A Twitter user and lawyer, Ileoma (@I_Am_Ileoma) says the #EndSARS protest never became partisan, was never hijacked and never became violent.
Nigerians had early this month went on the street in a peaceful protest demanding for an end to police brutality in Nigeria and also calling for the scraping of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a controversial Police Unit accused of arbitrary arrest, extortion and killing of innocent Nigerians.
Simon Kolawole, a columnist and publisher of The Cable News, an Nigerian based Online News platform had in an opinion article published today allegedly blamed #EndSARS protesters for the violence seen in country in the last couple of days.
Kolawole had said, “How can a peaceful protest end up with killing and maiming, burning and looting in a matter of days? For those of us who have seen plenty “peaceful” protests in our lives, it is not too hard to explain. The moment you hit the streets and fail to read the road signs — so that you will know where and when to turn, reverse or park — you are at the risk of losing control of the steering wheel.”
“You will end up carrying all kinds of passengers — thugs, hoodlums, gangsters, cultists, politicians and all manner of opportunists. In fact, you may unwittingly provide cover for state agents to target the assets and possibly the lives of perceived opponents and rivals. So it goes.”
But Ileoma in a series of tweets on his twitter handle in response to Kolawole, said the protest remained peaceful, organised and focused on its constitutionally legitimate demands.
His tweets read,”No matter how many lies are told, or how many times they are repeated we will respond with the truth. The #Endsars protest never became partisan, was never hijacked, never became violent”, he said.
“It remained peaceful, organized and focused on its constitutionally legitimate demands. There was no violence related to the process anywhere until the day thugs first attacked protesters at Alausa in Lagos & the Berger roundabout in Abuja.”
“The first real breakdown of law & order came in Orile when a policeman shot & killed the brother of an NURTW member & people mobilized to burn the police station there. It was very unrelated to the #EndSARS protest.”
“Absolute bedlam has broken out around the country since the 20/10/2020 when government ordered the military to shoot at and kill it’s own citizens. And in so doing tipped an already teetering country over the brink.”
“At the foundation of all 3 sets of incidents that have caused the violence we have seen in the last few days is government’s insincerity & its determination to do everything else in the world than #EndSARS.”
“@simonkolawole what you have done with this editorial is lend your voice to ongoing attempts to muddy the waters, misrepresent the facts & erase govt’s failure to address legitimate demands of it’s people. It will not go unchallenged.”