The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, on Monday said that EndSARS protests rocking different parts of the country has been hijacked by hoodlums.
He therefore, called on the protesters to end the protest because the government would not fold its arms when the lives of the citizens were at risk.
He spoke at the special News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Forum in Abuja.
He said, “We have received petitions from various groups saying that they originally supported the #EndSARS protest because they believed genuinely that they were speaking for all Nigerians.
”This morning (yesterday), we also read in the newspapers that one of the conveners of the #EndSARS have resigned on the ground that the protest has been hijacked from them.
“The leader said they are now getting directives and commands from abroad and money is being sent whereas this is not what they stood for.’’
Mohammed said the demands of the protesters had been met by the federal government and that governors had also started to implement their request.
On the claim that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums, the minister said the alleged Saturday’s assassination attempt on the governor of Osun, Adegboyega Oyetola, the supposed invasion of a Correctional Centre and release of inmates in Edo as well as the police station that was set ablaze in Benin, were some of the proofs.
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Also noting how men of the Rapid Response Team (RRST) were attacked in Lagos Mohammed maintained:
“The protest cannot be said to be peaceful when innocent people are losing their lives and Nigerians are being prevented from going to their places of work where they earn their living.
“Many people from the Lekki axis in Lagos were stranded and the state government said they are losing about N200 million daily.
“It was reported that a pregnant woman lost her life on Friday while people are spending hours daily on the road to get to their destinations.
“With all these ugly developments coupled with the fact that we are just coming out from the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic damage may be too much for the country to handle.
“Government has the responsibility to maintain law and order and ensure that Nigerians live in peace, and go about unhindered to places where they earn their living.
“The government will not watch while the country is being thrown into anarchy.
“While we are bending backward to meet the demands of the protesters, we will also not shirk in our responsibilities to secure the nation.”
He said the protesters should stop allowing their platforms to be used by those whose goal remained to destabilise the country.
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