Anti-brutality protesters shut down Lagos government offices

LAGOS, Nigeria – Protesters taking part in the #EndSARS campaign in Nigeria shut down the Lagos State secretariat building on Monday, preventing state workers from gaining entrance to their offices.

In a statement on Monday, the office of the state said protesters locked all entrances to the building, preventing motorists and pedestrians from going into the premises.

For the past two weeks, thousands of Nigerian youths have been on the streets demanding an end to police brutality, disbandment of the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police and comprehensive police reforms.

After the first week of tensions, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, later disbanded the SARS and announced the launch of a Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT) to replace it.

Since then, the protests have continued and have paralysed activities and disrupted traffic on major roads in many cities.

Protesters are now also demanding better welfare, improved electricity, good roads and improved governance.

On Monday, Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said the state had lost 234 million naira (more than US$600,000) due to toll gate closures during the #EndSARS protests.

In a series of tweets, Sanwo-Olu said the state would be launching an enquiry into the police brutality meted out to residents.

Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the state has lost more than US$600,000 in tollgate revenue due to the #EndSARS protest.

“The panel has the powers to compel and summon witnesses to appear before it. The state government expects the panel to use these powers to ensure that all necessary parties appear before the panel to testify,” he said.

According to Premium Times, the #EndSARS protest has no leadership structure, but the online publication said it had identified some key players in various cities who explained their refusal to leave the streets.

Many of these key players in various interviews decried the lack of concrete action by the government to end police brutality.

The local publication said the protesters also expressed their displeasure over the failure of President Muhammadu Buhari to publicly address the citizens in a nationwide broadcast.

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