*We are no longer dealing with #ENDSARS but frontal situation to dustabilise Nigeria – FG
By BASHIR ADEFAKA
“What is the common sense and justification in continuing to ‘protest’ when all your demands have been aceeded to by the government and even more? Is there more to it than meets the eye?”
Counter moves are being initiated to end the #ENDSARS protests in parts of the country, as more Nigerians find out it is not really about Special Anti-Robery Squad (SARS) but advancing the ulterior motives of some hidden elements suspected to be operating locally with support of some foreign collaborators to destabilize Nigeria.
They believe that if anything is wrong with the system, it should not be the same people who criminally take part in the decay that would want to lead the way to solution, although they say President Muhammadu Buhari has already listened to and granted the genuine demands of the initial conveners.
Among the quality voices calling for this crop of protesters to end their no-longer popular presence on the streets mainly in Abuja and parts of Southern Nigeria are those of the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, meaningful other citizens such as Dr Uche Diala and Mr. Frank Ofili.
The DEFENDER reports that Chairman of Northern Governors’ Forum and Governor of Plateau State, Sir Simon Lalong, had on Thursday said there were also good ones among the operatives of SARS, who did their job diligently well and so said the only thing that was required of them was total reformation to enable them work optimally.
Speaking on Nigerian Television Authority (NTA) Weekend File programme Saturday night, Minster Lai Mohammed said from the look of video clips he watched of the protesters, the #ENDSARS had been hijacked and so that the government would not good its arms and allow disgruntled such elements, who have long waited for opportunity to hide under, use the protests to carry out their plans to destabilize the country.
“Having seen the video clip of the #ENDSARS protests, there is no doubt that it has been hijacked. It was the belief of government that peaceful protest is integral part of democracy. That is why the government has treated the protesters with all the respect that they should be accorded. The initial conveners of the #ENDSARS might have meant well but they now find that they really can no longer be controlled,” the Minister said.
He said the government had met all the dramands of the protesters, which included the disbandment of SARS and that President Muhammadu Buhari made it clear that the disbandment of the SARS was only a starting point of a total reformation of the entire Nigerian Police Force.
The President, Alhaji Mohammed said, set up a panel headed by a state Chief Judge and directed that all officers who abuse their offices will be brought to account.
He said the President also asked the state governors to set up ‘victims of police brutalization fund’ to ensure that the victims across the country are adequately compensated.
“In view of this, can anyone say the protests now going on is #ENDSARS? Look at what happened in Osogbo today (Saturday.) Is that #ENDSARS? What this tells you is that there is something else to it than we are made to know.
“There is nowhere in the world that government will fold its arms and allow people to do what these protesters are doing like we see in what they did with the Osun State governor” when, according to him, they attacked the governor with guns, cultlases, despite dancing and singing with them and working hard to establish contacts with the protesters as directed by the President.
“At this point, I want to tell to the conveners of #ENDSARS that they are no longer in charge.,” he said.
He added that, “We are no longer dealing with #ENDSARS. We are dealing with a frontal situation. You have made some demands and we made an undertaking. Why don’t you wait for the implementation of this understanding?
“I don’t think we can bend beyond that. I will appeal to parents to, for God’s sake, be objective in assessing this situation. What is going on is no longer peaceful protest but effort to use the protest to destabilise the country. From the initial stage, some people have been waiting for the opportunity to dustabilise the country,” and he said the government will definitely not allow them.
In his submission, Dr Uche Diala said: “Any successful street struggle or fight for rights and freedom begins with intellectual inputs which lay clearly the issues and the modus operandi to achieve the goal(s).
“Of course it must be well intended, driven by altruistic reasons and led by identifiable, sincere and responsible individuals and it must not be allowed to be hijacked by fifth columnists, unpatriotic elements and never do wells.
“It is good for our youths to be on the streets but we must never send our youths on the streets without properly intellectually equipping, guarding and guiding them and providing them with the necessary entry and exit strategies. The street is no one’s friend.
“The protest is good but wisdom is profitable to direct.
“I have seen the ‘new list’ of ‘demands’ (even though the protests started as #EndSARS and may be even hanging on to that tag #EndSARS, even after the outfit has been totally disbanded by government as demanded by the protesters.
“What is the common sense and justification in continuing to ‘protest’ when all your demands have been aceeded to by the government and even more? Is there more to it than meets the eye?
“The potpourri of issues now lumped up and the unrealistic, even laughable nature of some of them clearly suggests a loss in focus by the protesters or better still a hijack of the well intended and productive protest that was set out to address the unacceptable impunity of the Nigeria police force exemplified by the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).
“My worry is that more often than not we allow partisan and other primordial sentiments to becloud and over shadow legitimate and good intentions and causes.
“In the end we achieve nothing. Maybe even lose the little we achieved in the process.
“No one is deceived.
“#ReformNigerians”, Dr Uche Diala said in strong terms as Nigerians demand #ENDSARS to move off the streets of face the consequences of their now clearly unpatriotic actions.
Frank Ofili said, “Blocking major highways is no longer #ENDSARS protest, it is proof that perhaps we are not better than those we want to change. The protest was going fine until this blocking of major highways was introduced.
“For God’s sake there are children, pregnant women, aged people, physically challenged people, sick people, accident victims and even perishable items in transit. If you block the highways, how do these people get to their destinations in time?
“The poor state of our highways is punishment enough. Now blocking them will only cause more problems for the poor masses of Nigeria, the very people who suffer what triggered the protest in the first place,
“I thought the objective of the protest is to find solution to our problems? Is blocking the highways really a solution? The best places to protest, in my opinion, are open spaces (e.g. Eagle Square, stadium) or even National Assembly. The latter will have more effect,” he said.