One Year after EndSARS# , Group Appeals against Protest
A civil rights group, the Defend Lagos Coalition (DLC), has appealed against any plan to stage violent protests in commemoration of one year anniversary of EndSARS# protest because it would be counterproductive in the end.
The DLC insisted that if any such action to take place, it should to be done within the confines of the law.
Addressing the press at the International Press Centre, Ogba, Ikeja, Lagos State, the leader of the DLC, Mr. Nelson Ekujumi, said the protesters should ensure that the protest did not lead to crisis, because the state could not afford to suffer again the losses it recorded during the protest staged last year.
“Lagos is the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria, and nobody will allow anything that will destroy the state. We can’t tell them not to protest. They have right to protest. But you must protest within your right and respect other people’s right,” Ekujumi said.
The group, which went about with the banner “EndSARS never again” said a lot of things have been said about killings during last year’s EndSARS protest, but there is no evidence to substantiate that there was any massacre.
He said: “What happened on that day, (sic) a massacre never occur, we are waiting for the panel set up to tell us what happened.”
Ekujumi said the protest staged last year left a sad note in the history of Lagos State and set the state backward economically and socially because the protest was not well coordinated.
“We are veteran when it comes to protest. They have the right to protest, but we will not subscribe to a protest that will lead to anarchy and killing of people. They must do it in a peaceful way, it should be a peaceful protest,” he said.
Speaking in the same vein, a member of the group, Declan Ikharea, said: “We won’t subscribe to the fact that Nigerians should not protest. In a situation where protest is not coordinated, lack leadership, it leads to anarchy. The EndSARS protesters lost the trust of the protest, when the so called leaders lost control of those they were leading. I do not subscribe to any sort of anarchy, destruction; protest is our language to express grievances.”
The group also called on the Nigeria Police Force to recognise the fundamental rights of citizens and exhibit professionalism in its effort to protect the economic and human rights of Lagosians to move about without hindrance. It added that its commitment is to ensure peace reign in Lagos.