Thousands of supporters and opponents of Egypt’s President Mohamed Morsi are holding rival demonstrations on the streets of the capital Cairo amid reports of clashes in the second city of Alexandria.
Supporters of President Morsi gathered on Friday in a Cairo neighbourhood for a rally, in response to opposition plans for a major anti-government demonstration over the weekend.
Morsi supporters gathered at the Rabia el-Adawiya mosque in Nasr City to assert that “[the government’s] legitimacy was a red line”.
Thousands of Morsi backers filled the street outside, chanting religious slogans. “It is for God, not for position or power”, they shouted.
“I’m here to defend my voice. If you want Morsi to leave, that’s fine, but after four years,” said Taher Mohamed, manning a stall and selling pro-Morsi gear at the rally.
Naeem Ghanem, another Morsi supporter accused the opposition of working with the US and Israel.
“Don’t believe that everyone is against the president, 90 percent of the people are with Morsi,” he said.
Violence broke out on Friday between supporters and opponents of President Morsi in Alexandria, leaving at least one killed and 70 injured, according to the state news agency MENA.
Some anti-government protesters set on fire the local headquarters of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party in the Sidi Gaber area.
The extent of the damage has yet to be ascertained.
Reports say protesters have stormed and set fire to Brotherhood offices in several governorates around country including Gharbiya, Daqahliyah and Kafr el-Sheikh.
Earlier, several thousand protesters marched along the city’s seafront complaining mainly about economic stagnation.
“There are no services, we can’t find diesel or gasoline. We elected Morsi, but this is enough,” said 42-year-old accountant Mohamed Abdel Latif.
Hundreds of opposition protesters have gathered in Tahrir Square, demanding the president’s resignation, ahead of a separate major planned demonstration on Sunday – a year after President Morsi took office.
The opposition activists have been holding a sit-in in the Tahrir Square, the iconic epicentre of the protest movement that ousted former President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, since Tuesday.
Deepening divisions among ruling Islamist and the largely secular opposition have heightened tensions in Egypt.
For the past several days, Morsi’s opponents and members of his Muslim Brotherhood have been battling it out in the streets of several cities in the Nile Delta in violence that has left at least four dead and more than 400 injured.
Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood group said all the four people who died in Mansura city were its members.
Many fear the clashes are a prelude to more widespread and bloodier battles on Sunday.
In a sign of the charged atmosphere, a senior cleric, Sheik Hassan al-Shafie, from Al-Azhar, the country’s most eminent Muslim religious institution, warned of the possibility of “civil war” after the street clashes in the Delta.
The opposition accuses Morsi, who is Egypt’s first democratically elected president, of failing to fulfill the objectives of the revolution that forced Hosni Mubarak from power in 2011.
They accuse the ruling Islamists of focusing on consolidating power and failing to address Egypt’s economic and social problems.
The army, which heeded mass protests in early 2011 to push aside Hosni Mubarak, has warned it will intervene again if there is violence and to defend the “will of the people”.
Kwara Governor, Abdulrazaq Declares 24-hour Curfew
Following the outbreak of violence in some quarters of the State, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq of Kwara State has declared a 24-hour Curfew on the state starting on Saturday.
Governor Abdulrazaq made this known in a statewide broadcast on Friday night.
Recall that on Friday some residents of Ilorin, the Kwara State capital stormed the warehouses where the government stored COVID-19 palliatives expected to be distributed to citizens.
Also Read: BREAKING: Lagos Government Relaxes Curfew
The warehouses, located at the cargo warehouse of the International airport in Ilorin as well as the agro-mall located in the Sango area of the state were totally ransacked as residents struggled to pack as much food items as they could.
Abdulrazaq said, “Lives are being threatened. Businesses are being looted. Public properties have been targeted. This is unacceptable. It is not who we are.
“To curb these acts of criminalities, I hereby declare a 24-hour curfew in Ilorin metropolis from midnight today October 23rd, 2020. This is in line with Sections 1, 2, and 4 of the Public Order Act Chapter 382 Laws of Federation of Nigeria 2004.
“People are urged to stay indoors in compliance with this curfew. This will be reviewed as we watch developments.
“Our observation is that what has happened today is not a protest, it cannot be defended under any guide, it was a pure act of criminality as some people are hiding under the guise of nationwide protest.”
Lagos Policemen Brutalise PUNCH Journalists For Covering #EndSARS Protest
Two PUNCH journalists, Femi Dawodu and Segun Odunayo, were on Wednesday brutalised by policemen guarding the Lagos State House of Assembly in Ikeja.
The duo had gone to cover events around the Alausa area, a major demonstration ground of the #EndSARS protesters calling for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force.
According to the PUNCH, both Odunayo and Dawodu were recording a live video of activities in the area when the policemen accosted them and ordered them to stop the recording.
After showing the policemen their identity cards, indicating that they are journalists covering #EndSARS protests and monitoring compliance with the government-imposed curfew, the policemen became annoyed and pounced on them.
Odunayo said the policemen tortured them for four hours, adding that they stripped them of their clothes, laid them on the floor, beat them with a stick and guns, and took a video recording of them while torturing them at the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Odunayo said, “Femi and I were at the Secretariat in Alausa around 7 am and were doing a live video of the activities going on in the area. We were heading back to the expressway when a group of armed policemen accosted us at the Lagos State House of Assembly roundabout and immediately collected our phones. We showed them our ID cards, but they refused to let us go.
“What got the policemen annoyed was that we saw them using a stick and a rubber to beat a young man, and during the live video, they heard me saying that they were beating someone. So, after they arrested us, they tortured us and demanded that we should do another live video denying the statement, but we refused.
“Each Time we refused, they slapped us, used a stick to beat us, used the butt of their guns to hit our heads and bodies after stripping us of our clothes. All they wanted was for us to do another live broadcast to claim that we lied and we didn’t because we told the truth.”
Dawodu said it took the intervention of the state Police Public Relations Officer, Muyiwa Adejobi before they were released at the Alausa Police Station, adding that before their release, the policemen took their details, including their addresses, took a video record of them and threatened to go after them if any negative report was published about what happened.
He said, “The policemen were transferring the aggression of what is happening regarding the #EndSARS protest on us. They later took us to the Divisional Police Station in Alausa, and if not for the DPO, the policemen guarding the LSHA that arrested us would have done more grievous things to us.
“The PPRO and the DPO later spoke with them, and we were released.
“But despite his intervention, we were told to write statements. They collected our details, address, took video recordings of us making false statements during the torture, and threatened to use it to blackmail and go after us if we end up doing any bad report against them.”
CCTV At Lekki Toll Gate Was Not Removed -Lekki Concession Company Says
Lekki Concession Company in their press release has debunked the rumour that the Lekki Toll Gate CCTV camera was not removed.
According to the press release by the company which condemns the unlawful killings of the peaceful protesters said no one gave the order for the removal of the Closed Circuit Television System as the CCTV is still intact as of the time of this report.
Speaking further, the concession company revealed that if the CCTV was to be removed, it would require the use of machinery to reach the heights that they have been installed.
Read the release report below;
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