The Lagos State Police Command has warned the management of the African Shrine, Ikeja, against hosting a symposium to discuss the achievements and lessons from the recent nationwide #EndSARS protests.
The programme tagged “#EndSARS movement lessons and task” is organised by Seun Kuti, son of Afrobeat legend, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, and is scheduled to hold on Tuesday.
The police, however, warned against the gathering, saying it is deliberate sabotage to the restoration of peace in the state.
The warning letter sent to the Kuti family on Monday by the Divisional Police Officer (DPO), S. O. Ahehoje of Alausa Police Division, cited the recent violence arising from the #EndSARS protests as its reason for calling for the suspension of the programme.
“It is on this premise that I write that such a gathering or meeting planned to be hosted at your venue is not welcome at this perilous time when the security of the nation is trying to find her feet to stabilize all threat to life and properties.
“You are hereby warned to suspend such gathering as any infraction that may emerge from this gathering will be tagged a deliberate action to sabotage the transition and restoration of the peace in Lagos State by the Lagos State Government and the Nigeria Police Force”, the letter read.
In reaction to this, Seun wrote on Twitter that despite the police threat, he would continue with the programme but at a different venue to respect the family’s decision.
He also wondered why police continue to infringe on the rights of the people to freedom of association in a democratic state.
“So yesterday the government called my eldest sister @yeniakuti and threatened to close the shrine if I hold my event there tmr and also sent a letter to back it up. I respect my families decision not to hold the event as is but I will still go ahead with all the other..
“…organizations to launch THE MOVEMENT OF THE PEOPLE tomorrow and start our political resistance to the tyranny of this oppressive regime. Slide left and you will see the flier. This is a meeting, just a meeting of organizations and they are basically banning the right of…
“…association. Why are they afraid of the people organising? What is democratic about this act? The last time we tried to launch the government quickly called curfew and this time they have used threat but you can’t stop the will of the people. ~ #EndOppression Seun Kuti.”
For several weeks in October, Nigerian youth protested peacefully against police brutality. The protests turned violent after it was hijacked by hoodlums who took advantage of a government clampdown.
The protests took a new dimension On October 20 when soldiers shot at peaceful protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos.
Amnesty International reported that over 10 persons were killed by the soldiers but the Lagos State Government said only two people died. A judicial panel of inquiry is now looking into the Lekki incident and other such abuses in Lagos.
While the investigation is ongoing, the federal government has begun a clampdown on protesters including seizing their travelling passports, freezing their bank accounts, arresting some individuals, among others.