Deji Adeyanju, an activist and convener of Concerned Nigeria group, has said the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, has no right to stop the #EndSARS protest billed for Saturday.
According to him, the constitution has made provisions for citizens to peacefully protest. He also said during the military regime, protests were held in the country.
“The insane comment by the commissioner of police, Lagos State that there should be no protest shows that he’s one of the profound enemies of democracy in the country. How can he be in such a position and not even know what the law says? He has said no protest will be allowed in Lagos, what he is saying is unconstitutional and it’s null and void.
“It’s only someone drunk or insane that can abrogate powers he does not have and make remarks contrary to the constitution because the constitution has stated this and several courts in the land have agitated on this matter that no one has the rights to stop Nigerians from protesting, then one power-drunk, irresponsible lunatic sitting somewhere in an office in Lagos will just declare that there can be no protest in Lagos State as if we are running a banana republic.
“We are using this as an opportunity to remind these vagabonds in power that during the military regime, protests were going on in the country, let alone in a so-called democracy where charlatans have been appointed into positions of office, charlatans that are being paid with taxpayers’ money to come and stop peaceful protesters in a democracy. It’s unheard of,” Adeyanju said.
Adeyanju, who is one of the leading #EndSARS campaigners, said there is no going back on the #OccupyLekkiTollGate protest.
He called on all concerned Nigerians to stand up for their rights and fight against injustice.
Adeyanju alleged that the #DefendLagos team were simply thugs hired to disrupt the #EndSARS protest.
“We are always on the side of the people. The people who are claiming they want to defend Lagos, were they not the same people hired as thugs during the last protest? They attacked peaceful protesters, very unpatriotic of them.
“The people of Nigeria must rise to ensure that their rights count. The constitution has said citizens can protest while non-entities somewhere said otherwise. You can imagine the effrontery, the guts that people have to upsurge the constitution, violate people’s fundamental rights and even boast about it.
“Those are the kinds of vagabonds we have in power in this country, who have no regard for the rule of law. They have no regard that we run a constitutional democracy where the constitution is supreme to all laws in the country. They have no regard for the supremacy of the constitution, the police commissioner in Lagos is challenging the supremacy of the constitution with mere drunken utterances.”
He further said the Lekki Concession Company, managers of the toll gate where some #EndSARS protesters were killed by the army last October, shouldn’t be allowed to continue business operations at the tollgate as justice has yet to be served.
He described the tolls to be paid there as ‘blood money’.
“The protest must go on, there is no going back on the issue surrounding the #EndSARS campaign. They cannot kill innocent people; justice has not been served and they say they want to open the tollgate and start collecting blood money again, it can’t happen in a democracy.”
When asked if it was safe to continue with the planned protest, especially with threats from some quarters, he said, “Is Nigeria safe for anybody? During the #EndSARS protest, were innocent protesters not attacked and harassed in this country? Soldiers shot at peaceful protesters sitting on the floor, holding the Nigerian flag, singing the national anthem, so, which part of the country is safe?
“If citizens don’t rise to reclaim their country, to ensure that their fundamental rights are upheld, these animals in power will one day wake up and say we can no longer breathe air or even drink water in our own country.”
Adeyanju said he would be at the protest ground on Saturday, while encouraging others to be part of the protest.