End SARS: Group calls for immediate suspension of protests over violence

The Civil Situation Room has called for an immediate suspension of the ongoing End SARS protests across Nigeria.

The group hinged its reason on human rights abuses.

The situation room, which comprised over 100 human rights groups, noted that the protests have taken a violent dimension in recent days, infringing on the rights of other citizens and entrenching criminal activities.

In the last few days, the exercise has become fierce, particularly in the FCT, Benin and Lagos.

Speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Tuesday, Comrade Adamu Kabir Matazu, the coordinator of the Situation Room on #EndSARS, said protesters are now involved in abuses, depriving people of their lives.

Comrade Kabir urged the Federal Government to “change its approach of allowing some people to run riot simply because they’re hiding under the identity of youth to protest”.

According to him, the FG must step in to bring order and sanity to stop the protesters from interfering with the life of ordinary Nigerians and preventing people from going about their legitimate businesses.

His words, “You’ll recall that when the incidents of police brutality first became topical and Nigerians decided to protest against it all of us joined without hesitation. At the start of these protests, everyone was focused on issues while highlighting the need to call operatives of the SARS unit in order with the demand that the unit must be scrapped.

“It was reassuring that the federal government and the Nigeria Police Force were responsive by immediately scrapping SARS. Further agitation from protesters saw to it that the government agreed to a 5-point demand from protesters.

“As outlined, we realize that it’ll take time for each set of demands to be implemented depending on whether it is something that’ll be done immediately or something that’ll cover a period of months or years. The logic is that protesters will then allow the government time to implement these demanded changes.

“In Abuja for instance, protesters obstructed the airport road, knowing that it’s major access for people travelling out of the city and heading to the airport to catch their flights. A particularly sad outcome from this was the case of the woman reportedly in labour, who died because she couldn’t get to the hospital for lifesaving intervention.

“In Benin City, Edo state: Protesters broke into 2 prisons and set free inmates that include hardened criminals, killed 2 police officers and set numerous properties on fire. They also set up bonfires, obstructed the free flow of traffic and serially manhandled security operatives.

“Ibadan, Oyo State: protesters obstructed the road and forced people to long trek distances while those going about their legitimate business were harassed endlessly. Lives of innocent citizens have also been lost in this state.

“Lagos State is also lockdown from the protesters, who made harassment of those not supporting their protests a standard modus operandi.

“In other cases, the information we’re getting is that protesters are randomly shooting at people, killing them, and depriving them of their lives apparently in their bid to frame law enforcement agencies to be responsible for killing protesters.

” In reality, it’s the protesters that are now involved in abuses. They’re the ones who obstruct people from having free access to move around, they’re the ones who prevent people from seeking their daily livelihood, they’re the ones beating people up, they are the ones destroying people’s property, and they’re the ones depriving people of their lives, Where are the ones hacking into people’s digital accounts and making publishing private information of public office holders and government employees thereby depriving people of their right to privacy.”

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