The #ENDSARS protests took another turn in Abuja on Tuesday, when soldiers set up a blockade before the National Assembly, NASS, and beat up the protesters and journalists covering the event.
The protests, which entered its sixth day, started as a peaceful demonstration, as the protesters marched on to the National Assembly to register their complaints against SARS and the need for reformation of the police force before the leadership.
One of the protesters, who pleaded anonymity, lamented that for the period their torture lasted, no lawmaker from the National Assembly intervened, even though they were at plenary in both arms.
Exactly a kilometre to the NASS complex, the EndSARS protesters, chanting solidarity songs, bearing placards, ran into a military roadblock.
They were stopped by the soldiers at the same point mobile policemen sprayed them with water cannon last weekend.
Meanwhile, in what is like a major victory for the ENDSARS protesters, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has announced the formation of Special Weapons and Tactics, SWAT to replace the SARS.
As the protesters continued their rendition of the National Anthem, the soldiers asked them to retreat, but they insisted on seeing the principal officers of the National Assembly.
An argument ensued between both parties, following which the soldiers descended on Arise Television cameraman, who was in the midst of the protesters, recording the event.
The soldiers hijacked his camera, arrested the cameraman and used the butt their guns to attack the protesters, including journalists in their midst.
As the camera was seized, the Arise TV reporter dissolved into the protesters and continued his reportage.
Consequently, only his voice was heard on air without visuals, as the camera had already been seized.
The females could be heard screaming in the background of the report, as it was later learned that the soldiers used tree branches to flog them.
After about 40 minutes of drama, the camera was returned to the crew of the television station, but the soldiers stood their ground to ensure the protesters didn’t gain access to the NASS complex.
When the situation simmered, the EndSARS protesters continued with their agitation for the reformation of the Police.