A candlelight procession held in memory of the late Afrobeat singer Mohbad, took a chaotic turn on Thursday night as participants were allegedly dispersed with tear gas by law enforcement officers.
The procession had earlier gathered at Muri Okunola Park in Victoria Island, Lagos, at around 8 p.m. to pay tribute to the departed musician.
However, the peaceful gathering took a disturbing turn when sympathizers who later moved to the Lekki tollgate area around 11 p.m. were reportedly met with tear gas and dispersal tactics.
In a video shared on Twitter, a popular skit maker known as Oluwadolaz claimed that the crowd had been dispersed with tear gas.
A separate video revealed one sympathiser with his right leg covered in blood, allegedly after being shot at by the police during the incident.
Many Nigerians have questioned the decision to converge at the Lekki tollgate, the same site where, on October 20, 2020, Nigerian soldiers disrupted a peaceful #EndSARS protest.
Reacting to the situation, popular On-Air Personality (OAP) Do2dtun clarified that the candlelight procession had concluded at 8 p.m. and was not intended as a protest.
Do2dtun, who hosted the tribute concert honouring Mohbad at Muri Okunola Park, emphasised that the event was meant as a peaceful candlelight procession to honour the late singer, not a protest.
While condemning the police for their alleged use of tear gas, Do2dtun also called for common sense to prevail, suggesting that the procession could have been hijacked and turned into something else.
The Force Public Relations Officer at Force Headquarters, Prince Olumuyiwa Adejobi, refrained from describing the procession as a protest.
Instead, he emphasised the significance of candlelight processions in honouring the deceased and praying for their souls.
— Intel Region (@IntelRegion) September 21, 2023