By Lukman Olabiyi, Lagos
As Nigeria marks Democracy Day on June 12, activity on Lagos roads virtually disappeared with scare vehicular and human movement.
Almost all the major roads in the state were deserted, including Ikorodu Road; Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Third Mainland Bridge, Western Avenue and Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
Protesters who had earlier gathered at the Gani Fawehinmi Park, Ojota in the morning were later dispersed by the police.
The police had stationed their patrol vehicles on the Ikorodu-Maryland Expressway, near the park, preventing people from entering the park.
It was observed that the protesters numbering about 50, some of whom wore red berets, gathered on the expressway, chanting solidarity songs.
It was not certain under which umbrella they gathered.
The State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, who later visited the scene, addressed reporters on why the protesters were dispersed.
Odumosu on why the protesters were dispersed, said every citizen of the country has constitutional right to protest and expressed his or her feeling in public but the person must follow due protest.
He said the protesters were dispersed for not following due process besides, adding that the protest was already being hijacked by the hoodlums before the police dispersed them.
According to him, as a result of the protest staged, hoodlums took the advantage to block the roads with tyres, causing hardship for people coming in and going out of Lagos.
Besides, he said the protesters did not notify the police of their intention and in order to safeguard the life and property of citizens, the protest has to be halt.
The Commissioner of Police added that to stage a protest; written and getting approval from the state government was not enough but the police must also be notified and provide security for the protesters.
He disclosed that no protesters were arrested nor any was in police custody.
“Whoever wants to stage protest let the government be aware, the park in question is a government property, managed by an agency, if the government gave approval for the usage of the park and the police is also notify, nobody we harass them but we also provide security for them in order to ensure their safety,” he said.