By Bose Adelaja
Scores of people were injured while commercial and vehicular activities were grounded Sunday, as the ongoing #EndSARS protests across the country resulted into violence, in Ikorodu area of Lagos State.
The protesters were protesting against Police brutality and violation of human rights for the past two weeks.
The violence started on Saturday morning but degenerated and extended till Sunday as shops, vehicles and business places were vandalised as the protests were hijacked by street urchins popularlly called Area Boys.
According to eye witnesses’ accounts, peaceful protests were simultaneously ongoing at Ikorodu roundabout and Ogolonto axis though commuters and road users were denied access to and fro their destinations.
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As a result, some who could not trek to their destinations had to pass the night on the road and this resulted in unhappiness among many.
Similarly, the action ended up distrupting social functions as many would-be guests and celebrants were stranded on the road.
An eye witnesses Mr. Muniru Aderounmu said some supposed guests and celebrants started sharing meals and sourvennirs that would have been used to cater for their guests as the Ogolonto axis was completely impassable as a result of the protests.
Another eye witness Mr. Ebadan Clifford said he paid N2,000 from Ogolonto to Ibeshe on a commercial motorcycle when he could no longer bear the situation.
It was gathered that the protests ended up being hijacked by a group of Okada riders from Majidun led by their chairman and this turned rowdy as it degenerated into crises and gradually got extended to Idi-Iroko area of Ikorodu.
It was also gathered that shops, business places and vehicles were vandalised as street urchins joined the groups.
When Vanguard arrived the scene, passers-by were seen raising their hands above the head while street urchins had their field day by terrorising the entire community.
Law enforcement operatives were out of place as street urchins took over the road vandalising and looting properties.
The situation became worse as at 6am on Sunday as there was tension in Ogolonto, Majidun and Idi-Iroko axis of Ikorodu.
There was no presence of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) while the major road was littered with broken bottles, pebbles, leaves and wooden objects.
It could not be ascertained if the incident recorded fatalities but eye witnesses’ account claimed so many people were injured.
However, Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer SP Muyiwa Adejobi did not confirm any casualty.
He claimed the violence was caused by the violent protesters who threw caution into the wind and suddenly became violent. He said,” The protesters, who had barricaded the Ikorodu Expressway at Ogolonto end, as a result of the ongoing #Endsars# protest, started looting shops, attacking motorists, breaking vehicles’ wind screens, side mirrors, snatching bags and phones from passers-by, throwing and breaking bottles, brandishing cutlasses and other offensive weapons at about 6.30pm of Saturday, before they eventually dispersed,”
The SP confirmed that the violent protesters returned to the road at about 6am on Sunday saying, “at about 6am on Sunday, the residents and victims of the Saturday attacks resisted the moves of the same violent protesters to gather and foment troubles again. Incidentally, the situation became rowdy, but the Area Commander Area N, Ijede, ACP James Usen, has raced to the area to restore normalcy,”
He said the Commissioner of Police CP Hakeem Odumosu has appealed to protesters to properly manage their protests and control themselves to be orderly and peaceful.