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The Federal Government has said that the ongoing nationwide protest is no longer peaceful, warning that it will not fold its hands and allow the country to be thrown into anarchy.
This is following the violence that has trailed the #EndSARS protests in some parts of the country, specifically the attack on Governor Gboyega Oyetola of Osun State on Saturday.
Lai Mohammed, the minister of Information and Culture, gave the warning on Saturday when he featured on a late night Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) news programme, ‘Weekend File’.
He said the assassination attempt on Oyetola was a clear confirmation that the protests had been hijacked by hoodlums and people with ulterior agenda.
According to Mohammed, the original conveners of the #EndSARS protests might have meant well, but are no longer in control of the movement.
‘Peaceful protest is an integral part of democracy and that is why the Federal Government in the last 11 days has treated the protesters in a very civilised manner,’ Mohammed said.
‘But, if you look at what happened to the governor of Osun state,it has gone completely beyond peaceful protest against excesses and abuse of power by the police.’
‘There is no where in the world where a government will folds its arms and allow the country to descend into anarchy.’
‘We are no longer dealing with #EndSARS but a volatile situation that can lead to anarchy if government does not take some very firm steps to protect the lives and livelihood of innocent Nigerians,’ he said.
Mohammed said a protest where protesters are now blocking the roads and highway, cannot be said to be peaceful because workers are finding it difficult to get to their offices and back home while many Nigerians are stranded on the roads.
‘We have nothing against peaceful protest but there are civilised ways of doing so,’ he said.
‘This is by going to a venue where you are not going to disturb other Nigerians because where your own right stops, other persons’ right begins,’ he said.
AFRICA TODAY NEWS, NEW YORK