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Fuel hike: Police arrest protesters, seize journalists gadgets in Lagos

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Precious Igbonwelundu

The Police in Lagos on Thursday arrested anti-fuel and electricity tariff hike protesters around Ojuelegba, Surulere.

The operatives also seized the work tools of journalists- Ifeoluwa Adediran, Abiodun Ayeoba, Awoniyi Oluwatosin, and Daniel Tanimu-covering the protest organised by the Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN)

It was alleged that those arrested were 18 including Dagga Tolar, Ayo Ademiluyi, Chinedu Bosah, Lexan Ali, Fidel Davynovich, Oluwole Engels, and Hassan Soweto.

A statement by the National Organising Secretary of SPN, Dimeji Macaulay, condemned the clampdown on protesters, decrying the continuous descent of the country into a brutish state of military repression.

“It is completely unacceptable, and we enjoin all Nigerians interested in preserving this country’s hard-earned democracy to condemn this emboldened descent into a civilian-military dictatorship.

“We demand a public apology from the police for this ridiculous and unprofessional action taking against our comrades, and we ask that proper disciplinary measures be taken on those security officers involved.

“It’s important for you to note that demonstrations and protests are a global phenomenon and are a part of the development of any society,” he said.

READ ALSO: PHOTOS: Protest rocks Ibadan over electricity tarrif, fuel hike

Raising alarm about their arrest, Soweto who is the National Youth Leader of SPN said: “We have just been arrested alongside journalists for protesting this morning against fuel price hike, electricity tariff, and deregistration of SPN. I am typing this message at the back of a police van taking us to Area C, Police Command, Lagos.”

Condemning the arrest of journalists, the International Press Council (IPC) demanded their immediate and unconditional release.

A statement by the centre’s Programme Officer, Melody Akinjiyan, said: “IPC disapproves the harassment and brutalisation of the journalists in the course of legitimate duty and particularly decries the seizure and damage to their working tools.

“IPC demands the immediate and unconditional release of the journalists. The police should also return their seized gadgets and pay compensation for the damaged ones.

“IPC reiterates that the right to peacefully assemble and ventilate grievances over government policies is covered by the laws of the federation and should not be tampered with arbitrarily.”

Arrest of fuel, electricity hike protesters insensitive- CNPP

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