#EndSARS campaigner and social media influencer, Rinu Oduala, has reacted to a statement attributed to the Lagos State police commissioner, warning residents to desist from participating in any protest planned to commemorate those who died during #EndSARS protest in 2020.
In a statement on Monday, Odumosu promised that his officers would resist any of such protests.
A statement from the police stated, “The police in the state will not fold their arms and allow some misguided elements disrupt the peace and serenity currently being enjoyed in the state.
“To forestall breakdown of law and order, the police will use all legitimate means within their constitutional powers to suppress the planned protest…”
Reacting via a post on her Twitter handle on Wednesday, Rinu said the Lagos police boss and his officers have no right to clamp down on peaceful protesters.
According to her, the youth are not scared of the guns and weapons wielded by officers.
She added that any form of attack by policemen would be resisted.
Her post reads, “CP Hakeem Odumosu, you have no jurisdiction, right or authority to warn against, prevent or clamp down on peaceful protests.
“You are a public servant whose job is to ensure the security & rights of protesters. Do not trespass your limits or the constitution.
“You & many of your officers are known for extortion, kidnappings, profiling & extrajudicial killings, committing crimes daily against Lagos inhabitants with impunity.
“It’s a shame we have to demand for dignity from you who benefits from our indignity.
“Your guns & teargas will not deter us from protesting. It is better to go to prison/the court of law to justify our rights, than sit in the court of our conscience to justify our fear.
“That fear won’t still save us from being extorted or killed extrajudicially by your officers.
“Any attempt of yours to encroach on our fundamental rights to protest shall be resisted. Evil will not last forever.”
In October 2020, Nigerians across the country stormed the streets to demonstrate against police brutality and bad governance under the #EndSARS campaign.
However, on October 20, soldiers from the Bonny Camp, 81 division, invaded the Lekki tollgate, where some demonstrators had gathered, and fired gunshots.
Though the right to peaceful assembly and the right to protest are constitutional rights of Nigerians, the police have continued to clamp down on protesters.
Just recently, Nigeria police opened fire on members of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) during a peaceful procession in Abuja.
Also, during a peaceful protest on Nigeria’s 61st independence day, men of the Nigeria Police Force fired tear gas canisters at protesters in Abuja.
The peaceful protesters could be seen chanting and displaying banners and placards saying ‘Buhari Must Go’.
Six of them were arrested by the police, brutalised and detained for demanding the resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
They were later released.