Journalist and activist, Agba Jalingo, and 18 other protesters have been arrested by men of the Lagos State Police Command during a #RevolutionNow protest in the Ikeja area of the state on Wednesday.
Jalingo’s driver, Clement Laruba, confirmed the development .
“He left his phone with me and went to protest in Ikeja. He has been arrested by the police. I am his driver. He was with those protesting during the #RevolutionNow protest. I am currently on my way to the Area F Police Division in Ikeja.
“The protest started around 9am but I stayed where the car was parked while he left for the protest. But he later called me with someone’s number to inform me that he has been arrested,” Laruba said during the telephone conversation.
It was gathered that protesters under the aegis of the #RevolutionNow movement stormed the under-bridge area of Ikeja this morning to protest on the deplorable state of the country.
During the protest, it was learnt that the participants, including youths, old men and women, carried placards and chanted solidarity songs as they repeatedly turned around the roundabout located under the bridge opposite the computer village in Ikeja.
An eyewitness, who identified himself simply as Rasaq, said some of the protesters were arrested in the process.
“When the police realised that the protesters were not coming toward their direction, they closed in on them and sprayed teargas to disperse them. In the process, some of the protesters ran into the computer village and the policemen gave them a hot chase and arrested some of them,” he said.
It was learnt that the protesters later regrouped and continued the protest around the Ikeja-Along area of the state.
Notably among the personalities involved in the protest around Ikeja-Along was Agba Jalingo.
In viral footage, Jalingo, while leading some of the protesters along the axis, was heard saying, “No matter how they arrest us, no matter how they chase us, we will not be afraid of their Black Marias, we will not be afraid of their rifles and teargas, we will continue to sing and shout until the day we see a new Nigeria.”
Jalingo, who later spoke from the Area F Police Division, said, “We were protesting the bad governance in the country. We have been talking every day that this country is not going well and that the government needs to do something to correct the level of poverty and reverse the level of penury in the country.
“I am surprised that anytime we come out to draw attention to these issues, they send the police to come and arrest us. We are harmless and are not carrying arms, but only stood with a megaphone to address the public and then somebody started shooting teargas at us. It is a mystery that something like this is still happening in Nigeria.
“I was arrested at Ikeja-Along. The police were chasing us on the express for more than three kilometres before they eventually rounded us up and took 19 of us to the Area F police station in Ikeja. We are here, they don’t want to tell us what to do with us, they have been asking us to write a statement but we have refused to do so because we don’t know what we have done wrong.”
The state Police Public Relations Officer, Bala Elkana, had yet to respond to calls made to his telephone number as of the time this report was filed.