The Federal Government and the police on Thursday gave strong warnings to youths, who planned to protest at Lekki toll gate, Lagos on Saturday.
But the young Nigerians, under the aegis of #EndSARS Season 2, vowed to defy government’s order banning the protest.
One of them, Kunle Ajayi, in an interview, said nothing would stop the demonstration from holding.
Another group, under the aegis of #DefendLagos had a few weeks ago threatened to organise a counter-protest at Lekki toll gate.
But Federal Government warned those behind the #OccupyLekkiprotest to desist, saying it would not allow act of violence under the guise of protests.
Also, the Lagos State Government warned that it would no more tolerate destruction of lives and property in the state.
Recall that youths protesting killings and other human rights abuses of a unit of the Nigerian Police, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, on October 7, 2020 began a demonstration tagged #EndSARS at the Lagos State Police Command headquarters.
The following day, the protest spread to other cities including Abuja, Benin, Abeokuta and Port Harcourt.
The matter came to a head on October 20, 2020, when heavily armed soldiers shot at protesters at Lekki toll gate killing many people.
On Thursday, the youth said they would go ahead with their plan to stage a protest on Saturday against the reopening of the Lekki toll gate.
One of the youths, Ajayi, told us that the protest would hold, assuring Nigerians that it would be peaceful.
He said, “Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. We are not just calling for the protest, we are ensuring that it does not go haywire. The protest is like rain that cannot be controlled. We want a constitutional peaceful protest; the working people have agreed to make it peaceful, except the state wants to make it otherwise as they have always been doing.
“The working people will be out. We have passed through this stage before. During the #EndSARS protest, before October 20, they started killing people. The more they killed, the more the people came out. They started from Ogbomosho, went to Delta and deployed thugs in Abuja. The more the violence, the more the people will come out because they feel you cannot enslave them in their own country. It’s about the working people of Nigeria represented by the new youth, who do not even see a future, let alone having one.”
Also, organisers of the protest, in a statement on Thursday, accused the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, of seeking to cover up the alleged killing of scores of protesters at the toll gate on October 20, 2020.
The youth, in the statement, titled, ‘EndSARS Season 2: Why we will #OccupyLekkiTollGate on Saturday’, said they remained undaunted despite the threats from security agents and the state government.