#ENDSARS protests: Obasanjo, Babalola, condemn shooting of protesters by soldiers, Rivers, Enugu, Ebonyi impose curfew

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Olusegun Obasanjo

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Wednesday waded into the shooting by soldiers of unarmed#ENDSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate Plaza, Lagos, on Tuesday, and appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari, to stop soldiers from shooting at protesters.

The Lekki Toll Gate attack which claimed several lives – with so many protesters sustaining injuries, on Wednesday, elicited violent attacks by suspected hoodlums on public and private properties in Lagos state.

The headquarters of the Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA) in Marina was on Wednesday reportedly set ablaze by suspected hoodlums.

Also, the headquarters of TVC station owned by the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was reportedly set on fire by the hoodlums

According to reports, the family house of the Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, located t the Surulere area of Lagos, and the residence of the Oba of Lagos, were also set ablaze by the hoodlums.

Furthermore, the BRT Bus Terminal located at Oyingbo area of Lagos mainland, was reported set ablaze by the suspected hoodlums.

And amid the violence and repeated attacks on facilities in Lagos, Gov. Sanwo-Olu, in a statewide broadcast on Wednesday, vowed to report the Nigeria Army operatives who shot at the peaceful protesters at Lekki toll gate to the military “high command.”

According to Channels Television, Sanwo-Olu described the incident as unfortunate and tragic, adding that he was never involved in the directives that saw armed operatives open fire on the demonstrators.

 “For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rule of engagement of the military.

“ I have nonetheless instructed an investigation into the order and adopted rule of engagement employed by officers of the Nigerian Army that were deployed to the Lekki toll gate last night,” he said.

 In his reaction to the turn of events on Wednesday, October 21, former President Obasanjo called on President Buhari to stop soldiers from shooting at protesters.

 He urged the president to “restrain the military and other security agencies from using brute force as a way of ending the crisis.”

 Similarly, a Nigerian elder statesman and prominent lawyer, Afe Babalola, has said that the deployment of soldiers and killings would not end the ongoing #EndSARS protest against police brutality across the country.

 Babalola in a statement made available to journalists in Ado Ekiti, Ekiti state on Wednesday, October 21, also stated the imposition of curfew would not end the crisis.

Imposition of Curfew

 As  the #EndSARS protest turns violent in different parts of Nigeria, Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers state has imposed a 24-hour curfew in some areas of the state.

 This was contained in a statement signed and released by Governor Wike’s media aide, Kelvin Ebiri, on Tuesday, October 21.

  Governor Wike in a state wide broadcast on Wednesday also announced that the curfew will take place in the entire Oyigbo local government area of the state.

 He added that the curfew extends to Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikowu and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt local government area as well as Oil Mill area of Obio-Akpor local government area.

The governor explained that the curfew became necessary as suspected hoodlums have hijacked the #EndSARS protest.

According to Governor Wike, some hoodlums on Wednesday attacked and destroyed police stations and court buildings in Oyigbo LGA.

 Another set of hoodlums were also on a rampage at the Ikokwu spare parts markets disturbing public peace and damaging property,

He added. Governor Wike has also directed security agencies to enforce the curfew with effect from 6.30pm on Wednesday, October 21.

And in Enugu, Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi on Wednesday, October 21, imposed 24-hour curfew in some parts of the state capital.

Those affected by the curfew includes Enugu East, Enugu North and Enugu South Local Government Areas. 

The curfew took effect from 7 pm, Wednesday October 21, till further notice. 

Meanwhile, his counterpart in Ebonyi state Engr Dave Umahi, also on Wednesday imposed a 24-hour curfew in the state starting from 7 a.m. today following attacks and destruction of public assets by suspected hoodlums. 

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