The #EndSARS protest started peacefully but was unfortunately hijacked by hoodlums who unleashed mayhem on the peaceful protesters. This prompted some state governors including Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos and Seyi Makinde of Oyo to take measures to restore order in their various states.
Governor Sanwo-Olu took to his Twitter handle, Tuesday, to declare a 24-hour curfew in Lagos following the incident that threatened the peace of the state.
His tweet reads:
I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society. Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) October 20, 2020
Many Nigerians criticized the Lagos Governor’s approach to curtailing the activities of hoodlums disrupting the protests, citing the Governor of Oyo, Seyi Makinde’s methods employed in handling a similar situation in Ibadan as the better way to have approached the situation.
Here’s how Makinde and Sanwo-Olu’s methods differ
Sanwo-Olu declared a 24-hour curfew on Tuesday in a bid to arrest the situation and restore order after suspected hoodlums under the guise of the #EndSARS protesters set the Apapa Iganmu Police Station in Lagos on fire. Makinde, on the other hand, deployed the Operation Burst team to troubled spots to arrest the situation and attend to hoodlums following the violence that trailed the #EndSARS protest in Ibadan.
In a live broadcast, Governor Makinde said:
We are deploying members of Operation Burst to various hotspots in Ibadan to arrest the situation and restore normalcy. The members of the team will continue to protect genuine protesters and their right to protest.
Full video https://t.co/Gu4gWtgBog pic.twitter.com/GUQdcl38x7
— Seyi Makinde (@seyiamakinde) October 20, 2020
From the reports we have seen so far, it goes without saying that the methods of both governors have yielded two very different results. Sadly, the Lagos curfew has not only caused injury to many of the peaceful protesters at the Lekki area of Lagos but has also led to the death of young Nigerians following the military’s crackdown on the protesters according to reports.
Several videos circulating on social media reveal how unarmed civilians were gunned down at the Lekki Toll-Gate by the Nigerian security officers in what is now known as the “Lekki Massacre”. The situation has, unfortunately, spiralled out of control leading to pockets of violence in different parts of Lagos.
It is saddening to see how mayhem is unleashed on peaceful protesters – anarchy is now the order of the day. But how did we get here? How could the government allow things to degenerate to this level under their watch? Why should security men be allowed to open fire on youths who were only exercising their constitutional right to hold peaceful protests; to demand good governance, accountability and freedom from an oppressive system?
For crying out loud, how often do we have to remind our government what they are presumed to know? Since when did peaceful protests become a crime punishable by death? Nigeria bleeds because innocent lives were wasted with impunity and Lagos is setting the pace, unfortunately. It was with utmost disbelief that Nigerians watched Sanwo-Olu state that no one had died in what was tagged as a ‘massacre’.
Meanwhile, the Oyo state government allowed citizens to exercise their constitutional right to peaceful protests, even though thugs also attempted to disrupt the protests in Ibadan, the state capital. Rather than employ military men to harm innocent civilians, Governor Makinde focused on weeding out the criminal elements disguising as part of the genuine protesters. While no one can say that a particular politician is a saint, the events in Oyo state have stood in sharp contrast from what’s happening in Lagos State and it is quite unfortunate.
@seyiamakinde, you're indeed a true democrat!
— Bitter Truth (@thebitt72583411) October 20, 2020
I swear, @followlasg jus fall our hand…
Why can't other governor's think in line with this…
— Drew Blazen Ifb (@AndrewOgijo) October 20, 2020
This is what I expect from governors across the nation, not using Prison Break as a means to limit the #EndSARS peaceful protest. May God continuously bless you & gift u more wisdom to lead ur people sir governor…👍
— Daniel Regha (@DanielRegha) October 20, 2020
— eniola adex (@frickyB) October 20, 2020