The #EndSARS protests, aimed at getting rid of the now-dissolved Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), began peacefully in Lagos State early October.
The protests caused thousands of Nigerians, particularly youths, to flood the streets. They caught the attention of government, forcing the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, to announce the dissolution of the notorious unit accused of extortion, brutality, extra-judicial killings, and other human rights violations.
Despite the concession, the protests raged on as protesters came up with a five-point demand. They demanded the immediate release of all arrested protesters, justice for all deceased victims of police brutality, constitution of an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct, physiological evaluation and retraining of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed, and increment of police officers’ salaries.
The Federal Government promised to implement the demands, prompting the National Economic Council (NEC) to ask state governments to set up a Judicial Panel to investigate acts of police brutality.
The government urged the protesters to leave the streets as their demands were being implemented but they rejected the advances, asking government for immediate results. The demonstrators’ insistence has been attributed to lack of trust in government.
The protest took an unfortunate turn on Tuesday as men in army camouflage shot at unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos.
The aftermath of the incident witnessed wanton destruction of several public assets and private properties in the state by hoodlums.
On Friday, the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, visited the sites of the destruction for an on-the-spot assessment.
He described the attacks as “coordinated,” adding that the state needs to heal.
Below are the notable properties that were destroyed:
Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area (LGA)
Some properties in this LGA were set on fire and destroyed.
VIS Office, Ojodu
The newly-commissioned office of the Vehicle Inspection Services (VIS) in Ojodu area of Lagos was destroyed. Sanwo-Olu commissioned the operational headquarters in December 2019. The construction and delivery of the edifice had commenced the automation of VIS activities to ensure efficient traffic management across the state. But on Wednesday, the building was set ablaze. Several vehicles also suffered destruction.
Lagos State DNA and Forensic Lab, CMS
The Lagos State DNA and Forensic Lab located at CMS (Opposite Bookshop House), Lagos Island, was also burnt.
Ebute Ero Police Station, Lagos Island
This police station was among several police stations that were destroyed by hoodlums who attacked police properties.
Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Marina
The building housing the headquarters of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) was set on fire.
Oyingbo Bus Terminal
Hoodlums stormed Oyingbo Bus Terminal to set several BRT buses on fire. The buses had helped in easing public transport.
New BRT Buses at Ojodu
Some new BRT buses which were parked at Ojodu, beside LSPWC office, were not spared. They were razed and totally destroyed.
The Lagos High Court, Lagos Island
The Lagos State High Court was also destroyed. Video footages showed that files were destroyed while the hoodlums carted away with some properties of the judicial workers. Vehicles on the property were also set ablaze.
Ajegunle Apapa Police Station
This police station was also set on fire by hoodlums on a rampage. It was left in ruins.
Ajah Police Station
This is another police station that suffered destruction at the hands of the hoodlums.
Zappas, Lagos Island LGA
Buildings were also destroyed at Zappas on the Lagos Island.
LASEMA Response Unit, Lekki 1
The station of the Lagos State Emergency Management Authority (LASEMA) Response Unit, Lekki 1, was also set ablaze and suffered destruction.
TVC Communications, Ikosi-Ketu
The headquarters of Television Continental (TVC) at the Ketu area of Lagos was set on fire on Wednesday morning, forcing it to go off air. It came back on air on Saturday morning.
SPAR Supermarket, Lekki
The Lekki store of top supermarket chain, SPAR, was vandalised and looted. Despite huge loss it suffered, the supermarket acknowledged that “this is only a setback compared to the larger issues we are all facing as a nation, and our thoughts and prayers remain with Nigerians everywhere, and for a peaceful resolution to various issues at hand.”
The Nation Newspapers, Matori
The headquarters of The Nation Newspapers at Matori area of the state was set ablaze on Wednesday. Some vehicles inside the building located on Fatai Atere Way were also torched.
Several businesses are reeling from the losses they suffered during the unrest. On Friday, the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF) asked the owners of stores that were looted or vandalised to fill a form.
The state government said it would do what it can to support the businesses.