Mr Macaroni, 35 Others Arrested As Police Crack Down On #OccupyLekkiTollGate Protesters

At least 35 people have been arrested in connection with the ‘Occupy Lekki Toll Gate’ protest which had earlier been banned by the police and the Lagos State Government. 

Among those arrested is Nigerian comedian, Debo Adebayo, popularly known as Mr Macaroni. 

THE WHISTLER correspondent gathered that some of the persons were arrested at the Lekki Toll Gate plaza, while others were picked up along the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge. 

The protesters had fixed today, Saturday, to convene at the Lekki Toll Gate plaza to register their displeasure over the ruling of the Lagos judicial panel granting the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) the approval to reopen the tollgate months after soldiers allegedly opened fire on unarmed protesters during the weeks-long #EndSARS protests. 

The protesters had taken to the streets across the country in October to demand for an end to police brutality and the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (or SARS) police unit. 

One of those arrested during the resumed Lekki toll gate protest, Damilola Adelare, told journalists that he was randomly picked up by security agents. 

“I am here to solidarise with fellow young people whom we have been organizing these protests together, and upon getting here, people have been arrested. And I came down here to observe what was going on until two men approached me and were asking me who I was…if I was a journalist. 

“At first I told them that I was an observer and they were asking for my ID card. I decided not to give them my ID card and they bundled me and started to harass me and I told them that I’m not going to lose my right to protest even if you jail me.”

Meanwhile, reactions have started to greet the protesters’ arrest on social media. 

One of the organizers of the #EndSARS protests, Feyikemi Abudu, tweeted on Saturday: “Our lawyers are getting ready to head to Adeniji station, or wherever they will take them.

“I really want to know the made up justification for these unlawful arrests because these people had just gotten there,” she said. 

Radio personality, Toke Makinwa, also tweeted, “Nigeria can really really really test you, Lagos state government you need the youth, @jidesanwoolu police arresting peaceful protesters that voted you in to office is a low blow, it is an abuse of our fundamental right to peacefully protest #EndSARS #Lekkitollgate.”

Co-convener of the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ movement, Aisha Yesufu, said: “Shekau has turned Buhari to a prisoner but it is on unarmed protesters that Buhari shows his cowardly might. 

“When you make peaceful protests impossible then you make violent protests possible.  Nigerians are not slaves and will never be slaves.”