#EndSARS: I ordered policemen to tear gas protesters –Odumosu

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CP Odumosu

…NAOSRE condemns Journalists’ harassments at  protests


The Lagos State Police Commissioner, Hakeem Odumosu, has shed more light on why he ordered his men to teargas #EndSARSMemorial protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate on Wednesday.

Speaking with newsmen, Odumosu said the police fired tear gas at the protesters to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

The police commissioner noted that he ordered his men to tear gas the protesters because they went against the promise earlier made that the procession will start by 8 am and end by 10 am.

Odumosu added that any demonstration beyond the agreed time is constituting a nuisance and will not be tolerated.

The Commissioner said: “The protest was between 8 am and 10 am, anything, after 10 am, is a nuisance.

“I discussed with them and they said they will end the protest by 10 o’clock. Other people doing it now just causing a nuisance. Some with machete, hammer, are they protesters or miscreants?

“The protesters are free; they have done their thing and left. Any other persons remaining are the miscreants, hoodlums that want to capitalise on that to attack innocent people and start robbing people. We will not allow that .

Meanwhile, the National Association of Online Security Reporters, NAOSRE, bemoans the harassment of journalists on Wednesday by men of the Nigeria Police Force while stopping them to discharge their duties effectively and efficiently at the protest.

In a statement he personally signed, NAOSRE President, Comrade Femi Oyewale, kicked against Police officers creating an environment where journalists would be afraid to work and discharge their duties.

According to the Oyewale: “It has come to our notice that journalists were arrested and harassed while discharging their duties.

“That singular act is the equivalent of adding salt to injury. The Police authorities, should, at this time, avoid actions that would portray them as enemies of the people,” he advised.

Further, Oyewale called on the Nigeria Police Force to step up the training of its officers in line with global best practice adding that officers and men should be reminded constantly that the primary responsibility of the police is the protection of citizens, including journalists.

EndSARS is to commemorate the first anniversary of the EndSARS protest, where Nigerian youths took to the streets in some parts of the country to protest against the now-disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), youths across the country planned a series of activities, including protests at some strategic to remember those that were allegedly killed.