In what can only be termed as a shocking and not-so-shocking announcement, the Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, imposed a 24-hour curfew effective 4 pm, Tuesday, after a fire attack by hoodlums on prisons in the state. The announcement is not so shocking because it follows a similar pattern the Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki had employed a day prior. Obaseki had announced a 24-hour curfew in Edo state following the break into prisons and release of inmates by thugs. Similarly, the curfew was also effective from 4 pm, Monday.
It is, however, shocking because Sanwo-Olu had appeared like someone who was in support of the cause and protesters. He had joined the protests; he had attempted to set up an independent judicial panel to judge cases of police brutality, he had also addressed the people numerous times communicating an attempt to meet the demands made by the protesters. For him to call a 24-hour ban on all activities in Lagos State, impeding on the protests, seems opposite the image he had projected.
Nigerians are speculating that this is a ploy of the government to get protesters to stand down and a way to fan the flames of the ongoing #EndSARS protest. Many are also stating it is an oppressive tool where protesters found on the streets will only be slaughtering meat in the hands of already violent police officers, appointed to enforce the curfew. It is without saying, protesters are afraid, and many have decided to go home, but it doesn’t mean that they are discouraged. In fact, if government officials thought that this would be a way to get the protests done and over with, it seems they have another thing coming.
Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
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