New Telegraph

#EndSARS protests: TVC, The Nation, Sanwo-Olu’s family house, Akiolu’s Palace burnt

Lagos yesterday slipped into a state of anomie as the Centre of Excellence literally became a ball of fire. The outbreak of violence, which started on Monday in different parts of the nation, continued yesterday, with more police stations, banks and media houses attacked and razed in Lagos State.

 

The violence further snowballed yesterday, following military attacks on #End- SARS peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. However, youths, who embarked on burning down of police stations, media houses, banks, shopping malls and residential homes were said to be hired thugs and not members of the #EndSARS protesters.

 

It is yet uncertain the person who hired them. Yesterday, fuel and gas stations didn’t open and many people who went to ATM points close to their homes left disappointed as the machines didn’t dispense. One of the protesters, who spoke with a national television, said: “They released soldiers on us and these soldiers opened fire.

They killed so many people, which is why we decided today to damage things to show our anger. Our friends and families are in hospitals.” Another protester said: “I’m a swimmer and being a swimmer was what saved my life. When the soldiers opened fire, three people fell at my front. Bullets whizzed passed my head and I had to hide.

 

The soldiers sighted me and moved towards me. I jumped out and dived into water. Even as I was inside the water, they sprayed bullets at me. What did we do to deserve being shot at and killed?”

Mayhem continued in different parts of Lagos State, as the hoodlums attacked TVC and police stations. There were heavy shootings at the Egbeda/ Idimu and Igando areas. Hoodlums had attempted to attack Igando Police Station, but were repelled by police bullets. The bullets, however, allegedly nailed five people. Other police stations were not so lucky.

 

The hoodlums also attacked Makinde Police Station. Akinpelu Police Station had protected itself by mounting roadblocks some distance from the station and then continued to be on standby. Places allegedly attacked are Oriental Hotel, Zenith Bank on Admiralty Way, Lekki Toll Gate and Lekki Concession Company (LCC), GTB on Admiralty Way, and Polaris Bank on Admiralty Way.

 

Also, over 30 buses belonging to Lagos BRT Company and the BRT terminal at Oyingbo were burnt. Also, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s family house, Ajeromi Ifelodun LG Secretariat, cars within the premises of the Ministry of the Environment, Alausa, Lagos, Television Continental (TVC), and Nigeria Ports Authority Building, Marina, Lagos were torched. It is also estimated that over 20 police stations had been burnt. It was also reported that the head office of The Nation Newspapers was set on fire. Also torched were a Nigeria Television Station (NTA), Television Continental (TVC) headquarters and Max FM.

 

Also, the palace of Oba of Lagos, Oba Akiolu was burnt and massively looted by the hoodlums in addition to other public facilities. Notable houses of prominent personalities were also vandalised by the irate thugs. New Telegraph gathered that the attack appeared to be well-planed, as the TVC headquarters, Oyingbo and Ojodu-Berger BRT stations and governor’s mother’s home were attacked simultaneously by thugs armed with cutlasses and other dangerous weapons, leaving many to scamper for safety.

 

The popular TV station was attacked when the station was airing one of its most popular talk shows, YourView, which also centred on the condemnation of the killing of protesters at Lekki on Tuesday night by suspected soldiers. Since then, the broadcast station was yet to come on air.

The entire staff of the station scampered for safety while all the vehicles on its premises were set ablaze. In a video circulating on social media, the hoodlums, who were seen in hooded tops, went straight for the operational vehicles and set them on fire. Also in a viral video, some armed thugs were seen carting away the staff of office of Oba Akiolu on Lagos Island.

 

It was learnt that armed soldiers took the monarch away from the palace to prevent him from attack. The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Olumuyiwa Adejobi, stated that the police would repel the hoodlums in accordance with the law. He added that the police were after the hoodlums who decided to halt the peace and harmony which had existed in the state over the years.

 

The Oyingbo bus terminal owned by the Lagos State government was set on fire by hoodlums about 11a.m. Over 500 buses were said to have been burnt by the thugs. The buses, according to a civil servant, were parked on the premises in compliance with the curfew imposed by Sanwo-Olu, to restore normalcy in the state.

The stories of lawlessness weren’t different in other parts of the state as gunshots rent the air with many residents scampering for safety.

Earlier, in an address, Sanwo-Olu said he was touched by the wanton destruction of lives and property in the state. He said: “I address you today with a heavy heart, but not just as your elected governor. I do so as a father and a brother. I do so as one who is touched by the infirmities and feelings of his people. I do so as a part of the collective humanity that we all share.

 

“Yesterday’s (Tuesday’s) events were no doubt some of the darkest gradients of our history as a state and as a people. As you are perhaps aware, I have been engaging the #EndSARS protesters since Monday 12 and Tuesday 13 October 2020 respectively.”

 

Meanwhile, Amnesty International (AI) yesterday said at least 12 unarmed protesters were killed on Tuesday by the Nigerian Army and the police.

The Country Director of Amnesty International Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, said in a statement that the organisation’s on-the-ground investigation confirmed that the Nigerian Army and police killed the 12 peaceful protesters at two locations in Lagos.

 

He said: “The killings took place in Lekki and Alausa, where thousands were protesting police brutality as part of the #EndSARS movement. “Evidence gathered from eyewitnesses, video footage and hospital reports confirm that between 6.45p.m. and 9p.m. on Tuesday, 20 October, the Nigerian military opened fire on thousands of people who were peacefully calling for good governance and an end to police brutality.

 

“Witnesses at the Lekki protest grounds told Amnesty International that solders arrived about 6.45p.m. local time on Tuesday evening, and opened fire on #EndSars protesters without warning. “Eyewitnesses at Alausa protest ground said they were attacked by a team of soldiers and policemen from the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) Unit about 8p.m., leaving at least two people dead and one critically injured.

 

“Opening fire on peaceful protesters is a blatant violation of people’s rights to life, dignity, freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. Soldiers clearly had one intention – to kill without consequences.”

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