A war of words has broken out online between those opposing the planned reopening of the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza and those supporting the Lekki Concession Company to resume tolling at the toll gate.
The two sides have taken to Twitter to trend “#OccupyLekkiTollGate” and “#DefendLagos” ahead of the planned reopening of the toll gate.
Basing their position on the economic downturn in the state, the “DefendLagos” protesters have insisted through an online campaign that the Lekki Tollgate must return to business.
They also shared images of facilities destroyed across the state as a result of the EndSARS protest.
The facilities were destroyed by hoodlums who allegedly hijacked the protest.
However, members of the EndSARS protest and other Nigerians have viewed the new development from different perspectives.
Speaking on the issue, a medical doctor and socialite, Olu Fumilayo, noted via his Twitter page that the campaign for “DefendLagos”, is an “official confirmation that hoodlums will be used to cause maximum violence and chaos.
“It is a very subtle way of saying they will burn, destroy and kill- just to continue money collection at Lekki Toll Gate. Go write this down. “
Responding to him, Labonz @aweowoblow said: “Doc, are there toll gates in UK? What is this protest all about really? #occupylagos is not sponsored because you supported it? We would not open our eyes and allow people destroy our land. We are yet to recover from the last protest. We wld never recover cos lives were lost.
“We would #DefendLagos, defending Lagos is not about defending any useless govt or governor, it is about defending the land and restoring sanity. We cannot allow some anarchists turn us to beasts, some of them don’t even live in Nigeria and are not based in Lagos”.
On his part, Sam Hart @hartng said: “You’re doing the work of the oppressor if you minimise the efforts that went into #EndSARS & reduce the involvement of promoters to glory-hunting. We have seen real consequences on the lives & livelihoods of promoters. It is wicked & disingenuous to amplify ill-will towards them”.
Also, Zamba @lee_zamba said: “Defending Lagos is a good phrase!!! Peaceful protest is constitutional!! If you are a patriotic citizen you can defend Lagos by giving peaceful protesters security to make their protest in peace!!!”.
Whereas, Olanrewaju IROKO @lanre_ogunlana said: “Blocking of roads and trampling on my fundamental human rights is not a way to get justice. We can hold government to account without causing more pains and death”.
Also speaking, Zana @PrinzAna said: “In as much as I want justice for #LekkiMassaccre I would candidly ask that we use our time wisely in coming together as a body to prepare for 2023 at least that will be our own weapon against the myopic and greedy govt cabal.
“It’s so unfortunate that the same people that killed us will still use us to kill us again… that’s their plan atm”.
White_vertigo, however, said: “And where is the sanity in restoring a toll where innocent lives were killed? Where is the sanity in restoring a toll that makes people spend hours in traffic? Where is the sanity in restoring a toll that’s used to impoverish millions of commuters despite paying taxes?”
Recall that the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims of defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), on Saturday approved the reopening of the toll gate which had been shut down since October 20, 2020.
The Panel has been investigating reports of rights abuses by SARS and begun its public hearing on October 27, 2020 – seven days after the alleged shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at the tollgate.