Nigeria: Video - #EndSARS: Lagos Protesters Reject Food, Drinks Sent By NURTW Chief, MC Oluomo

16 October 2020

Scores of protesters at Alausa, Ikeja, on Friday attacked a van believed to have been sent by Musiliu Akinsanya, popularly called MC Oluomo, to deliver water and drinks to protesters.

MC Oluomo, the chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Lagos chapter, was accused by protesters of sponsoring the attack by armed thugs on Thursday.

MC Oluomo, the Lagos State government and the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, were accused of sending the armed thugs to attack protesters on Thursday.

They have all denied the allegations. The transport union chief in a video he shared on social media said he supports the protest for police reform and could not have sent the thugs.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how several protesters were injured at Alausa, Ikeja, on Thursday, after thugs armed with guns, machetes, knives and axes attacked them.

A day after the incident, MC Oluomo attempted to redeem his image in the eyes of the protesters. He sent water and drinks, branded with his name.

Some of the protesters, unaware of who sent the packs, collected and drank from the water and drinks before a protester raised an alarm about the food.

"MC Oluomo sent them, he wants to poison us, don't drink the water," he shouted.

Other protesters who also checked the name on the bottles stated throwing the bottles at the white van that conveyed them.

"We don't want any support from MC Oluomo, they are trying to break us, they want to penetrate again," some protesters shouted.

Angered by the gesture of the NURTW leader, the protesters threw bottles and other items at the van, as the driver sped from the venue to avoid being mobbed.

The NURTW is arguably the most influential transport union in Nigeria. Its members include private bus drivers and conductors and the thousands of garage boys, popularly called 'agberos' who are known to assault bus drivers and commuters to demand money.

Members of the NURTW are also often used as thugs by politicians in each state. In Lagos, MC Oluomo and the NURTW are believed to have a strong relationship with the governing party in the state, APC.

After protesters rejected MC Oluomo's gift, the #EndSARS protest continued in Alausa, Lagos, as in many states of Nigeria despite various concessions by the government.

PREMIUM TIMES reported hos the government last Sunday disbanded the notorious police unit, SARS, which was the major demand of the protesters.

The government has also pledged to ensure the prosecution of officers who assaulted and killed some protesters and ensure freedom for all arrested protesters.

On Thursday, the National Economic Council headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo approved that state governors set up independent judicial panels to probe police harassment in each state and that committees set up by state governors should have oversighton any new police unit formed.

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