LAGOS (Reuters) – Authorities on Tuesday imposed a round-the-clock curfew on the Nigerian state of Lagos – including Africa’s biggest city – in response to protests against alleged police brutality which they said had turned violent.
The national police chief also ordered the immediate deployment of anti-riot forces following increased attacks on police facilities, a police spokesman said.
The Lagos state governor’s spokesman, Gboyega Akosile, said: “The curfew will not end tomorrow. A 24-hour curfew means all round the clock, day and night. It is indefinite. Nobody moves until we lift the curfew.”
Citizens in the commercial capital stocked up on food after the announcement. Staples such as tomatoes and eggs were sold out in some places as women in markets closed shops and people queued at cash machines.
GT Bank, one of the largest lenders in Nigeria, said all its branches would remain closed for the duration of the curfew.
Thousands of Nigerians demanding an end to alleged police brutality have taken to the streets every day for nearly two weeks across the country. Amnesty International said at least 15 people had been killed since the protests began.
Rights groups had for years accused the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police unit targeting violent crime, of extortion, harassment and torture. But a video allegedly showing SARS officers killing a man in Delta state sparked the protests. Police denied the incident, and disbanded SARS on Oct. 11, but protests have persisted. Read More