Why #EndSARS Protesters Paralyzed Activities In Osogbo-Ogbomoso, Ado-Ekiti, Akure, Lagos, Abeokuta, Ibadan, Kano, Benin, Others

...Despite the death of 12 persons amidst the protests

      By Tunde Gbotemi

The #EndSARS pro­test on Monday took a turn for the worse as business activi­ties, vehicular and human movement in Osogbo-Ogbomoso, Lagos, Ibadan, Ado Ekiti, Benin, Akure, parts of Delta and others were halted as it expanded to a protest against bad governance.

Many businesses closed in Lagos with protesters taking over most parts of the state. Major roads, including the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Oshodi Expressway, Gbagada, Surulere, and Lekki Toll Gate were blocked as protesters in­creased in number.

Many residents, workers and business owners also joined the demonstrations.

     Osun youths block bridge, Osogbo-Ogbomoso road 

Osun youths across the three communities of Ilobu, Ifon and Erin-Osun on Monday stormed the one-way Ojutu bridge on Erinle river in Ilobu in continuation of EndSARS protest in the State.

The bridge, which is a link between Osogbo, the three communities and Ogbomoso in Oyo state.

The Youths trooped as into the place as early as 7am to block the single lane bridge for almost an hour. This led to a heavy gridlock on the road.

After several persuasion, the protesters left the bridge and started a burn fire opposite the Ilobu Divisional Police station located less hundred meters to the bridge.

The protesters were demanding the ban of Special Anti-Robbery Squad and the newly created Swift Action and Tactical Team.

Speaking with newsmen, the President of Ilobu National Student Union, Kamaldeen Tiamiyu said the protest was by the youths of the three communities as a way of lending their voices to the ongoing movement against the brutality of SARS operatives in the country.

The President of Federation of Ifon-Orolu Students Union, Taoreed Abdulazeez and his counterpart from Federation of Erin-Osun Students Association, Solomon Oyeleke both said the protest was organized by youths in the three communities to join the the national struggle.

     Lagos State Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, and shut the premises preventing workers from en­tering. They locked all the en­trances to the secretariat and turned back motorists and pe­destrians from the premises.

Many businesses, offices and companies along Ikeja and Ogba were shut.

They also locked down Awolowo Road, Ikorodu Road, LASU-Iba Road by Isheri-Roundabout, Egbe­da-Idimu Road and several others in Lagos. Protesters shut down Jakande Estate, Oke-Afa and Isolo.

Some youths in Epe Divi­sion of the state turned the Epe/Ibeju-Lekki Expressway to a football field and other games, but effectively blocked the highway to deny vehicu­lar movement as the protest continued.

As a result, commuters were stranded at bus stops as few commercial buses were on the road.

In Ibadan, Oyo state

Equally, across the city of Ibadan, major roads, includ­ing link roads, were blocked as early as 5 a.m.

With the blockade, many road users, who had set out early to beat the protest were caught up in traffic jam, re­sulting into many workers getting to their offices late.

The youths were seen car­rying placards with different anti-SARS inscriptions.

At the Bus-Stop area of Gate, some youths were seen blocking the Oje-Gate road, threatening motorists who dared to clear the road.

At about 10a.m., scores of youths had already gathered in front of the State Secretar­iat, Agodi, with the main gates locked by security operatives manning them.

Although the youths al­lowed vehicles to move freely, they were, however, forcing motorists to shout the #End­SARS slogan, but major roads at the Orita-Challenge axis of the town were blocked as ear­ly as 5a.m.

With the roads blocked, many people, who, for one reason or the other, had to go out decided to trek.

Although shops were locked, a few hawkers were seen carrying out their trade without any form of interrup­tion.

The banks along the Or­ita-Challenge axis did not open, while those along the New Gbagi area of Ibadan opened.

The situation was similar at the Apata/Omi-Adio end of the town, as protesters marched the road, subjecting both pedestrians and motor­ists to hardship.

Transport fares across the different routes in the city were hiked by taxi drivers and commercial motorcyclists, otherwise known as ‘okada’, leaving commuters stranded or having to trek.

Due to the protests, some private schools around Moko­la axis did not open as some students were seen roaming about the streets.

In Ado Ekiti

Likewise, most business activities were brought to a halt in Ado Ekiti, the Ekiti State capital, as protest by youths took a new turn.

The protesting youths, in their hundreds took over ev­ery corner of the state capital for hours, forcing both human and vehicular movements to a standstill.

As early as 7:00a.m, the rampaging youths who ignored an earlier police warning issued on Sunday, following an attack on a po­lice facility in the state, took to the streets barricading ev­ery inter-state and inter-city roads of the ancient city in wild protest.

Virtually all the strategic roads in the metropolis were blocked by the youths, com­prising students, motorcycle riders, commercial drivers, civil society bodies and other unemployed individuals.

Major areas affected in the latest onslaught include the old and new Garage area, Oja Oba, Fajuyi Park, Okeyinmi, Ijigbo, Basiri, Matthew area, Ajilosun, as well as the over­head bridge linking Ado Ekiti with towns in Oyo, Osun and Lagos states.

Many pupils and students in public and private schools were prevented from pro­ceeding to their schools due to heavy blockade of all access roads.

In the same circumstance, those who had earlier re­sumed in schools were hur­riedly asked to return home to prevent being caught in the web.

Also, scores of civil ser­vants, who were on their way to work became stranded on the way while some of them were seen returning home in frustration.

In Benin city

Similarly, banks in Benin, Edo shut down operations over the inability of their staff to access their duty posts.

#EndSARS protesters had as at 6:00a.m. blocked major roads within the Benin me­tropolis, preventing vehicular movement.

The roads are Oluko-Isi­hor-Ugbowo-Uselu, Ring Road-Sapele, Ring-Ekehuan, Aduwawa-Akpakpava, Air­port, among others.

Security men at the vari­ous banks visited along the Ugbowo and Uselu market axis of the state said that they had to shut down due to the absence of their staff.

A bank customer, Miss Tina Jeremie, expressed dis­pleasure over her inability to withdraw money from the bank.

“I had to trek from Isihor to Ugbowo over 30 minutes to withdraw money from UBA at UBTH, but the bank was shut.

“This is pathetic because I need to withdraw money to get some medications and also help a friend in need,” she said.

Some school children were also seen trekking back home at about 9:30a.m. due to the shutdown of schools.

Similarly, motorists were unable to go about their com­mercial activities as their routes were barricaded by protesters.

The roadblocks by the pro­testers also forced residents to embark on long treks to get to their various destinations.

The protest also spread to Auchi, the administrative headquarters of Edo North.

Auchi protesters, accord­ing to reports, gathered in their hundreds at the popu­lar Jattu Junction. As early as 8a.m, they trooped into Auchi from surrounding towns in the district, where they had hoped to link up with their fellow comrades.

Due to the action of the protesters, vehicular and human traffic along the busy Abuja-Auchi-Okene highway came to a total halt. There was, however, no report of any molestation or casualty.

In Akure

Correspondingly, the pro­test assumed a serious dimen­sion in Ondo State as entry points into the state capital from Osun State was blocked outright by protesters.

The protesters dominated by students from all the uni­versities and polytechnics in the state erected canopies on the centre of Ilesa/Benin/ Owo Road by Oloko Junction, FUTA South Gate in Akure thereby causing heavy grid­lock on the axis.

A section of the road was also diverted to a kitchen as ladies among the protesters were cooking different cui­sines for participants in the carnival-like protest.

Likewise in Ondo City, youths blocked the Akure/ Yaba/Ore Road in Ondo city, preventing free flow of traf­fic to and fro Akure, the state capital.

Ayodeji Adegbenle, one of the protesters, said that they would continue with the pro­test till President Muhamma­du Buhari addressed them.

He said: “You have not seen anything yet. We are just starting this protest, but we have made up our minds that we would die until Bu­hari addresses us.”

In Abeokuta

Again, commuters in dif­ferent parts of Ogun State were stranded following the continuation of the #End­SARS protest across.

The Lagos-Abeokuta Ex­pressway at the Papalanto end was blocked by the protesters who were also agitated about the state of roads in the area, preventing vehicular move­ment inbound and outbound the state capital, Abeokuta.

The situation was the same in Abeokuta, the state capital as protesters mounted road blocks at the NNPC Junc­tion, Panseke Under Bridge and the Camp area of the city.

Commuters outbound Abeokuta and those approaching the state we left stranded with the road block along the Abeokuta-Ibadan road. ­

The protests were gen­erally peaceful but school children and government workers were seen walking long journey to get to their schools and work places while commercial activities were paralysed in those areas.

Protesters Block East- West Road In Delta

Commercial activities and vehicular movements were restricted as #EndSARS pro­testers blocked the East-West Road at Otovwodo in Ughelli and Effurun/DSC Round­abouts in Ughelli North and Uvwie Local Government Areas of Delta State.

The protesters, clad most­ly in black attires, displayed placards with inscriptions such as ‘#EndSARS brutal­ity’, ‘Increase police salary’, among others.

Addressing newsmen, one of the protesters who gave his name is Samson Kings said, “We are on this to pro­test against police brutality and indiscriminate arrest by F-SARS.

“The government of the day has deviated from the original plan upon which our forefathers stood for when we gained Independence. No light, no road, our hospitals are in shambles, yet we are be­ing brutalised on daily basis for no just cause by security agencies.

“So many innocent peo­ple have been brutalised by F-SARS, others killed with­out trace and investigation by these agents of the Federal Government.

“We have no other country than Nigeria and the only way to build it is for the leaders to put things right and not by using the police or F-SARs to brutalise people”.

#EndSARS Protests Hit Kano

Hundreds of young Ni­gerians in Kano on Monday joined the nationwide pro­tests against police brutality.

The protesters staged a peaceful march along major streets in the Sabon Gari area of the metropolis, storming France, Burma, Sarkin Yaki and Airport roads.

Although the protests have been ongoing across the coun­try for last 11 days, this is the first time that young persons in Kano will be part of it.

The protesters, some of whom were on tricycles and vehicles, displayed placards, with inscriptions: ‘EndSARS, SWAT!’ ‘EndKAROTA!’ ‘End Police Brutality!’ ‘EndKano Corruption”, among others.

Several Injured As Police Fire At Protesters In Abuja

Armed policemen on Mon­day fired live bullets and tear­gas to disperse protesters who gathered at AYA Junction in Abuja, injuring many of them.

The protesters had been marching to different parts of the city before the police intercepted them along Mar­araba-Nyanya Road at AYA roundabouts.

The protesters were chased from Asokoro near ECOWAS Secretariat with Hilux vehi­cles as policemen fired tear­gas and live bullets in attempt to dislodge them.

A female protester bearing the national flag was also as­saulted in the process when the police wrestled with her in a bid to seize it from her. She was hit with batons severally by the officers.

The protesters, who later regrouped and marched to­ward the Police Force Head­quarters was teargassed for the second time where they nearly clashed with the rival pro-SARS group.

The protesters had in the morning blocked Du­tse-Bwari Road which led to a traffic gridlock in the area.

On Sunday night, protest­ers converged on the head office of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in Abuja.

Meanwhile, the founder of the Dunamis International Gospel Centre (DIGC), Pastor Paul Enenche, led hundreds of Christians on the streets of Abuja for prophetic prayer walk for the nation.

The intercessory prayer session for Nigeria was held at National Christian Ecu­menical Centre.

Enenche said God could change the story of Nigeria for the better.

The cleric also asked Ni­gerians to ask God for mer­cy and forgiveness over the negative happenings in the country.

According to him, “We are here to take our nation from the hands of the devil, from the hands of the forces of cor­ruption and bloodshed.

“We have come to the God who hears prayers and an­swers. Our nation will not be the same,” he said.

He, therefore, led the con­gregation for a walk shortly after the event.

Meanwhile, soldiers took over key locations in Abuja to prevent #EndSARS pro­testers from converging.

The military officers were seen at AYA roundabout, Asokoro, early on Monday with a barricade, while the CBN was being protected by police officers backed with an Armoured Personnel Carrier and water cannons.

Protesters Tackle Buhari, Ask Him To Step Aside

The #EndSARS protest took a twist in Abuja on Mon­day as protesters called for an end to President Muhamma­du Buhari’s government, ac­cusing the administration of gross insensitivity to issues that affect the youths.

The youths, who marched in long processions along ma­jor streets in the city, draped in national colours and bear­ing placards, denounced the administration over alleged poor leadership and called on the youths to take over.

One of the placards read, ‘#EndBuhari Government In Nigeria’.

    Government actions, inaction

After unending agitations on social media and on the street, Mr Buhari in a tweet later said he had directed the police chief, Mr Adamu, to “conclusively address the concerns of Nigerians” about police brutality.

“The IG already has my firm instructions to conclusively address the concerns of Nigerians regarding these excesses, and ensure erring personnel are brought to justice. I appeal for patience and calm, even as Nigerians freely exercise their right to peacefully make their views known”, the president wrote on October 10.

The police later disbanded the SARS and announced the launch of a Special Weapon and Tactics Team (SWAT) to replace it. But that was immediately rejected by Nigerians despite assurance that members of the disbanded SARS would take medical and psychological examination before being considered for the new initiative.

During all of these processes, the protests became more tensed despite an appeal by the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, that protesters give the government some time to implement their demands.

The leadership of the National Assembly alongside some business moguls have also pleaded with the protesters to consider the economy. But the youth have insisted that their demands are yet to be met.

Some of the other demands are prosecution of killer cops, the release of all protesters in detention and an overhaul of the police.

Despite the death of over 12 protesters, the demonstrators have remain undeterred with introduction of new hashtags such as #EndPoliceBrutality, #NassSalaryCut, #EndSWAT, #EndBadGovernanceInNigeriaNow and many more. 

What protesters still want:

1 A nationwide broadcast by President Muhammadu Buhari addressing the demands of the protesters.

2 The government should increase the salaries of police officers and adequately compensate officers for protecting the lives and property of the citizens.

3 Arrest and prosecution of hoodlums attacking the protesters.

4. Reduction of National Assembly members’ salary.

5. Removal of IGP.

6. End to bad governance in Nigeria. 

        A MUST TO READ!

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