The Lagos state police command says protesters planning to block third mainland bridge and other “critical public infrastructure” in Lagos over the new land use charge (LUC) introduced by the state government, will meet “stiff resistance”.
Chike Oti, public relations officer of the command, disclosed this in a statement on Sunday.
According to him, since those behind the planned protest were yet to apply for necessary permit, they should air their grievances with the government, within the purview of the law.
He said: “The attention of Lagos state police command has been drawn to the news making the rounds that a group of persons under the sponsorship of some mischief makers, and who are masquerading as civil rights activists, intend to block the third mainland bridge and occupy some critical public infrastructures in Lagos to protest the increase in the land use charge by the government of Lagos state.
“The command wishes to warn those concerned that any attempt by any individual or group of persons to cause a breach of the peace or infringe on the rights of others to pursue their daily aspirations, would be met with stiff resistance.”
Oti made reference to a recent “peaceful protest” by the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA), on the new law.
He said it was important for any group planning protests to make the necessary applications as the command was not against peaceful protests in the state.
He continued: “As it stands, the commissioner of police, Lagos state has not received a single application from any group wishing to carry out protest in any part of the state.
“It is therefore advised that these individuals wanting to protest government decision should consult with the police as it was the case with the Nigeria Bar Association before they carried out their very peaceful protest for which the police provided the needed security and ensured it was not hijacked by hoodlums.
“Once again, the command wishes to reiterate that it would not allow any group of protesters to compromise the peace in Lagos state in whatever guise.
“Any group of persons that feel strongly against any policies of the government should explore the judiciary option instead of endangering the public peace.”
There has been controversy over the law, forcing the state government to reduce the new rates by 50 percent but this did not go do well with many.
The Ikeja branch of NBA is demanding an outright cancellation of the new law.