Protesters defied the order of Governor Nyesom Wike and stormed the streets as part of the ongoing #endSars campaign.
The Police Force which has its back to the wall had across the country granted demonstrators permission to embark on peaceful protests.
Efforts at the last moment by the Rivers State Government to halt what is turning into a carnival on the streets drew the ire of members of the public, particularly from the social media.
Many on the social media rose in condemnation of the government’s posture, saying the right to protest was Constitutional and inalienable.
Addressing protesters who encamped outside the Government House, Wike remarked, “It is not only ending SARS, every Nigerian should support the total reform of the Police.
“We shouldn’t make a mistake, If we #EndSars as they have done, the same police people would be used to form another body.
“That is what I have always supported and called for.”
Some lives have been lost since the End SARS protest began.
In Oyo State, someone was killed while some others were injured.
In Lagos, there were similar reports of death and injuries, following a violent twist to the street protests there.
Obviously pained by the death of citizen Jimoh, Governor Makinde noted, “I pray that God grants the parents of Jimoh Isiaka the fortitude to bear this irreplaceable loss.
The ENDSARS protests are a strong indicator of a systemic failure.
“It is a failure on the part of those who have been constitutionally empowered to protect the citizens.
“I will be paying a personal visit to the family of Jimoh Isiaka and I promise to pursue the investigations to a logical conclusion.
“Peaceful protests are a big part of our democratic process. The right to freedom of speech and assembly are guaranteed by our Constitution, and I will never support any attempt to rob citizens of their fundamental human rights.”
We cannot confirm if the Wike administration intended to avert the outbreak of violence and the possibility of recording unwanted deaths.
But the demonstrators, in their numbers, are getting their message across. That message is apparently loud and clear.
Meanwhile, the authorities have already caved in to the demands of the protesters on the streets, with the office of the IGP announcing that the Police has scrapped the much dreaded anti-crime outfit, SARS.
Commenting on the SARS impasse, Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, Minister of Police Affairs said on Twitter, “I urge Nigerians to see the disbandment of SARS, as government’s commitment to deepening relationship between Nigerians and the police, for better service delivery. Let’s continue to work together to secure our communities.”
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