Police debunk reported resumption of ENDSARS protests in Abuja
The Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command has debunked reported resumption of the ENDSARS protests in the nation’s capital even as it advised citizens to desist from such rumours and go about their normal activities.
The Public Relations Officer of the FCT Police Command, Yusuf Mariam, who spoke to BusinessDay on the phone on Monday, said “Abuja is peaceful and calm”.
In a statement she later issued on Monday The FCT Police relations officer told the public to disregard the viral videos and pictures in circulation in the social media suggesting that another ‘ENDSARS protest’ was staged in the Federal Capital Territory on Monday 7th December,2020.
The Command said categorically state that “there was no ENDSARS protest in the FCT hence, members of the public are enjoined to disregard the video which is mischievous and intended to cause tension amongst residents.
“While urging residents to remain calm, law-abiding and go about their legitimate endeavors peacefully, the Command wishes to reiterate its unflinching commitment to the protection of lives and property within the FCT.
“In case of any emergency or distress call these numbers: 08032003913, 08061581938, 07057337653 and 08028940883,” the statement said.
It was reported that huge ENDSARS crowds have allegedly resumed in Ondo state and Abuja over the weekend and continued on Monday after the first waves of protests that attracted the international community.
The ENDSARS Protests had rocked many parts of the country following demands by Nigerian youths that the government disband the dreaded Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS), which was notorious for brutality and rights violations.
The protests which lasted for over two weeks compelled the Federal Government to disband SARS, but the youth pressed on with their demands, which were later expanded to include calls for a change in the governance system and constitutional changes in the country.
The peaceful and well-organised protests later turned bloody when hoodlums allegedly hijacked the protests and unleashed mayhem on the country with killing, arson, looting and destruction of public and private property running into trillions of naira especially in Lagos.
The police suffered perhaps the biggest casualties as many of their posts and stations across the country were burnt down and over 22 police officers reportedly lost their lives in the mayhem according to police sources.
The government was later accused of sending armed soldiers to shoot protesters at the Lekki Toll gate in Lagos on October 20, where an unidentified number of people were allegedly killed by soldiers, prompting a judicial panel of inquiry into the incidents in the most affected states.
The Lekki incident is still generating controversy as the popular Cable News Network (CNN) documentary on the alleged Lekki shooting appeared to have exposed an attempt by the Lagos state government and the military authorities to cover up the killings.