As violent incidents have grown from Nigeria’s widespread protests against police brutality, a 24-hour curfew has been imposed in Lagos, the country’s largest city
The announcement of the curfew in Lagos, a sprawling city of some 14 million, came Tuesday after a police station was burned down in the city and two people were shot dead by police.
Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said the curfew will cover the entire city and surrounding area.
“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state,” the governor said.
The protests began two weeks ago after a video circulated showing a man being beaten, apparently by police officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, known as SARS.
The demonstrators have not been satisfied with the disbandment of the SARS unit and are demanding an end to abuses and respect for human rights in all parts of the police force. The protests have stopped traffic in Lagos, the capital Abuja and many other large cities in Nigeria, a country of 196 million people.
Lagos is the main center of the protests which have blocked access to the airport, the country’s largest, and protesters barricaded the roads leading to the country’s main ports.
The curfew in Lagos is the second within 24 hours to be imposed in Nigeria. Authorities imposed a curfew in Benin City on Monday after a group of young men broke into two prisons freeing scores of inmates.
Protests continue Tuesday in many cities including Abuja the capital where troops have been deployed.