Okwe Obi, Abuja
Coalition of Genuine #EndSARS Protesters (COGEP), has cautioned its members against engaging in jail break, looting and brutalising innocent citizens, noting that those atrocities were not part of the agitation.
It, however, denied involvement in the violence recorded across the country as a result of the protest against the devilish activities of the defunct Special Anti Robbery Squad and accused fifth columnists of destroying police stations especially in Edo State just to give the protesters a bad name.
In a statement jointly signed yesterday, its South-East, South West, South South, North West, and North Central Representatives; Orji Nwakocha, Aremu Babatunde, Frank Jaja, Ibrahim Dan Iya, Mohammed Adamu, Dakwohi Samson, and Peter Yohana, respectively, they appealed to the international community to watch closely and hold those truncating the protest responsible.
The said: “We members of Genuine End SARS Protesters wish to completely disassociate ourselves from the violence allegedly caused by protesters in Benin and other parts of the country.
“We wish to emphatically state that these people associated with the violence are not our members and can never be. Rather, they are a people sponsored by desperate fifth columnists to brand us as violent protesters. Their aim is to justify their planned application of maximum force on us.
“There is no denying the fact that these fifth columnists desperately engaged some miscreants across the country to cause riots with intention of branding us with bad name.
“We hereby raise an immediate alarm to the international community over the infiltration of some well sponsored thugs into our midst by these fifth columnists to cause violence and discredit our action with a view to justifying a clampdown on us.
“It is surprising that these same fifth columnists who obviously are responsible for parts of the problems President Muhammadu Buhari is facing in his administration today due to their actions or inactions still want to plunge the country into another round of mess.
“The message we have for these people is that we shall resist their agents of darkness with our peaceful disposition and actions across the country.
“We will continue to restrain our members to remain law abiding and not to allow these miscreants drag us into their levels thereby losing our focus.
“President Muhammad Buhari is not our problem, so we are not interested in his resignation. As a matter of fact, this is outside our framework.
“We wish to say here that all we, the genuine protesters are asking is to Scrap SARS, SWAT and as well, reform the Nigeria police force to meet internationally acceptable standard.
“We also request that the Buhari government carries out a total overhaul of the nation’s security architecture that can stand modern challenges.
“We are demanding among other things a stronger and a more effective armed forces that can end the insecurity in the country.
“Consequently, we demand the immediate sack of the current service chiefs in Nigeria and appointment of new ones that will reflect the represent federal character principle.
“We are therefore calling on these desperate officials who are behind the inhuman act to desist forthwith.
“We appeal to our members not to take laws into their hands no matter the provocation as we understand that the unprovoked actions of these infiltrators are traps set by their sponsors to justify their planned clamp down on us. We must disappoint them by being peaceful and law abiding.
“While we urgently call on international human rights communities to come to our aid.”