Nigerian security forces are reportedly responding to an attempted jailbreak at the Ikoyi Prison, Lagos, on Thursday, October 22. Police and army units were alerted by prison authorities as protesters allegedly stormed the site, throwing stones and setting fires. Shots were reportedly fired as security forces attempted to regain control of the situation, and local sources claim that several inmates were shot as they attempted to escape. The situation is ongoing, although social media sources indicate that no prisoners have managed to escape, and the fires are under control.
The incident comes amid continuing widespread unrest in Lagos in which at least 12 protesters are reported to have been killed on Tuesday, October 20, and dozens injured in clashes with security forces.
Further protests and clashes are likely in Lagos and throughout Nigeria over the near term. A heightened security presence and associated disruptions to transportation and business should be expected near protest sites.
A series of protests organized by the #EndSARS social media campaign have been held across Nigeria over the past few months and have intensified in recent days, with demonstrations having led to fatal clashes between protesters and security forces. Unrest has continued despite an announcement by President Muhammadu Buhari that the controversial SARS police unit would be disbanded and replaced by a new agency called SWAT, a move which protesters have rejected.
Those in Lagos are advised to monitor the situation, adjust travel itineraries and avoid unnecessary overland movement in the immediate term, avoid the vicinity of any demonstrations, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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