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Lagos June 12: Police surround Gani Fawehinmi Park, as protesters arrive

Lagos June 12: Police surround Gani Fawehinmi Park, as protesters arrive

Protesters have arrived at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in the Ojota area, the venue of the June 12 protest in Lagos State. This is despite the heavy presence of security operatives at the park.

 

Operatives of the Rapid Response Squad (RSS) had earlier gone to surround the Park.

 

About three Hilux Vehicles and two armoured tanks were seen at the venue on Saturday. Three people who wanted to enter the park were prevented from doing so by the personnel in the vehicles, according to PUNCH.

 

Also, in a show of force, one armoured tank and five Hilux Vehicles patrolled the area.

 

 


Journalists from different media houses are currently on the ground.

Lagos June 12: Police surround Gani Fawehinmi Park, as protesters arrive

The protesters brandished different placards with inscriptions including, “Buhari must go”, “Revert electricity tariff now”, “End Bad Government”.

 

POLICE FACES THE ‘ENEMIES’

Minutes after they arrived, men of the Lagos State Police Command on Saturday morning fired tear gas canisters at the protesters gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park in Lagos, venue of the June 12 Democracy Day protest.

 

The protesters were demanding an end to bad governance when they were tear-gassed by the security operatives.

June 12 protest at Ojota1

Several digital flyers, widely circulated on social media on Friday, had publicised meeting points in Lagos, Gombe, Calabar (Cross River), Yola (Adamawa), Bauchi, Abeokuta (Ogun), Yenagoa (Bayelsa), Port Harcourt (Rivers), Ibadan (Oyo), Ilorin (Kwara), Enugu, Akure (Ondo), Yobe, and Zaria (Kaduna).

 

 


One poster by #RevolutionNow read, “Join the June 12 protest. No more poverty, hunger and insecurity in Nigeria… Enough Is Enough! Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come.”

 

Another poster for a protest in Kaiserslautern, Germany read, “Buhari must go! Let’s come together to say no to government funding terrorism: Boko Haram terrorism and banditry, one litre of petrol equals N165, bad roads, poor hospitals, kidnapping, economic recession, police brutality, disregard for the rule of law, poor health sector, poor education.”

 

Similar flyers targeted at protesters in New York (US), Kaduna State and the Federal Capital Territory listed the same points but added, “N30,000 minimum wage, N13.5m senators’ salary, Nigeria is over N30tn in debt.”

 

One poster for a protest tagged ‘Buhari Must Go Party’ was aimed at supporters in London, United Kingdom. Similar ‘Buhari must go’ posters also targeted protesters in Toronto (Canada), Austin (Texas, USA), Calabar, Kebbi, and Lagos.

 

However, police commands in several states across the country, including Lagos, Bayelsa, Kogi, Cross River, Delta, Edo, Ekiti and Akwa Ibom, argued that they were unaware of any planned protest in their respective states. Some states, including Oyo and Kwara, embarked on a show of force on Friday.

 

They also promised to uphold law and order in the state amid plans of demonstrations circulating on social media.

 

 


But the Convener of #RevolutionNow, Omoyele Sowore, told Saturday PUNCH in a series of text messages that there was no legal backing for the security forces to deter protesters.

 

He said, “The Nigeria Police has no right to tell Nigerians not to participate in protests. It is an inalienable right. Our group will go ahead regardless of the obstacles. If the police decide to use unreasonable force, let it be known that the officers involved will be held responsible even after they retire.

 

“June 12 is about real democracy and free and fair elections; the Buhari regime reminds us all of the criminal annulment of democratic rule in 1993.”

 

Earlier, the Lagos State Police Command claimed it is unaware of any planned protests by any group/groups on June 12 Democracy Day.

 

The command has also assured residents of safety during the June 12 celebrations.

 

The spokesman of the command, CSP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said this in a statement on Friday.

 

 


The Commissioner of Police in Lagos, Hakeem Odumosu, said the public should disregard such directives by organisers of the alleged protest for people to stay at home during the protest.

 

He, therefore, appealed to the public to disregard any sit-at-home order called by certain groups which is being circulated in social media and go about their lawful businesses.

 

“The police and other security agencies have made necessary arrangements to maintain law and order across the state,” he said.

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