- Mixed reactions have trailed the arrest of youths protesting the occupation of Lekki tollgate in Lagos
- Atiku Abubakar has also lent his voice against the alleged infringement of rights of citizens to conduct peaceful rallies
- Atiku said the arrest of the protesters by police personnel is unlawful according to the Nigerian constitution
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A former vice president of Nigeria, Atiku Abubakar, has reacted to the numerous arrests of Lekki tollgate protesters carried out by police officials.
In a tweet on Saturday, February 13, Atiku cited the 1999 constitution which gave all Nigerian citizens the right to engage in peaceful protests.
Added to this, the prominent northern politician noted that courts in the country also acknowledges this right and affirms it.
He, therefore, said that anything contrary to this is unacceptable and should be condemned as unlawful.
The PDP chieftain said what security agents should do is to provide a conducive environment for Nigerians to protest peacefully.
"The 1999 Nigerian constitution, as amended (Section 40) guarantees the right of citizens to peaceful protest.
"The courts have also affirmed that right. Anything contrary to that is not acceptable and stands condemned."
"It is the security agents' responsibility to provide a secured, conducive environment for citizens to protest peaceably in line with constitutional provisions and the African Charter on Human rights."
Earlier, heavily armed policemen had taken over the Lekki Tollgate to prevent protesters from converging in the area.
A group had called for demonstrations at the tollgate to express displeasure over the reopening of the facility which had been shut since the EndSARS protests in 2020.
But the police had banned any protest at the tollgate, warning protesters to stay away in order to avoid a repeat of the last protest that led to massive destruction of lives and properties across the state.
On Friday, February 12, a heavy presence of armed policemen were spotted at the tollgate and in some parts of Lekki and other areas of the state.
Onyirioha Nnamdi is a graduate of Literature and English Language at the University of Lagos. He is a Politics/Current Affairs Editor who writes on news and political topics for Legit.ng. He brings into his reporting a wealth of experience in creative and analytical writing. Nnamdi has a major interest in local and global politics.