Protests: Angry Mob Sets Palace, City Hall, Oregun Theatre Ablaze

by Yinka Akanbi

As many states in Nigeria continue to witness carnage as hoodlums hijack the otherwise peaceful protests against police brutality, culture has recorded fatal attacks in Lagos.

On Wednesday, three cultural landmarks were badly hit in Africa’s vibrant metropolis renown for its vibrant arts and entertainment scene.

The palace of the Lagos monarch, Oba Rilwanu Akiolu, was the first to be attacked by violent mob, with the palace being eventually vandalised and torched just few moments after the king was evacuated to safety by security agencies.
The palace in Iga Iduganran in the heart of Lagos island was thrown like many places within the metropolis, into confusion as thugs raided and looted the palace.

In the process, the staff of office (Opa Ase) was taken away by hoodlums seen on social media posts mocking the symbol of Lagos’ traditional authority, an act that many have described as “sacrilegious and abominable.”

A few kilometres from the palace, the Lagos City Hall also came under attack on a sad day that witnessed the torching of a high court, at least three media houses, several police stations among other government assets as well as about 50 brand new mass transit bosses.

The City Hall, which houses the Goethe Institute (German Cultural Centre) and a Lagos Council Development Centre, among others was eventually burnt down by the rampaging mob.

In the Lagos mainland, the newly completed Lagos Theatre in Oregun was also set ablaze by an angry mob. Like the others targeted, it is believed that the mob action came as a reprisal attack owing to the reported attack on harmless protesters at the Lekki toll gate on by certain military officers who reportedly opened fire at the protest ground in order to forcibly disperse them.

The 400-seater Oregun theatre is one of the four built by the Akinwunmi Ambode administration for the development of performing arts and promotion of other creative arts especially for the youths.

However, protesting youths present at the scene of the incident in Oregun denied any involvement in the torching of the edifice, claiming that they tried to wade off the attack by the suspected hoodlums who invaded the premises even while a state-wide conflict was in force.

Like the other three in Igando, Epe and Badagry, the multi-purpose theatre was conceived and built for cultural and entertainment promotion and was commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari in April 2019.

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