee the protest this time would not be hijacked.
He said, “Some EndSARS proponents have given notice of their plan to return to Lagos-Lekki Toll Gate to be specific – on Saturday, February 13, 2021. The #OccupyLekkiTollGate flyers have been circulating online, with the proponents threatening that ‘Lagos will burn’ again.
“Let me be clear. While peaceful protests are the constitutional rights of Nigerians, violent protests are not. 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 destabilising the country. We cannot and must not allow this to happen”.
Going forward, he stressed that the Federal Government will not allow act capable of destabilising the country rear their ugly head, vowing, “Never again will the Federal Government allow the kind of violence that was perpetrated across the country under the guise of the EndSARS last October. Never again will anyone or group be allowed to destroy cities or to kill and maim innocent citizens, including security agents, under any guise.
“We, therefore, strongly warn those who are planning to re-occupy Lekki Toll Gate on Saturday to desist. We know that many of those who have been loudest on social media in advertising the plan to reconvene in Lagos on Saturday are not even in Nigeria. They are elsewhere around the world fanning the embers of violence and inciting gullible people back home. No one should fall for their antics.”