By Achidi Thelma
Police has arrested popular comedian Debo Adebayo, a.k.a Macaroni, during the Saturday occupy_ lekki_ toll_ gate protest at Lagos Island.
It was observed that the comedian joined other protesters at the tollgate to express his dissatisfaction with the decision of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry allowing the Lekki Concession Company to reopen the Lekki tollgate.
But, he was arrested on Saturday, after the police allegedly told him point blank “we don’t want you here”.
In a live Instagram before his phone and those of other arrested protesters were seized, the comedian lamented that “Lekki is under military rule.”
He said, “How did you think the reopening of tollgate is the next line of action? If you didn’t do that today, we won’t have a right to be here.
“It is a disrespect to say that you want to reopen this tollgate. Are you spitting on the graves of the dead.
Na military regime we dey? We also have a right to be heard. We have a right to protest peacefully.”
Another protester, Joseph Seye, said, “I am an artist. I am not a criminal. I came here to protest. It is my right. It is not a crime to protest. Why is the government treating youths this way?”
Recall that yesterday, fully armed police officers and other security agents embarked on a show-of-force trying to intimidate the protesters to hold their fire.
Fully armed police officers manning the Lekki Tollgate Plaza have arrested about a dozen protesters, the first batch to arrive at the tollgate.
The protest, tagged #OccupyLekkiTollgate, scheduled to begin at 7 a.m. Saturday, was against the reopening of the tollgate.
Another group of protesters, who tagged theirs #DefendLagos, had also planned to gather at the site at the same time, threatening the former group to stay away.
Amidst the threat of violence, the police and federal the state governments warned both groups to shelve the protests.
On Friday, armed police officers embarked on a show of force across the city, reiterating its call for protesters to stay away from the tollgate.
On Saturday morning, dozens of armed police officers were stationed at the tollgate awaiting any protesting group. At about 7 a.m., about three patrol vans filled with police officers headed towards Lekki. It was unclear what their mission was.
A few minutes later, a group of protesters were rounded up at the toll plaza.