CP Hakeem Odumosu, the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, has made a U-turn on its earlier warning against any gathering or organisation of protest in commemoration of the first anniversary of last year’s #EndSARS protest in the state.
Odumosu, speaking to media on Saturday while monitoring the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state congress election in Lagos, described demonstrations as a right that citizens have.
He went on to say that the state police command will be prepared to defend protesters.
Meanwhile, the Lagos Police Command previously stated, “The police in the state would not fold their arms and allow certain misguided elements to disrupt the peace and serenity now enjoyed in the state.”
“To forestall breakdown of law and order, the police will use all legitimate means within their constitutional powers to suppress the planned protest…”
But Odumosu has made a U-turn, saying the police only want the organisers of such protests to work together and have a meeting point, NAN reports.
He said: “If you want to protest, it is your right under the law but you don’t have to block the road because, in the process of obstructing the road, you are no longer protesting for a better life for people.
“However, what happens to pregnant women in an emergency, what happens to collapsed buildings, fire incidents when the roads are blocked?
“Don’t forget that this is Lagos, it is the economy of the country and it is equally a working day and you can imagine those lives that earn their living on a daily basis.
“There are some people that cannot feed their families when protesters block the road definitely.”
The commissioner appealed to the #EndSARS protesters to give the police adequate information to ensure their protection and free flow of traffic