Lagos Protesters Hold Sunday Service in Protest Grounds

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* Cult clash mars protest in Ikorodu, protesters arrest phone thief in Lekki

* Lagos police engage community leaders to manage protests

*Nigerians raise N5m for amputated protester

Chiemelie Ezeobi

The ongoing protest in Lagos State took another dimension yesterday as #EndSARS protesters held church services at their respective protest grounds.

Jumaat Congregational prayers were also held on Friday by Muslims faithful with Christians forming a human shield around them.

This is coming as the protest in Ikorodu area of Lagos turned violent yesterday when supremacy battle erupted between two cult factions at the Ogolonto area.

The Lagos State Police Command has however, charged the area commanders and divisional police officers to engage their respective community leaders in the action plans for effective service delivery especially with the ongoing protests.

The #EndSARS campaign has also launched an online radio broadcast called Soro Soke Radio to provide minute by minute nationwide updates on the ongoing protests, just as they also created a helpline for emergencies and a website to document stories of police brutality.

In Alausa, the interdenominational Sunday service was held on the grounds of the Lagos State House of Assembly with live bands to thrill worshippers.

Among the pastors there were Pastors Leke Adeboye and Kunle Ajayi, as well as Arole the comedian.

At the Lekki, there was praise and worship by gospel musicians while some of the protesters streamed the 11am Sunday Service of Pastor Sam Adeyemi’s DayStar.

Meanwhile, the protest in Ikorodu turned violent at the last-minute when a brewing cult war by two factions at the Ogolonto area erupted.

Protesters, who had barricaded the Ikorodu Expressway at Ogolonto end, were left helpless as a hitherto peaceful protest soon turned chaotic.

Taking advantage of the cult war, some hoodlums quickly began loot shops as others unleashed mayhem on motorists and passerby.

Not done with vandalising vehicles of motorists caught in the gridlock, they soon turned on passersby and snatched their bags and phones.

Reacting to the incident, the state Police Spokesman, SP Olumuyiwa Adejobi said the protest was hijacked by hoodlums, who were brandishing cutlasses, broken bottles and other harmful weapons, to cause chaos.

He said the hoodlums looted shops, attacked motorists, broke windscreens and side mirrors, snatched bags and phones from passers-by.

Adejobi said a second wave of attack by this same set of hoodlums was repelled by protesters with support from the Area Commander Area N, Ijede, ACP James Usen, who stormed the scene to restore normalcy.

In another development, the #EndSARS protesters at Lekki, arrested and handed over one Yusuf Lawal to the police for stealing a phone.

The protesters who were angry about the incident descended on him and gave him beating before they hand him over to the police at Maroko Police Station.

As at press time, the stolen phone had not been recovered as the suspect passed on the phone to his fleeing gang members.

Adejobi said the police are working on the useful information gathered from him to track down his gang members who are at large.

He said: “The Commissioner of Police Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has reiterated that this incident is a clear indication that the protests across the state, have been hijacked by some hoodlums who hide under the #EndSARS protests to steal, loot and cause damage to people’s property.

”He therefore advised protesters to be watchful of those who have infiltrated into their gatherings to cause pains to innocent Lagosians.“

The Lagos command has charged the area commanders and divisional officers to incorporate their respective community leaders into action plans for effective service delivery especially with the ongoing protests.

He pointed out that with the ongoing protests and security challenges associated with ember months activities, there is need to involve community leaders and stakeholders in the security business to police the nooks and cranies of the state.

Meanwhile, the viral picture of a young girl, one Jane Obiene, who has her left leg amputated, but still joined the protest with the aid of her crutches, has attracted goodwill to her.

Championed by Dr. Chinonso Egemba, popularly known as Aproko Doctor, the fundraising was to help get her a prosthetic leg because she has not been gainfully employed since 2013 when her leg was amputated.

Although the funding target was initially N500,000, it was later increased to N1.5million to cover the cost of other expenses.

But barely hours after the portal went open, 961 persons crashed the funding goal and raised about N5million for her.

With the overflow, the doctor also intends to help out another male amputee who was at the National Stadium in Surulere to march despite his disabilities.

The #EndSARS campaign has launched an online radio broadcast called Soro Soke Radio to provide minute by minute nationwide updates on the ongoing protests, just as they also created a helpline for emergencies and a website to document stories of police brutality.

‘Soro Soke’ a Yoruba phrase , which is loosely translated to mean ‘Speak Up’, is the slogan for EndSARS protesters in their campaign to end police brutality.

According to the group, it was built to aid coordination and communication nationwide.