A call has been made to the Nigerian government to immediately release all those arrested and detained by the Nigeria Police for participating in the Lekki protest on Saturday.
This was contained in a communique issued by the Lekki Estates Resident and Stakeholders Association (LERSA) on Sunday and made available to SaharaReporters.
Nigerian youths were urged to shun protests and embrace peaceful dialogue with the authorities for the Nigerian government to attend to their demands.
In the press release jointly signed by its President and General Secretary, Olorogun James Emadoye and Gbemi Adelekan respectively, LERSA lamented the suffering experienced in the neighbourhood due to the recent protests embarked on by youths.
Nigerian youths, last Saturday, went to demonstrate their displeasure over the plan by the Lagos State Government and Lekki Concession Company to reopen the tollgate for business while the killing of peaceful protesters by Nigerian military personnel on October 20, 2020, had not been resolved, as the government and army have denied killing unarmed youths.
On Saturday, a popular comedian and rights activist, Debo Macaroni alongside other protesters were arrested, molested, and detained by the Lagos State Police Command.
The LERSA reacted, “As residents and stakeholders of Lekki and major users of the Lekki Expressway Tollgate. It is imperative for us to issue this communique, on the recent happenings in our community, most especially the security siege and disruption of movements, as a result of the planned protest, as the Lekki Tollgate yesterday, 13th of February, 2021.”
“Lekki Estates Residents and Stakeholders Association (LERSA), an association of over 80 estates and communities wish to use this medium, to appeal for calm from our youths and well-meaning Nigerians to enable the government to do the needful, by releasing unharmed protesters carrying out their civic responsibilities peacefully, while ensuring that the lives and properties of its citizens are protected.
“We also request that the Lekki Concession Company (LCC) should create an enabling environment for people and businesses along this axis. Our road experience prior to the October 20th shutdown of the Tollgates has been hardship and suffering, with the long traffic at the Toll Plazas. A tolled road is supposed to provide a quick, safe, and motorable experience, where users will be happy to pay for.
“The government, through LCC must realise that the Toll Gate operation cannot resume, back to the old ways of distress for users of the Toll Plazas. Without a doubt, we are the only citizens in Nigeria that are forced to pay a toll on a road that is less than 25km, completed in 14 years.
“With the poor experience and services at the toll plaza, we are actually paying for inconveniences rather than for convenience as we spend on the average of 20 to 30 minutes on the toll to pay. We affirm therefore by asking for viable alternative roads to the tolled roads, implementation of round figure fees at the toll, and immediate improvement of the tolling system technology to guarantee the free flow of the Tollgate before the commencement of tolling.
“Our intent with this request to the government and LCC is for services to be reviewed and improved, in addition to listening to the peaceful agitations and concerns of our youths and citizens, before embarking on reopening the Toll plazas.
SaharaReporters, New York