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Despite Bans, Demonstrators March To The Nigerian National Assembly

On Thursday, hours after the army said it was ready to step in and restore order after more than a week of protests against police violence, demonstrators marched to the gates of Nigeria’s parliament.
The military released a statement late on Wednesday entitled “Nigerian Army Alerts Subversive Elements and Trouble Makers.”
“The NA (Nigerian Army) is prepared to completely assist the Civil Authority in every capacity to maintain law and order and to deal decisively with any situation,” it said.
The protest defied the ban on mass rallies in the capital of Abuja, which the government said was imposed earlier on Thursday to stop the coronavirus from spreading.
Chanting crowds in the commercial hub of Lagos also blocked roads and waved flags and banners, where demonstrators reported clashing with unidentified men carrying weapons.
Social media videos seemed to show men coming out of a bus and chasing demonstrators, although the footage could not be checked by Reuters.
“On Twitter, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said he condemned the attacks” by armed and unscrupulous forces seeking to create havoc “on peaceful protesters.
The state of Lagos set up a 200 million naira ($525,000) compensation fund for victims of police brutality, a key demand from protesters, and a presidential spokesman said on Twitter that all governors had been ordered by the government to set up compensation funds for victims.
He also said investigatory judicial commissions will investigate police brutality.
Since Wednesday last week, demonstrators have staged regular marches calling for a police department reform.
The police reacted to the protests with beatings, tear gas and gunfire that Amnesty International, a human rights organization, claimed had killed at least 10 people. But the police decided to stop using force against protestors on Tuesday.


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