Festus Keyamo, the Minister for Labour and Employment, says most victims of #EndSARS protests are the downtrodden members of the society who are influenced by mischievous warmongers.
Keyamo said this while reacting to trending issues of concerns in Nigeria via his verified Twitter page.
He said the #EndSARS protests of October 2020 have proven that most advocates of violence have the means to flee the country, leaving behind those they instigated.
1. During the COVID-19 lockdown, those badly affected were unfortunately the weak and lowly amongst us; during ENDSARS, the eventual victims that lost billions were not the intended targets; the insurgency in the North East has mostly affected the weak and vulnerable amongst us;
— Festus Keyamo, SAN (@fkeyamo) March 27, 2021
“During the COVID-19 lockdown, those badly affected were, unfortunately, the weak and lowly amongst us; during ENDSARS, the eventual victims that lost billions were not the intended targets; the insurgency in the North East has mostly affected the weak and vulnerable amongst us;
“The victims of war would not be the intended targets, but the hapless ones who’re listening to the advocates of war. When Govt & responsible citizens call for calm, it’s not out of cowardice or self-preservation; it’s to protect the weak from the fraudulent intrigues of a few.
“ENDSARS has taught Nigerians a bitter lesson: those who push others to violence usually have the means and resources to take care of themselves and their families and even leave our shores whilst those who they instigate to violence suffer the brutal consequences or even die,” he said.
Recently, Nigerians trooped to the streets to demand an end to SARS, a unit of the police notorious for extrajudicial executions. The protest, tagged #EndSARS, lingered for weeks, continuing even after the Inspector General of Police (IGP) had announced the scrapping of the unit and its replacement with Special Weapon and Tactics (SWAT) unit.
But the angry protesters refused to leave the streets; they stressed that their demands were beyond replacing SARS with SWAT. The protests, which attracted the attention of the international community, continued with youth blocking major roads across the country until it was said to have been hijacked by hoodlums, thus banned. Policemen and soldiers injured and killed civilians, especially in Lagos, where a yet unknown number of peaceful protesters were massacred.
Be the first to receive special investigative reports and features in your inbox.