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When we saw that #Endsars and #LekkiTollgate trending on social media, we braced ourselves for the worst on Saturday 13th February.
An order by the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry planned to reopen Lekki Tollgate for the first time since October 20th 2020.
Protestors arrived. All they wanted to know was why were there plans to reopen the tollgate?
Reopening the gate is the equivalent of removing a bandage from a wound that hasn’t healed yet.
Nigerian people are still hurt and mourning loved ones from that fateful day.
Before they even raised their banners or sang a chant 40 people were arrested. Journalist Yemisi Adegoke tweeted “What is most striking about some of these arrests, is that they’re happening before anything happens.”
Actor and comedian Debo Macaroni didn’t want to attend the protests as he was scared, what buoyed him was the bravery of others.
He and 39 protestors were arrested then stripped naked and beaten, the police taunted them saying
“If this happened at night we would kill you and nobody would do anything.”
Debo said that their lives were spared due to the diligence of others, spreading their names, whereabouts and locations.
The Lagos Commissioner of Police confirmed to the BBC that 40 people were arrested and charged for: conspiracy, conduct likely to breach the peace and violation of Covid-19 regulations.
A video went viral of the arrested protestors being harassed on the bus, the Lagos Commissioner of Police has ordered an investigation.
He declared it “unprofessional and inhumane and those responsible will be brought to book.”
The 40 protestors that were arrested were released and taken to safety.
Again we thank the lawyers, organisations and people who were on the ground to make sure nobody was in permanent danger.
Nigerians have the legal right to protest without intimidation or force.