In the fast-paced world of today, news travels at the speed of light, often creating a whirlwind of confusion and misinformation. It’s essential to grasp the full context of events before forming opinions or passing judgments. In this article, we delve into the recent incident at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, where the police deployed teargas to disperse a gathering. We aim to provide a comprehensive understanding of the situation and the actions taken by the Lagos State Police Command on September 21, 2023.
Setting the Stage: The Candlelight Procession
The incident at the Lekki Toll Gate unfolded during a candlelight procession organized to honor the memory of Ilerioluwa Aloba, known as MohBad, who tragically passed away on September 12. This event drew the attention of the public and raised questions about the circumstances surrounding his death.
The Agreement with Organizers
To ensure the safety and smooth flow of the candlelight procession, the Lagos State Police Command had entered into an agreement with the event organizers. The terms of this agreement were explicit: the procession was to conclude by 8 pm and terminate at Muri Okunola, Victoria Island. Moreover, in consideration of public safety and the heavy use of the Lekki-Epe Expressway, it was clearly stated that the Lekki Toll Gate would be off-limits.
Unraveling the Unforeseen
However, as the evening progressed, it became apparent that not everyone intended to adhere to the agreement. Some individuals began gathering at the Lekki Toll Gate with objectives that extended beyond the #justiceforMohbad initiative. This development raised concerns, as it constituted a clear violation of the terms set forth in the agreement.
A Desperate Plea for Peace
In response to the growing crowd at the toll gate, the Lagos State Police Command, in conjunction with the procession organizers, made repeated efforts to persuade the people to disperse peacefully. Messages were also disseminated on social media, clarifying that the event was not a protest but a successful procession that had concluded.
These efforts continued for several hours, during which both the police and organizers encountered resistance in both words and actions. Importantly, at this juncture, all lanes leading in and out of Lekki had been completely blocked, resulting in a severe traffic buildup on the bustling expressway.
The Resort to Teargas
Having faced similar situations in the past and having learned from prior encounters, the Lagos State Police Command began to discern red flags and early warning signs of potential chaos and anarchy. In alignment with their mandate to protect life and property, maintain law and order, and prevent crimes, the police decided to employ the least harmful method of crowd dispersal: the use of teargas. Importantly, not a single live round was fired during this intervention.
It’s vital to highlight that the police applied crowd management best practices in dealing with the unruly crowd. This approach ensured that no lives were lost, and there were no injuries reported. The Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Command, issued a stern warning to mischief-makers, emphasizing that anyone disturbing the peace of the state would be promptly arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
A Commitment to Public Safety
The Lagos State Police Command also expressed appreciation for the procession organizers for their cooperation and commitment to upholding the agreement. They assured all supporters of #justiceforMohbad and Lagosians in general that the safety and security of the public would remain a top priority.
Ongoing Investigation into Ilerioluwa Aloba’s Death
The candlelight vigil was organized in memory of Ilerioluwa Aloba (MohBad), whose death on September 12 sparked public interest and speculation regarding the circumstances of his passing. In a bid to address these concerns, his body has been exhumed, and an autopsy has been conducted, with the public eagerly awaiting the results. The Lagos State Police Command has pledged to keep the public informed about the progress of the investigation.
In conclusion, the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate on September 21, 2023, was a complex situation that required careful handling by the Lagos State Police Command. Their actions were guided by a commitment to public safety and the preservation of law and order. It is crucial to consider the full context and details of events before forming opinions, and we hope this article has provided a comprehensive understanding of the situation.