Lagos State Police Command on Sunday warned some protesters planning to block the Third Mainland Bridge and other critical public infrastructures in Lagos over the new Land Use Charge (LUC) of the State Government.
Saying any attempt to breach public peace will be met with stiff resistance. The groups planning the protest had explained that despite the reduced rates rolled out by the Governor Ambode-led government, the LUC was still high.
The police, in a statement by the Public Relations Officer of the Command, SP Chike Oti, said those behind the planned protest were yet to apply for necessary permit, and that it was in their interest to follow the rule of law to ventilate whatever grievances with government.
Oti said: “The attention of Lagos State Police Command has been drawn to the news making the rounds that a group of persons under the sponsorship of some mischief makers, and who are masquerading as civil rights activists, intends to block the Third Mainland Bridge and occupy some critical public infrastructures in Lagos to protest the increase in the Land Use Charge by the government of Lagos state.
“The Command wishes to warn those concerned that any attempt by any individual or group of persons to cause a breach of the peace or infringe on the rights of others to pursue their daily aspirations, would be met with stiff resistance.”
While recalling a recent protest by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), Ikeja branch on the new LUC, the police spokesman said it was important for the necessary application to that effect to be made to prevent the protest from being hijacked by hoodlums which ultimately would threaten the peace of the State.
“As it stands, the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State has not received a single application from any group wishing to carry out protest in any part of the state.
“It is therefore advised that these individuals wanting to protest government decision should consult with the police as it was the case with the Nigeria Bar Association before they carried out their very peaceful protest for which the police provided the needed security and ensured it was not hijacked by hoodlums.
“Once again, the Command wishes to reiterate that it would not allow any group of protesters to compromise the peace in Lagos State in whatever guise.
“Any group of persons that feel strongly against any policies of the government should explore the judiciary option instead of endangering the public peace,” Oti said.