A cross section of Badagry youths yesterday, 13th October 2020, trooped out in mass to join their counterparts nationwide in the ongoing protest against police brutality, and calling for ban on multiple Police checkpoints and fixing of the Badagry expressway.
The youths who converged at Badagry roundabout took to the streets to express their grievances with different placards portraying their request in the #ENDSARS campaign.
Barr. Peter Owolabani, one of the coordinators of the protest says the Badagry #EndSARS protest is not only about Police brutality but also about the multiple Police checkpoints on the dilapidated Badagry Expressway causing physical, emotional and financial strain on residents and visitors alike.
Barr. Gabriel Tinka, said “The problem we have in Badagry is that of multiple checkpoints on Agbara-Badagry Expressway. From Badagry to Agbara, there are more than 16 police checkpoints. Policemen on this road are extorting motorists; they are collecting between N100 to N200 from the drivers.This had made commercial vehicles plying the road to increase their transport fare from N150 to N500.
“Our people plying the road are going through this punishment everyday. Today, we are here to say that if the Federal Government is scraping SARS, they should help us in Badagry to cancel the multiple checkpoints on our road”.
The youths marched down to Badagry Local Government Secretariat, where Barr. Viyon Ogunbiyi presented the plight of the youths to the Chairman, she stated that Badagrians are tired of police brutality, SARS harassment, bad state of the road and multiple checkpoints on Lagos-Badagry expressway, thereby calling for the government to intervene to fix all issues mentioned.
A popular Badagry born hip-hop artiste, Babalola Babatunde a.k.a.Scope, also stated that the rate at which young men are been harassed, intimidated by the men of Nigerian police is brutal, stressing that young men cannot move freely on the highway for fear of police harassment. He therefore calls for reformation of the police force, removal of multiple checkpoints and putting an end to SARS activities.
Responding, the Chief of Staff to the Badagry Local Government Chairman, Mr. Wale Yahaya acknowledged the youths for the peaceful demonstration to voice out their grievance, stating that the message of the youths is clear and it will be conveyed to the Chairman for onward action to the appropriate authorities.
The protesting youths later moved to the Akran Palace and Agbalata International Market in Badagry to register their displeasure on the multiple checkpoints, as they were escorted by SP. Peters Gbesu, the Divisional Police Officer in Badagry and his men, who were on ground to ensure that the protest was peaceful.
In his reactions, Gbesu told newsmen that he was on ground to monitor the protest and ensure that it was peaceful, and not hijacked by hoodlums.
He said that officers of the division were deployed to strategic areas to ensure that no individual’s right was disturbed.
The DPO, however, said that he would deliver the message of the youth to the state command of the police in Ikeja.