Tuesday, January 18

#EndSARS: Security operatives take over Enugu, stop rally

Operatives of the Enugu State Police Command have frustrated the planned protest for the #EndSARS memorial anniversary in Enugu metropolis on Wednesday as officers of the Command took over the venue of the procession.

The #EndSARS memorial anniversary organisers had through handbills revealed that the event would begin with a symposium at the Center for Memories, Independence Layout, Enugu.

It was also learnt that aside the symposium, there would be a procession to the State Government House and the House of Assembly where petitions from the activists, would be submitted.

The Daily Vendor Newspaper however learnt that as early as 8.00am on Wednesday, no fewer than 12 Security Hilux Vans were stationed at various entry points into the Okpara Square and House of Assembly Junction at Independence Layout.

In addition, the command also ordered the managers of the Center for Memories, venue of the symposium in Enugu to stop all gathering in the premises, including a planned press conference.

Speaking with newsmen, the chairman of the Enugu State Network of Civil Society Organisations, Emmanuel Acha, decried what he described as the police attempt at gagging citizens from expressing their rights.

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“We planned to organize a memorial press conference in commemoration of the #EndSARS protest that happened last year

“We had planned to hold the event at the Centre for Memories, in Enugu here. But the Director of the centre told us that the board of the Directors of the centre directed that the event be stopped from holding. That was based on the influence of the state police command,” he said.

Adding that “They (Centre) made some attempts yesterday to ask us to stop the event but we were able to convince them that we were only holding a press conference and that it was not a protest.

“Our intention was to hear from the state panel on police brutality and extra judicial killings and table out our observations with regards to the panel

“This is a clear case of trying to stop the people from exercising their rights,” Acha said.

However, the atmosphere was peaceful as combined security operatives were strategically positioned at major routes within Independence Layout, while others were on patrol.

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