Okwe Obi, Abuja FCT
The Coalition of Concerned #EndSARS Campaign Nationwide has announced that it is pulling out of the #EndSARS protests, alleging that politicians, particularly from opposition political parties, and criminals have hijacked the demonstrations.
The group condemned the call for the resignation of President Mohammadu Buhari, saying it was not part of their demands, and disavowed the destruction of a police station in Edo State, which led to the escape of prisoners.
This was contained in a statement signed on Monday by representatives of the South-West, North-Central, North-West, and North-East – Dr Adewale Akin, Sunday Oche, Abbas Mohammed, Ibrahim Gaidam, and Ifeanyi Edochie, respectively.
Akin said: ‘Our attention has been drawn to very dangerous and unpatriotic actions of some of our so-called faces of the protests against police brutality in the country.
‘We are very concerned about the development given that it has resorted to using our well thought youths movement against police brutality to soliciting and receiving funds from some opposition political parties to destabilize Nigeria for their selfish interests.
‘Credible intelligence available to us indicates that these people have received money running into several million with the sole aim of sponsoring miscreants to hijack the protest and cause insurrection in Nigeria.
‘This, they have started with the call for the immediate resignation of President Muhammadu Buhari.
‘We wish to categorically state that the recent call by some of these few groups of disgruntled protesters amongst us is the handiwork of these desperate politicians and political parties who are bent on pulling down our country by all means.
‘Only recently, some of these politicians and political parties were in power and didn’t do anything for the masses. They rather looted our treasury and left problems for us.
‘As a matter of fact, the SARS and police brutality precede this government and President Muhammed Buhari.
‘We wonder why they desperately want to cash on the protest of innocent Nigerian youths to further their political agenda. We implore them to wait till 2023.
‘Again, the event at Benin City, Edo State this morning where suspected protesters broke into a correctional centre, thus setting free hundreds of inmates has left us with in great surprise, given that this is completely out of what informed our protest.
‘We say no to this with one loud voice. Never again will Nigeria youths be used for any selfish interest of these self-serving politicians.
‘We agreed never to engage in criminal activities of any kind during these protests, so why the destruction, maiming, blocking of road and extorting road users, stealing and targeting of notable SARS reforms advocates across the country?.
‘We wish to further state boldly that the protests have been hijacked by politicians and criminals.
‘Consequently, we are pulling out with over 7000 of our members across the country to keep our integrity intact.
‘While we call on other well-meaning protesters not allow themselves to be used by these selfish politicians and criminals for their political interest, they should select credible youths among themselves to present their demands to the federal government while the ovation is still loud.’