Lagos #ENDSARS protesters turn to booze, music to keep spirits high
Protesters that blocked the Lekki toll gate and Chevron Conservation tollgate on Thursday evening were in very ‘high’ spirits as music, alcohol, and tobacco flowed freely.
The Lekki tollgate has been under lockdown by protesters for more than eight days by protesters who are demanding reforms in Nigeria’s police force and a change in their model of operations. A rogue police unit notorious for brutality, kidnapping, extortions, and killings provided the fodder for the protesters.
Before they were disbanded by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) the dreaded Special Anti-Robbery Squad popularly called SARS operated without restraints; stopping any young person for either carrying dreadlocks, spotting a tattoo, driving an expensive car, or carrying a premium phone. They made arbitrary arrests that ended the lives of victims, cleared out people’s life savings, and left families bereaved.
Some of the protesters who were once victims of the rogue unit have had a lot of memories to relieve. Their experiences have also found its way into the demands of the protesters who want officers that had a hand in the brutality and killings to be prosecuted.
As the protest continues the demands are beginning to evolve as protesters target the salaries of lawmakers. But it appears the spirit is beginning to wane and would need to be shored up with other distractions.
Hence, the need for alcohol, tobacco, and music. While most people think these morale boosters have their place and are justified, others are beginning to complain.
“I feel like the people giving food and drinks at Lekki toll gate protest ground should stop. Because most people go there just for the food and entertainment, not the main issue we are all tackling, let those that will stop coming because of food stop,” said @demola_sleek one of the protesters at Lekki.
Besides alcohol, tobacco, and music, there is now a snooker board at the venue. Some protesters are already organising for a big screen to watch the premier league on Saturday afternoon. According to sources close to the plan, organisers have already secured 2000 cans of Heineken to be distributed to protesters during the league match.
“They should not turn Lekki toll gate to a carnival or a place where they go to pick up babes, take off the snooker board n arrest anyone selling weed let the real protesters with placards go to protest, I went there by 7 yesterday for the first time and I was sad,” another protester called Confidence Lambert said.
The sale of weeds or Marijuana was said to be rampant at the Chevron Conservation Tollgate blockade. A protester who said she ate pizza and drinks at the Lekki tollgate and moved to the Chevron with the hopes of eating dinner only to find out that only weed and alcohol were being distributed.
Meanwhile, motorists who were held up for hours in traffic from Jakande to Chevron were finally allowed to pass when the street party ended at 10pm.