#EndSARSMemorial: Police Should Learn Tolerance, Stop Inciting, Attacking Harmless, Peaceful Protesters

#EndSARSMemorial flyer

The Nigeria Police Force on Thursday continued their appalling tradition of exhibiting intolerance for peaceful protests after they allegedly shot at harmless #EndSARSMemorial demonstrators with teargas and water canisters to disperse the protesters.

The protesters at the memorial slammed the government for denying that unarmed protesters were killed by solders and for not bringing to book most security officers found wanting in the killing of innocent Nigerians in the hands of operatives of the the outlawed Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The demonstrators, led by comedian Mr. Macaroni, Rapper Falz and presidential candidate of the African Action Congress, Omoyele Sowore were using the day to attend the procession at the Lekki Toll Gate “in memory of those who were killed on October 20, 2020, and those we have lost to police brutality.”

Falz and Mr Marcaroni
Falz and Mr Marcaroni

But the Lagos State Police Spokesman, Benjamin Hundeyin said the protesters converged at the Toll Gate, which according to him, was opposed to doing a peaceful procession, hence the security operatives exercised “minimal force.”

Police Teargas
Police fire teargas as #EndSARSMemorial protesters

A video regarding this video, doesn’t show any form of disruption of public peace being exhibited by the protesters before the police commenced their unprovoked attack. Even if the protesters converged at the Toll Gate, the first action of the police was to go to them and verbally appeal to them to keep moving before another line of action can be considered if their appeals were unheeded to.

#EndSARSMemorial scampering for safety

Another video that circulated online showed a dispatch rider who was a survivor of the Lekki Massacre in 2020, bending over in tears while recounting the deadly event of two years ago. However, while he was still bent down in tears, the police came to him, pulled him up by folding his shirt on his right shoulder and dragged him to their van. This negates one of Hundeyin’s claims that the police had no physical contact with the protesters.

READ MORE: ENDSARS: Falz, Mr Macaroni, Sowore, Present At #EndSARSmemorial

Also circulated online was yet another video, in which some of the protesters arrested and locked up in the police van for yet to be known offences, could be heard asking for the reason for their arrest, despite not committing any offence and despite the police not seeing anything incriminating on them after a search of their pockets.

Arrested #EndSARSMemorial protesters

One wonders why the police are always very proactive against peaceful protests as agaisnt crime. The police should call itself to order as they cannot justify their firing of teargas and water canisters at protesters who according to video evidence, were without arms, neither did the protesters attack the police with any object.

Not that they don’t already know but the duty of the police is to maintain peace, law and order, not trying to incite and provoke citizens with the aim of attacking them and later either justifying their unwarranted attack or they outrightly deny they even attacked, even with video evidence proving they did.