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#ENDSARS II: Protesters retreat as police, soldiers take over Lagos

The planned resumption of #ENDSARS protests in Lagos was Monday stalled following the heavy deployment of police and soldiers across the state.

Organisers of the second wave of the protests early on Monday morning advised supporters to stay home following reports of police and soldiers’ presence at the Lekki Tollgate, National Stadium, Freedom Park, Ojota and other strategic locations to forestall mass gathering of people.

Although supporters of the protest had dared the police on Sunday following the latter’s statement banning any form of gathering, The Nation learnt that they developed cold feet when information started filtering in from midnight about heavy security presence across the state.

In one of the group chats on WhatsApp, some battle-ready supporters hinted as early as 7 am they were about hitting the streets to the protest venue but were advised otherwise by the admins who reminded them of the need to stay alive.

Information was subsequently syndicated through various social media platforms that supporters should stay at home until it was safe to carry placards on the streets.

They encouraged supporters to continue to agitate on social media until their demands were met including the resignations of President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai and their prosecution before the International Criminal Court (ICC).

They also demanded the release of all persons arrested during the first #ENDSARS protests across the country; release of all frozen accounts of #ENDSARS protesters; an end to insecurity and bad governance.

As the online protests continued, some mischievous persons started sharing old venues alleging protests were ongoing at Lekki Tollgate and Mushin areas of the state and urging youths to come out enmass.

Such claims were immediately fact-checked by people around the areas mentioned, just as the Lagos Police Command also described them as fake news.

A rebuttal by the police spokesman, Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said the videos were shared to cause tension and destabilise the security network in the state.

Referring to the video of the purported Lekki Tollgate protest, Adejobi said: “The video was one of the viral videos released during the recent violent #Endsars protest before the Lekki Tollgate plaza was set ablaze by the violent protesters on October 21.

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