By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Hundreds of #EndSARS protesters on Friday stormed the Lagos State House of Assembly, Alausa to demand the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The protesters, armed with various placards, calling for outright disbandment of SARS.
The protesters blocked the road leading to the State House of Assembly, causing traffic gridlock in the area.
The protesters who thronged the Assembly chanting anti-SARS songs were later addressed by Lagos Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Hamzat.
He charged the police authority to ensure it put a stop to the incessant harassment of Nigerians by some officers of the anti-robbery squad, adding that any officer of the squad found to.have harassed innocent Nigerian should be arrested and prosecuted.
‘It’s okay to protest but I say clearly that it is wrong for any law enforcement agent to maim or criminalise another Nigerian without reasonable course. The police or the law enforcement agents must do their job. In doing that job, you cannot trample on the right of the citizens.
“You cannot say our youths, because of their looks or they are carrying computer are guilty of a crime. The police job is to arrest people and send them for prosecution if they do something wrong. That tenets must be adhered to.
“We are not against police fighting robbery but we are saying do not unjustifiably hurt our children because of their looks. Whoever is responsible should be arrested and prosecuted,” he said.
Hamzat, however, enjoined the protesters to be law abiding, adding that in spite of the bad eggs among the police, their job was important to the safety of the citizenry.
“However people must understand there are processes to everything. If they say they want to continue staying at the government house forever, there is no problem but that process must still take place. We are not in a kangaroo country. We are a country of process.
“It’s a mob mentality. Where there is a mob, things would happen. My message is that it is right for every Nigerian to be outraged if a young man or woman legitimately doing his or her job is attacked or maimed for no reason. We can not do that.
“However while carrying out the protest, we must also be peaceful so that we don’t break the law. This is because in breaking the law or property, we are hurting ourselves more. They should protest orderly and make it clear what they are clamouring for.
“You can’t block the road because what if somebody is going to the hospital and the person is dying? We must look at the society at large.
“The same thing happened in other jurisdiction like the United States and some people said the police should be banned but does it make sense? The fact is they have a job to do but are they doing the job right? The answer depends on who you listen to. The bad eggs among them should be identified,” he added.