… National monuements destroyed in Abuja, Lagos, Abia, Imo
… Sanwo-Olu orders flag at half mast
Following the killing of some protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, yesterday, the on-going #ENDSARS movement across the federation, that began as peaceful demonstration is assuming a violent dimension to mutate into protests in some places.
From Lagos to Abuja, Oyo to Ondo, Owerri, Aba, among others, there are reports that hoodlums hijacked the movement to unleash mayhem on public properties and assets traceable to some highly placed individuals.
In Lagos, a popular broadcast medium, TV Continentale in Ketu, was set on fire with properties worth millions of naira burnt. Eye witnesses said the station was set ablaze by protesters. Although official account blamed it on a spark from faulty electricity within the building, reports indicate the building was set ablaze by an angry mob in reprisal of government’s alleged deployment of soldiers to shoot at protesters at Lekki Toll Gate.
Also, headquarters of Nigerian Ports Authority in Marina, Lagos, joined list of buildings that was set ablaze when the complex was torched and some assets set for vandalisation before heavily armed dispersed the irate mob. Fire fighters were already making attempts to put the fire out.
Earlier, the residence of Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s family home in Surulere was torched in same way as BRT buses in Oyingbo.
Only yesterday, Gov. Sanwo-Olu had ordered a 24-hour curfew in the state following reports of an attack on Orile Iganmu Police Station which it was burnt down. But as at this morning, three more police stations followed suit at Ajeronmi, Ilesamaja and Ebute Meta, where a local government headquarter was razed.
The palace of Oba of Lagos, located at Iga Idugaran, Lagos Island, was also attacked with vehicles vandalised and several artefacts allegedly carted away.
Protesters were seen making away with the staff of office commonly referred to as ‘Opa Ase.’
A resident of Lagos Island said the thugs who invaded the palace were the same ones who set the family home of Gov. Sanwo-Olu ablaze.
“When the thugs went to attack Sanwo-Olu’s father’s home, some of them were shot by the police. This infuriated them and they were able to engage the police in a gun duel and overpower them. The policemen, who are attached to the Adeniji Adele Police Station, quickly made a retreat,” he said.
The Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Buses in Lagos State has been set ablaze, the park which is situated at Oyingbo, was reported to be set ablaze by angry Nigeria youths this morning.
The attack was reportedly a reprisal as eyewitness says security officers allegedly killed two citizens earlier today.
Similarly, armed, uniformed security operatives, yesterday, evening opened fire on protesters at Lekki Toll Gate killing many.
In a move to douse tension, Sanwo-Olu, today, suspended all government activities for 72 hours in view of growing violence in the state.
The governor made this known in a live statewide broadcast.
“Fellow Lagosians, in the sensitive mood and in the mood of the nation at this time, I have directed further that we have an immediate suspension of all state activities for the next three days, except those that are connected to the security activities in the state and the management of the current issues. I have also directed that at all public buildings within our reach that we lower the flag for the next three days as a mark of respect and solidarity for the protests,” he said.
However, Sanwo-Olu, said no death was recorded in the Lekki Toll Gate shooting.
The governor explained that only two critically wounded victims had been operated on and were in stable condition while others with “mild to moderate” cases are still receiving treatments at various hospitals in the area.
But he admitted that soldiers opened fire on #EndSARS protesters in a bid to disperse them, saying he was engaging the leadership of the Nigerian Army on the development.
According to him, the control of military forces was not under his purview.
“For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the military. I have, nonetheless, ordered an investigation into the rules of engagement adopted by men of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate last night. This is with a view to take this up with higher commands of the Nigerian Army and to seek the intervention of Mr President in his capacity to as the Commander-In-Chief to unravel the sequence of events that happened yesterday (Tuesday) night. Fellow Lagosians, whilst we pray for the swift recovery of the injured, we have not recorded any fatality as against the widespread circulation on social media,” Sanwo-Olu said.
Equally, angry protesters today, occupied Bourdilllion Avenue residence of National Leader, Ahmed Bola Tinubu.
In a related development, protesters clashed with police in Abuja, after a police station around Dutse-Makaranta area was allegedly burnt down.
It was initially a peaceful protest that had started at around 7:30am with protesters blasting hip hop music before police started throwing tear gas canisters to disperse the crowd, and later opened fire on them.
Other protesters from Sokale Junction, close to the Dutse-Makaranta tried rescuing their colleagues from counter-protesters amid rain of bullets. Some people reportedly died on the spot apart from those who sustained various degrees of injuries from the gunfire.
But FCT Police Command denied having anything to do with the case, saying that the protesters were at fault and had left two persons dead and one injured.
Residents in Osogbo today, defied the 24-hour curfew imposed by Osun State Government.
However, scores of soldiers stormed Olaiya, the convergence spot of the End SARS protesters with six Hilux vehicle, but were stopped by the protesters.
The military personnel, who addressed the protesters, were without badge or name tag on them.
The state government had on Tuesday, imposed a 24-hour curfew on the residents of the state.
Some protesters and concerned youths trooped to the streets as early as 7:30am to mount roadblocks on major roads across the metropolis.
End SARS protesters also resumed their protest at Olaiya Junction around 8:am despite the curfew imposed.
Addressing the protesting youths, one of the troops who had earlier joined the protesters with the Nigerian flag in his hand said they were not on ground to launch attack on the protesters.
He said there was the need for the protesters to obey the executive order of the state governor, Gboyega Oyetola, emphasising that they will not attack the protesters.
As at the time of filing this report, no security agent is on ground at the scenes of the protest.
Also, All Progressives Congress secretariat in Akure, the Ondo State capital, is currently under attack.
The secretariat located at the Cathedral area of the state capital has been taken over by an angry mob.
This follows the killing of peaceful protesters across the country by security operatives on Tuesday.
Many protesters mostly at the Oloko Junction area of Akure have been wounded by armed policemen drafted to dislodge them.
As of the time of this report, staff of the secretariat had evacuated the building.
Apart from destruction of properties in Lagos and other cities, violence that rocked #EndSARS protests across the country took a bloody turn that led to death of 43 protesters and six policemen.
Protests assumed a violent dimension last week when thugs attacked peaceful protesters in Lagos and Abuja.
The hoodlums, who have been attacking protesters in Abuja, became emboldened on Tuesday, when they killed six protesters at Waru, Wumba and Kubwa, all in Abuja.
In Lagos alone, no fewer than 29 people, including two policemen, were killed when the police shot protesters in different parts of the state.
In Mushin, 17 people lost their lives during a clash involving hoodlums and policemen attached to the Olosan Division.
Hoodlums reportedly barricaded the Oduwoye Junction in Mushin to deny the Divisional Police Officer, Olosan Division and some policemen access to the route to a destination in the area.
In the process, a confrontation ensued between hoodlums and policemen who reportedly retreated to their base.
However, tragedy struck when the policemen led by the DPO, reinforced to the Oduwoye Junction and started releasing bullets into the air to scare away the hoodlums.
An eyewitness said when the hoodlums refused to leave the road, in a bid to disperse them, the policemen allegedly released some bullets into the crowd, adding that no fewer than 17 people had been reported dead.
Five persons, including two policemen and three #EndSARS protesters, were also killed during a clash involving policemen attached to Orile Police Division and some protesters in the Orile area of the state.
Suspected hoodlums that hijacked the #EndSARS protests in Aba, Abia State today afternoon set the Aba Town Hall headquarters of Aba South Local Government Area on fire and looted office equipment, furniture and fittings in the council.
The report came few hours after hundreds of the hoodlums who attacked the police divisional headquarters left the officers at the station scampering for safety before setting the station on fire.