Celebrities and youths protesting against brutality and extra-judicial actions of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a dissolved formation of the Nigerian Police, in Lagos State and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja are presently under fear after suspected hoodlums allegedly attacked them and halted the demonstration.
The protesters, who had converged in both cities on eight-day of the protest tagged EndSARS and reform Police, were said to have been attacked by hoodlums that stormed venues of the demonstration and dispossessed the protesters of their phones and vandalised vehicles within the axis.
During the protests on Wednesday, The Guild gathered that the hoodlums were seen dispossessing participants at entrance of the state governor’s office, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja, and in Abuja, the perpetrators attacked the protesters around Berger bridge.
In Lagos, the protesters, who were been thrilled by celebrities including Debo Adebayo, popularly known as Mr. Macaroni and others, were said to have been attacked by hoodlums alleged to be members of ‘One million boys’, who deprived them of their mobile phones.
Minutes after the action started, an eyewitness narrated that the protesters rallied and arrest over four of the hoodlums and handed them over to law enforcement officers for onward prosecution in the state.
An eyewitness said: “The boys came and attacked the protesters especially females and dispossessed them of their mobile phones and other gadgets. But before they could dominate the scene, the youths rallied and apprehend them”.
Meanwhile, in Abuja, some thugs, alleged to be pro-SARS activists, were said to have attacked the protesters at Berger junction minutes after the commencement of the demonstration.
As gathered, the hoodlums, who were Fulanis, allegedly chased the protesters and destroyed vehicles parked within the axis to ensure that protesters do not converge at the scene for further demonstration in the capital.
An eyewitness narrated that the rag-tag army of hoodlums’ were armed with cutlass and other weapons used to vandalise vehicles and inflict injuries on protesters calling for an end to police brutality in Nigeria.
At least five cars were said to have been destroyed by the hoodlums, while scores of protesters sustained injuries during the attack that lasted for several minutes.
The Guild learnt that initially, the protesters withdrew as the stick-wielding crowd marched their way but the EndSARS protesters regrouped at a different location and retaliated, chasing their attackers and arrested atleast two pro-SARS members.
An eyewitness, Ilemona Onoja, disclosed that one of the thugs was arrested after being overpowered by the protesters during a reprisal attack and was handed over to Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
Onoja said: “A group of thugs has just attacked #EndSARS protesters at the Berger roundabout. After initially fleeing, the protesters have gathered and chased the thugs away. One of the thugs was apprehended and handed over to NSCDC patrol team station there”.