The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, has warned that it will not allow the country to be thrown into anarchy following the violence that has trailed the #EndSARS protests.
Lai Mohammed stated this on Saturday, October 18.
The Minister featured on a late-night Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) news programme, “Weekend File”
Specifically, he said Saturday’s assassination attempt on the Osun Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola while addressing the protesters; was a clear confirmation that the protests had been hijacked by hoodlums and people with ulterior agenda. He noted that while the original conveners of the protests might have meant well; it was obvious that they were no longer in control of the initiative.
“Peaceful protest is an integral part of democracy…That is why the Federal Government in the last 11 days has treated the protesters in a very civilised manner.
“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 nowhere in the world where a government will fold 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 the government does not take some very firm steps to protect the lives and livelihood of innocent Nigerians,” he said.
Lai Mohammed added that the protests have gone beyond being peaceful because lives have been lost; adding that innocent Nigerians, including workers and students, are passing through harrowing experiences.
Specifically, he said because the protesters are blocking the roads and highway; 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.
“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.
Lai Mohammed said Nigerians should also see the protests as a smokescreen; adding that it was staged to undermine the administration and destabilise the country. He stated that all the demands by the protesters had been met by the government.
He reiterated that after the government had responded and met all the demands of the protesters, they ought to have nothing doing on the streets.