#RevolutionNow: How Police stopped protest in Lagos, Osun, Kwara, Rivers, Abuja

#RevolutionNow: How Police stopped protest in Lagos, Osun, Kwara, Rivers, Abuja

Monday, August 5, 2019 6:19 pm

The protesters and Police

Determined to stop the protest, it was gathered that the police and other security operatives had early Monday morning deployed their men across places the protesters have announced as their meeting points or suspected places security operatives believe they are likely to congregate before setting out for the protest.

In Lagos,that security agencies, including the army, civil defence, and the police, had stationed at the stadium entrances restricting everyone, including workers from entering very early in the morning.

Police patrol vehicles, including that of the Rapid Respond Squad (RRS), numbering more than 20, Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC), anti-riot operatives, Civil defence men and military joint Taskforce operatives OP MESSA, were stationed at the two main entrance to the stadium.

As at 8.40 a.m few protesters, wearing orange caps, have started to converge under the stadium bridge, displaying neither banner nor placards.

The barricading of the stadium, forced the protesters numbering about 50 to gather under the stadium bridge and began to sing and requesting the police to let them into the stadium.

The police subsequently requested for reinforcement and five patrol vans filled with heavily armed mobile policemen surfaced. B

ut the security operatives who were waiting  for the protesters aborted the planned #RevolutionNow protest, by dispersing the protesters in front of the Stadium with tear-gas.

Tear gas were fired and passersby and the protesters ran for safety.

Security agents, including the police and army were still stationed at the National Stadium, Teslim Balogun, Surulere and at the National Theatre, Iganmu and Gani Fawehinmi Park on Ikorodu road, Ojota.

But some sources said persons were arrested in front of the National stadium.

The Deputy Commissioner of police Operations, Mr Mohammed Ali said the protesters did not obtain permission for the protest.

In Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, about 10 vans of security agencies made up of Police, Department of Security Service, DSS and Civil Defence cordoned off the  Isaac Boro Park,  believed to be one of the take off points for the protest in the oil city.

At time our Correspondent visited about 11am, business activities were seen going as usual on within the vicinity of Isaac Boro Park without disruption by fully armed by security agencies.
Passers by, especially youths were being  stopped and searched, when nothing incriminating were found on them they were and allowed to go.
Governor Wike had in a Government House statement signed by Simeon Nwakaudu,his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, quoted as saying: “Rivers State  does not subscribe  to what the RevolutionNow protest represents and Rivers State  is not part of the protest”.

“He directed security agencies in the state to arrest anybody involved  in the RevolutionNow protest and also take all necessary  steps  to prosecute such persons.

“Governor Wike urged parents to ensure that their children are not misled by agents of the march to participate in the illegal  protest.

“All council chairmen are directed to be at alert. If they suspect any illegal gathering, they should report to the security agencies for immediate action “, Governor Wike” said.

In Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, armed police and Department of State Security (DSS) operatives stopped members of #RevolutionNow group from protesting in Osogbo.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protesters, led by one Olawale Adebayo, had arrived the popular Olaiya Junction to address newsmen on the reason for the protest.

The protesters who had mobilised no fewer than 30 persons were halted by the DSS and police personnel who arrived the scene.

The operatives asked the protesters to disperse but were rebuffed by a group of youths numbering no fewer than 30 and decked in orange berets and handkerchiefs.

The youths stood their ground and sang protest songs.

At this point, the security team threw tear gas at the crowd which eventually dispersed them.

Security operatives also took over the Kwara Stadium Complex, Ilorin in the early hours of Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that athletes who had arrived at the stadium for training were turned back by the Police.

Many of the athletes were stranded in and around the stadium gate at the popular Taiwo Ibrahim road in Ilorin.

Some of them questioned why sportsmen would be denied access to facilities to train.

Investigations revealed that the police were ordered to block the stadium gate against the #RevolutionNow protest.

The facility was reportedly said to be the meeting point for the March organised by the presidential candidate of African Action Congress (AAC), Omoyele Sowore in the 2019 general elections.

Effort to speak with the Kwara Police Spokesman, DSP Ajayi Okasanmi, proved abortive as he was not picking calls.

In Abuja, the Police and other security agencies also took over the popular Unity Fountain announced as the venue for the take off of the protest. But the protesters were not deterred as they later congregated in front of the headquarters of National Human Rights Commission.



He was reacting to the nationwide protest by

The people of the South-East are aware that 2023 is the date we are waiting to elect Nigeria President of Igbo extraction; that is why they won’t participate in the protest.

“Instead of protest, they are urging President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul the security architecture and upgrade the security infrastructure.

“They cried that insecurity is hampering their farming activities,’’ he said.

Asked why he thinks his people consider 2023 more important than the dire insecurity in the land, Okechukwu said that the people knew that in democracy, street protest would neither alter the crisis on the ground nor provide solution in the short run.

Okechukwu said; “Nigeria President of Igbo extraction is our goal, which street protest will not enhance.

“We are in constitutional democracy, no matter the challenges, it is better to adhere to the cycle of elections provided in the 1999 Constitution,’’ he said.

On Sowore’s detention, he appealed for his release on compassionate ground.

“Sowore will come to terms that the huge gains democracy made in United States and in particular, New York, where he resides, were made over the years via periodic and cyclic elections not via revolution’’.(NAN)


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