Lagos State declares a 24-hour curfew as hoodlums hijack protests

The Lagos State government has announced a 24-hour curfew across the state beginning at 4 PM today, October 20, 2020.

Lagos State declares a 24-hour curfew as hoodlums hijack protests

Update: The Lagos State government at 7:08 PM announced that the 24-hour curfew should not start until 9:00 PM

But just as the update on the curfew was announced, protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate were being shot at.

The Lagos State government has announced a 24-hour curfew beginning at 4:00 PM today, October 20, 2020, because hoodlums have hijacked #EndSARS protest.

"I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society. Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state", Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said. "As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state".

I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020. Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets

The announcement, which was made on Twitter, follows recent report that hoodlums have hijacked the peaceful protests against police brutality happening in the state. The #EndSARS movement had been remarkably peaceful since it started in Lagos on October 8, 2020. Despite being harrassed by the police and army, protesters across the country have conducted themselves peacefully.

However, since October 17 when the Nigerian Army announced that its annual CROCODILE SMILE exercise, attacks on the #EndSARS movement have increased. The exercise is scheduled to run from October 20 to December 31, 2020.

On Monday, October 19, the Edo State government imposed a 24-hour curfew across the state with effect from 4:00 PM till further notice.

Similarly, the Lagos State Governor did not state when the statewide curfew would end.

Meanwhile, following the curfew announcement, the Lagos State Police Command has said "henceforth, no protest or gathering or possession, under whatever guise, is permitted in Lagos State.

According to the statement signed by the Command Public Relations Officer, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, all security agencies have deployed adequate personnel to take charge and enforce the curfew across the state.

"In the same vein, the command regrets to confirm the setting ablaze of  Orile Police State today at about 10am, where some of our policemen were  critically injured and unconfirmed reports state that one of them is dead," Olumiya said.

"Its crystal clear that the Endsars protest has been hijacked by hoodlums who want to run down the state and the police command will resist such state of anarchy, unrest and brouhaha with all powers within the ambit of the law".

This is a developing story, more details will be added pronto.

At 9 PM, the update on curfew and the unfortunate event at Lekki was added.

Cover image courtesy Al Jazeera

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