Gang-members armed with bladed weapons and sticks blocked major roads and set fires in Lagos on Friday, October 23, amid continuing nationwide unrest over police brutality in Nigeria. Roadblocks were reportedly set up on the highway leading to Murtala Muhammed International Airport (LOS), with young men manning the barricades demanding cash from drivers. Several busses were reportedly set alight after drivers refused to pay. In the Ibeju area of Lekki in the east of the city, armed men allegedly confronted security forces and set fire to police stations. Gunshots were also reported in Ikoyi, where an attempted jailbreak allegedly occurred on Thursday, October 22. The violence and protests are taking place despite a round-the-clock curfew being in place in Lagos.
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 through the #EndSARS social media campaign have been held across Nigeria over the past few months and 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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