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EndSARS: GOs AS PROTEST PUPPET MASTERS – By Philip Agbese

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We may just be nearing the end in the head scratching search for the financiers of the gourmet food being served on a daily basis to the #EndSARS protesters. The protesters have persisted on staying on the streets even after government has agreed to meet their five-point demand for reforming the police. The offer of food and other freebies, like free of charge repair of vehicles damaged at the protests and the social attraction of women and exchange of phone numbers, has been a magnet for some youth, who said they are participating in the protest as much as for the food as the principle of demanding change.

However, with the protesters vowing to remain on the streets, and growing belligerent, there is increasing suspicion that there are indeed powerful vested interests teleguiding the protests. They were behind the scene at the backend, particularly with the inane claim that the protest has no leaders – never mind that a five-point demand was articulated and presented to government, possibly by a ghost.

But on Sunday, Mr. David Oyedepo, presiding Bishop of the Living Faith Church, in keeping with his tradition of toxically abusing the sanctity of the pulpit, exposed himself as potentially being one of the financiers and sponsor of the protests. In a Trumpesque rant during the second service to his captive audience, he carried on about how the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari is the equivalent of the biblical evil king.

On the surface, the Bishop appears to be another senior concerned Nigerian citizen expressing displeasure over the state of affairs. But a deep dig shows that he is rather an instigator of violence against the government of the day, total collapse of law and order that could lead to total anarchy. There is no doubt the bishop has motive, means and malicious intent to tarnish the reputation of the present government and disintegration of Nigeria obviously for selfish reasons.

A few things stand out on which Oyedepo has clearly indicated his anger at the government’s actions as they directly affect his business empire. First was the stoppage of free parking of private jets that the Bishop and his associates had enjoyed under the previous administration, whose anti-corruption drive also caused the amount of money that Oyedepo’s church members are able to remit as planting of seeds, donations, offerings, tithes, pledges and sundry funds payable to his church. Another source of his unjustified anger is the requirement to comply with Financial Reporting Regulation that would have tenured the leadership of churches if its implementation where not stood down. The amended Company and Allied Matters Act (CAMA), which President Muhammadu Buhari signed into law was particularly distressing for the ostentatious capitalist Bishop, who did not hide his disdain and anger at the law that could impose a governing board to ensure financial transparency in the running of churches as charities.

It must not be forgotten that Bishop Oyedepo tried to mislead Nigerians that COVID-19 was caused by non-existent 5G telecommunications facilities. When he was proved wrong, he rose against the COVID-19 control protocol that required places of worship to shut down for a duration of time. In the weeks that churches and mosques were shut down, the earnings of Winners’ Chapel took a bad hit. His inability to corral people into the expansive halls of his church and threaten them with the horrors of hell meant that they were not blackmailed into parting with money they do not have; of course as a savvy businessman, he was quick to embrace the digital platform and virtual church service but expectations that people will donate digitally were woefully shattered. Indeed, the Bishop became distraught and desperate.

On his part, the Senior Pastor of Dunamis International Gospel Centre, Dr. Paul Enenche, contributed to corralling #EndSARS protesters into deviating from the objective of pursuing reform of the police to asking for broader reforms. Possibly, unable to tinker with psyche of protesters from the background, he delivered a talk on “The Way of Peace,” which video was highly circulated in which he egged on protesters to oppose massive injustice, unfairness and lack of equity, oppression, suppression and subjugation of one people by another, nepotism, tribalism, regionalism, religionism and every form of such prejudice deprivation, poverty and hunger.

One would wonder what kind of doctor Enenche would have been if he were to be in full practice. He possibly would have been the type that will attempt carrying out a radical surgery to remove cancer that has spread all over a patient’s body instead of first dealing with knife stab wound that brought the patient into the accident and emergency ward, for that is what the #EndSARS protest can be likened to. The pressing national emergency at this point is to deal with the issue of right abuses by the police and then confront the other undesirable issues in the land in successive layers.

For Pastor Folu Adeboye, wife of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, the strategy for keeping the #EndSARS protest on the streets is to ensure that protesters don’t get famished, so she delivered three truckloads of food and water to them. Hubby, Pastor Enoch Adeboye previously voiced support for the protests when he wrote on his Instagram page that “Our daughters will not be able to prophesy, and young men will not see visions if we don’t keep them alive. I support the youths in this peaceful protest as they “speak up” to #EndPoliceBrutality #EndSARS #ENDSWAT”.

It is interesting that these expressions of support, and, in Oyedepo’s case, open incitement, are in spite of the clear signs that the protests have turned violent with protesters chanting anti-government, anti-Buhari and pro-violence slogans. So far, there were over 12 persons dead. If things degenerate further, the clergymen have prepared alibis for themselves by rounding off their inciting acts and comments with the lame appeal to the protesters to be orderly, peaceful and law abiding. It will be interesting to hear from them how young people will remain law abiding when induced to wholesomely hate the leadership of their country by people in the kind of position of trust that the clergy occupied.

Knowing that every single thing being protested today predates President Buhari’s administration, one wonders why these clergymen did not find it pertinent to incite the youth in the manner they are doing now. Could it be that the excesses of SARS just surfaced or could it be that corruption was oiling their businesses so effectively then that they did not notice the anomalous conditions under which we live in Nigeria?

If religion is described as the opium of the masses, then people were weaned of their addiction to the sermons of commercial clergymen in weeks of the COVID-19 induced lockdown. A lot of them simply did not return for their fix after the lockdown was lifted, which has left these businessmen in dire financial straight as revenue keep dwindling. They also lost their hold on congregant since the lockdown period exposed the truth – people did not die for not given to the extortionist activities of their spiritual fathers in the period they did not show up to mark the register.

These clergymen are happy that the youths are protesting and the gloating tone in their sermons suggest their joy at the prospect that the end of President Buhari’s government is near. Unfortunately, they fail to understand that if President Muhammadu Buhari goes down in the manner they have orchestrated then, the country will be in flames for the next 50 years, there are people who will ensure that the puppet masters of these protesters become first set of casualties by obliterating their business centres and converting their worship centres to warehouses and declaring an end to theocratic interference and religion in Nigeria.

A timely counsel for these businessmen-clergy is to play the role expected of them. Their religious centres should run as real charities, with the bulk of the money they extort being spent on genuinely addressing human suffering, and without the pointless political posturing. They should allow the police reforms agreed by all involved to go ahead so that it would be concluded in time.

The other matters, like corruption and ethno-religious schism, they have introduced to the protest will take time and deeper efforts to fight. On the part of the clergymen, it requires that they stop accepting stolen money from their members who are in government and they must also limit their get rich-by-any-means sermons, popularly called prosperity gospel. As for the government, it is time for those in charge to fully deliver on the constitutional expectation that Nigeria is secular state. The undeserve waivers they usually give to these religious businessmen have to stop with the full powers of the Financial Reporting Council and CAMA unleashed on them. After all, they have proven that they are part of the problem.

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Opinion

Lekki Toll Plaza: CNN Faces Test Of Integrity -By Samuel Omojoye

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The morning after the night when protesters at Lekki toll gate were supposedly massacred by the Nigerian Army, the BBC News hour programme interviewed Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu around 6am on whether he invited the army and who gave orders that unarmed protesters be shot. The governor confirmed that he invited the army but that they were supposed to arrive later than the time they came. Did he order the shooting of protesters? “I am not the C-in-C,” he said, adding that the army does not take orders from him. He was then asked if he knew who the people that did the shooting were and he replied, “from the videos I’ve seen, it was the army”.

Later at a press briefing, apparently after having some intel, the Governor announced that there were no fatalities. Note also that the army had already tweeted “fake news” earlier in the day when the social media was awash with videos of soldiers in an armoured tank, shooting sporadically in a direction and scores of videos of bodies with body parts littering the ground had been spread as victims of Lekki massacre.

A certain DJ Switch has released several videos, one LIVE, in which she claims that the military were killing protesters and that a lot of people had died and they were trying to remove a bullet from one person’s leg. She was relaying these events, but not showing a single footage of the most important videos, A. Of dead bodies, B. Of the soldiers shooting at people, C. Of blood stain on the floor, D. Of the process/procedure when the bullet was removed, E. When soldiers were carrying the bodies, F. When DJ Switch and her people were carrying bodies and dumping them in front of the soldiers (as she claimed).

Rather, she was verbalising the narrative she wanted to drive even though that was not what was happening. Then her second video showed her talking to a friend and, all of a sudden, she started running and asking imaginary people to bend down and hold their flags. His friend on then said “daaaamn” after which he covered his face as if he had just witnessed something gruesome.

That, no doubt, was mere acting and a bad one at that. DJ Switch gave an impression that the army or police were still shooting protesters at Lekki even in the morning. Then she said “they shot all night”.

Then she did another video where she apologised for not being online for some time. She then proceeded to reminisce about the fateful night and, at that point, she started to address the issue of numbers. It was then the death toll of over 80 suddenly reduced to 12. She also claimed that the DJ Switch account which posted over 80 deaths was a fake account and not hers.

Really? I am damn sure that if the digital footprint and registered details of that account were searched, they will show that it’s her account, but away from that, she started to narrate her ordeal and how the police fired teargas and described it like “Cotonou pepper”. Someone who has just been traumatised and witnessed a carnage a few days earlier making jokes about pepper? Body language experts have analysed that her behaviour is not commensurate with that of a victim of trauma and her description of how she carried and deposited bodies at the feet of soldiers defies logic. It is fight or flight. Soldiers opening fire and you taking bodies to them seem a drama taken too far; it is highly unlikely.

Now let’s go to the facts. Till today, there are no relatives who have come forward that their family members are missing. A woman in London claimed her son was killed at the Lekki Toll Plaza, but it turned out that she was lying. He died in a motorcycle accident. Also pictures that were touted as victims of the Lekki massacre turned out to be pictures of people who had died in separate circumstances – one from a bike accident and the other a stab wound victim. Those found in the hospitals who got injured from Lekki were as a result of stampede, and the injuries ranged from broken bones, cuts, bruises and slash wounds. No record of death as a result of gunshot wounds from the Army’s weapons, but the social media was awash with people in hospital, who claimed that they were shot by soldiers at the toll plaza.

In reality, there was chaos in nearby Ajah-Badore where gangs were fighting. Some policemen and many innocent citizens died. To make matters worse, because of the lie by DJ Switch about a massacre, a lot of angry protesters came out of their homes and in their bid to retaliate by killing police officers or burning police stations, many people got shot by policemen and a lot of lives were lost. DJ Switch, who was seemingly defiant in the eyes of death, now suddenly disappeared, rather than bring her evidence to the commission of enquiry to help this investigation. Now she’s trying to seek asylum under the guise of running for her life, but when she was confronted with gunshots by the army, she didn’t run away? Isn’t that a cue to show that this woman is an anarchist or a pathological liar? She was probably trying to trend or perhaps there is a more sinister angle into this.

Regarding the shameful way some media houses covered this story, NBC has to keep an eye on such media houses, who have a responsibility to show that they are worthy of their licences. Many of them showed unverified social media footages as “live”, thereby misleading the audience. One newspaper wrote a piece titled “Sanwo-Olu finally admits inviting the military”. At no time did Governor Sanwo-Olu deny inviting the military. He said the military does not take orders from him. It was his interview with Becky Anderson on CNN (days after speaking with the BBC where he confirmed that he sought military help, following the anarchy that had seized many parts of the state) that people saw and decided the governor “finally admitted”.

I suppose this is the same report that the army read for them to have said they were not happy the Governor denied inviting them.
CNN, unprofessionally, did a package in which it attached social media videos to what could have been an educational piece of journalism. A satellite image showed the army leaving their base in two pick-up vans. It showed them fire into the sky, but sadly the unverified social media videos attached to that package ruined it. It reeks of prejudice and bias.

CNN is desperate to show that the Nigerian government massacred young people and, sadly, they neglected their ethos. There was an image of an old man in native attire covered in blood. That man must have a relative somewhere. Did the soldiers take his body away? If he is dead, who was he? He must have friends or family members.
One important question to ask is why the satellite image which showed the army drive to the toll gate couldn’t show the army picking up bodies or dropping them somewhere.

There should be an image showing people on the floor, dead as a result of a massacre. Some observers have said that the Federal Government should not have confronted CNN. I disagree. What Nigeria has done through the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, is within its rights.

CNN has a duty to investigate its reports thoroughly and present such reports with facts and figures, not mere eyewitness accounts and doubtful social media videos that have failed the simple test of integrity.

CNN must substantiate its claims, not repeating the offence.

Omojoye wrote in from Palmgroove , Lagos

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Opinion

Gen. Buratai: Nigeria’s Redeemer @60 – By David Onmeje

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Time is no respecter of persons. It is the only vehicle of existence which waits for no one on its voyage. On a day like yesterday, November 24, a Nigerian was born to a peasant family in an obscure community called Buratai village in Biu town of present day, Borno state, in Nigeria’s Northeast.

He was named Tukur Yusuf Buratai. No comets were seen on the day of his birth neither did kings nor queens warm his arrival on earth. Perhaps, a handful of neighbours heard the shrill cry of a new born baby and rushed to fete the mother for a successful passage through the pains of pregnancy and safe delivery.

In presumptive accuracy, I dare say, within the same Buratai village, others may have heard about the birth of baby Tukur Yusuf, but were aloof and more concerned with chasing the complications of every day survival. But it never changed anything anyway.

God Almighty sealed the destiny of baby Tukur Yusuf from conception and he was in the world for a noble mission. And @60, he has vigorously pursued this dream of redeemer of humanity; conquered all repressive vagaries and odds to ingrain his identity in history as a liberator of troubled humanity; a professional combatant soldier; dogged fighter, warrior, Nigeria’s redeemer warmonger of global acclaim and an extraordinary Army General of repute.

Even now, most parts of the expansive landmass of Borno state are still rural, adored only with the rustic emblems of countryside. So, I imagined and tried to picture how Borno would have been some 60 years back and, images of a dark void filled my heart. Certainly, it was a forgotten enclave, coloured partly by lush greenish grasslands or vegetations and resourceful swamps which snaked into deserts, forests and caves; where birds, reptiles and wild animals were the only worthy companions of home sapiens.

But it is the place whice bears the ancestral roots of Lt. Gen. Tukur Yusuf Buratai, Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff (COAS) and the indomitable chief armour bearer of the counter-insurgency operations. Great men and women or what others aptly capture as salvationists of enslaved humanity globally, usually come from such nondescript backgrounds and unassuming homesteads or hamlets. But they trudge the world mightily like dinosaurs. They deposit unimaginable imprints on the sands of time.

I spent a great deal of my formative years with a paternal uncle, Alhaji Aliyu, a trader. He was a passionate Africanist cum traditionalist. Though of African descent, he always told me Africa holds a special fascination for him because of her rich cultural heritage. Alhaji Aliyu had an unbeatable passion for African fables.

The prolific novelist and literalist, Cyprian Ekwensi’s “African Night’s Entertainment,” of children’s series was my uncle’s favorite and classic. He loved African proverbs and was fond of the adage; “looking at a king’s mouth, one would think he never soaked from his mother breast.”

Therefore, when a friend told me Gen. Buratai clocked 60 years of age yesterday, memories of the wits of Uncle Aliyu came back to me. His teachings and the passion he had on African cultural endowments resonated very pungently in me. It compelled me to reminisce his favourite proverb; “Looking at a king’s mouth, one would think, he never soaked from his mother’s breast.”

When I ruminated on the rewarding, enviable and outstanding military exploits of Gen. Buratai, it was hard for me to believe, like most Nigerians, that he came from such an ordinary background. The portrait of Gen. Buratai’s life today sharply contrasts with the reality of his ancestry.

Gen. Buratai was not born into an affluent family or a bubbling city. Fathered by Papa Yusufu Buratai, a World War II veteran of the Royal West African Frontier Force (RWAFF), the younger Buratai toiled and sweated to make his relevance in service of humanity.

In Gen. Buratai’s formative years, life was a stiff competition between tradition and modernity, as expressed by western education and values. But born with a destiny, imbued in him as a zeal to pursue a cause, Gen. Buratai was fired by it to embrace western education. He started his elementary education in the countryside and later, migrated to Nigeria’s mini-cities in search of knowledge.

At every stage of the quest for knowledge, Gen. Buratai proved his innate talents and brilliance until he landed at the famous Nigerian Defence Academy, (NDA), Kaduna. He was commissioned into the Nigerian Army in 1983.

Only then it became clear to all discerning eyes that Gen. Buratai had settled for a destiny and a career for Military service to his fatherland and humanity. It was his emulation of the warrior spirit in his paternity or lineage, as abundantly expressed by the patriarch of the Buratais.

And looking at Gen. Buratai’s military service today, his progress is incredible. While in service Gen. Buratai exposed himself to further training as infantry combatant in the best military institutions in Nigeria and abroad. He has held countless command, administrative and instructional positions before his appointment as Nigeria’s COAS.

And @60, Gen. Buratai has excelled as a soldier, military leader, administrator, war veteran, tactician and strategist. He is a poet, military historian, philosopher and a distinguished alumnus of the prestigious Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria, with a two Master’s degree.

Gen. Buratai has been decorated with numerous garlands and medals within and outside Nigeria for his excellence, bravery and gallantry. President Muhammadu Buhari did not make a mistake by appointing Gen. Buratai as the COAS and anointing him leader of the counter-insurgency operations in 2015. It was the most auspicious and difficult period of the nation’s tumultuous history of insecurities.

Before Gen. Buratai’s arrival on the scene, Boko Haram insurgents particularly had gone amok and berserk in Nigeria. The insurgents took almost total control of the entire Northeast region and sustained a disturbing stranglehold on the whole of the Northern region, Abuja was not spared its fury. The religious militants launched relentless bloody campaigns recklessly to forcefully establish an Islamic State in Nigeria.

Boko Haram had gained substantial grounds in the Northeastern states of Borno, Yobe and Adamawa. Insurgents effectively annexed and colonized at least 17 LGAs (others peg the number at 21), established a Caliphate headquarters at Gwoza and a subsidiary administrative unit in Baga, all in Borno state. Insurgents made mince meat of troops at the warfront, who often shirked in the heat of enemy attacks or mutinied endlessly.

Boko Haram gruesomely murdered Nigerians in tens of thousands, indulged in massive abductions, committed acts of arson and displaced millions of locals from their communities. Peace was murdered in Nigeria and the fire of Boko Haram was replicated in similar, if not, greater depth by armed bandits in the Northwest. Violent militancy in the Niger Delta and bile secessionists agitations conspired to cripple Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation.

But suddenly, Gen. Buratai sauntered on the stage to command the battles against anti-terrorism and insurrections. And the narrative changed with superfluous speed in rewarding victories against Boko Haram. In spite of their multiplicity into more sects such as Islamic West Africa Province (ISWAP), Gen. Buratai has boldly proved his mettle as a solder, commander, workaholic and warmonger in whom we are all well pleased.

Boko Haram’s factional leader, Abubakar Shekau and his soulmate, Musab Al Barnewi have bemoaned several times, the frustrating pains Gen. Buratai has inflicted on terrorists in the battlefield. Shekau has repeatedly moaned frustrations with the insurgency war wedged on Nigeria because the Army Chief has refused to give them a chance to deface Nigeria with evil or triumph over country. He deserves kudos on this special day of his life.

Behold, this great solder, leader and military strategist has turned 60 years of age. But he had no chance to celebrate this special day of his life with friends and family. Gen. Buratai could not afford the luxury of a birthday toast with his lovely children or throw lavish parties in posh places in celebration of this unique day, like the rest of us do on such days.He spent the whole day in the trenches and caves of the Northeast and forests of the Northwest, personally leading the counter-insurgency operations from the warfront for the rest of us to sleep in bliss and peace. Oh, the life of a soldier is not enviable. I am one of the many Nigerians who would have loved to have had a birthday toast with him on such a special day; but the circumstances would not permit it.

So, I decided to fill a void in my heart for a deprived birthday toast with Gen. Buratai with this tribute to a “Peoples General;” “Boko Nemesis;” “redeemer warmonger;” “the conqueror of merchants of swords” and Nigeria’s most outstanding numero uno soldier and celebrated Army General of his time. This is my token birthday toast with you @60 and may Almighty God continue to shield you in the trenches from our enemies as we wish you the age of methuselah.

Onmeje wrote this article from the United Kingdom.

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Opinion

Shadows Behind The #EndSARS Mask – By Charles Ibekwe

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These days, every Nigerian has noticed the loud silence of the usually garrulous human rights lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana and his clan of minions over preachments on the propriety of the #EndSARS protests in Nigerian. Or even, the inappropriateness of Government actions on the protestors to tame the tide of the destructive violence.

The silence has become very pronounced in the aftermath of the confusion which trailed the alleged shooting and cold-blooded murder of harmless protestors by soldiers at the Lekki toll gate. But Falana and his apostates should make themselves and Nigerians proud by further advancing their claimed authentic polemics before the probe panel.

Initially, almost all Nigerians, including leaders in the country endorsed the exposition that #EndSARS protests was contrived and started as a genuine expression of public anger against the brutality and extra-judicial killings by members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF). President Muhammadu Buhari also peripherally sensed and interpreted the grievances of the protesters as genuine and immediately commenced actions on the five-point demands forwarded to the FGN on the fifth day of the protests – October 11, 2020.

President Buhari’s instantaneous action was his leadership responsiveness and solidarity with the protesters to assuage the anger and pains of the Nigerian youths in order to halt the protests. But quite unacceptably and thoughtlessly, the #EndSARS protestors were satanically influenced and misguided by the Presidential quick reaction to task their conscience to stop the protests.

The protests now shifted to demands to #EndBadGovernance. Thereafter, the actions of the #EndSARS protesters also changed. It unreasonably mutated from peaceful democratic demonstrations to awesome violence, killings and destructions of public/private properties in some states in Nigeria.

Unfortunately, something betrayed the concealed anti-democratic motives or did some disservice to the demonstrators and exposed the planned evil agenda against Nigerians and the Government. It was the protestors sudden and unwise resort to violence; the gruesome murder of security agents and innocent civilians as well as appalling destructions, looting and arsons in parts of the country. National security was on the precarious verge of being compromised and the Government had the lawful obligation to immediately restore public safety and security.

Again, and expectedly ironic, the discovery of some masked powerful forces within and outside Nigeria, which secretly plotted to use the banner of the #EndSARS protests to pursue interests alien to the originality of the mission of the remonstrators was a serious setback. The design was smartly crafted to destabilize Nigeria, cause widespread anarchy, which magnitude would springboard the undemocratic dethronement of President Buhari. So, the incensed aggressors pushed the agenda of unabated insecurity, bloodbath and destructions aggressively even when Nigeria was sliding into complete anarchy before their very eyes.

These voices of dissent resonated on pulpits, within human rights circles, the opposition camps, disenchanted tribal groups, some media houses and foreign elements, disgruntled political merchants and in civilian coup plotters. While these groups relished and regaled in the bloodbath and destructions, they stoutly opposed Government’s intervention to restore public security sanity and consistently sermonized false narratives to the outside world claiming the #EndSARS protests were peaceful.

It gingered President Buhari to impose security sanity to bring the escalating and degenerating violence under control. Nigeria is a democratic state and the rule of law is supreme. Under President Buhari, the sanctity of the rule of law is paramount in all official affairs and dealings. The loud noises attracted by the Lekki incident compelled Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to institute a Judicial Commission of Inquiry to unravel the mystery behind the impasse between protesters and the Nigerian Army over the alleged firing of live bullets at a protesting mob.

The #EndSARS protesters, sponsors, campaigners, promoters and claimed victims of the “massacre,” at Lekki gate are expected to channel their legitimate claims and grievances to the probe panel for interrogation. The probe panel has been sitting for over three weeks now. But shockingly, the leading campaigners or advocates of #EndSARS and those who shouted acerbically everywhere about gruesome murder at Lekki gate are hesitant to present their cases at probe panel.

Ludicrously, Nigerians who nicknamed President Buhari, a “civilian dictator,” and cursed the Nigerian Army over allegations of mowing down unarmed protesters now dread the premises of the probe panel to present their cases and also shed light on what transpired at Lekki. Those who threatened to drag the Buhari Presidency and the COAS, Lt. Gen. TY Buratai to the ICC over human rights violations of the protesters, like Femi Falana are afraid to make presentations at the probe panel.

The band of idle lawyers who sued the Buhari Presidency and the Nigerian Army over the Lekki shootings are scared to approach the probe panel. The undertaker mourners, the families of the alleged slain civilians at Lekki and the Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) who unanimously claimed an undemocratic clampdown on peaceful demonstrators at Lekki are now more comfortable in their private tents, than make submissions at the probe panel.

But the #EndSARS protestors, the sponsors, sympathizers, promoters, and campaigners dribbled Nigeria terribly through a dummy. Truly, at the surface of #EndSARS protests appears to be mere expression of anger and pains by some Nigerian youths who have long been abandoned and neglected. Therefore, by democratic rights, they were seeking the attention of Government to their plight for possible intervention and redress. It was permissible and decent enough!

Nonetheless, unknown to many, behind the seeming innocent faces of aggrieved youths, were piles of oblique interests, who were out to pursue disparate interests or agenda on the podium of #EndSARS. Under the auspices of #EndSARS and through the instrument of democratic protests, the subversive forces plotted a civilian coup that was meant to reduce Nigeria into debris and undemocratically enthrone surrogate leaders at all levels.

#EndSARS protests, offered a veritable platform for these sabs to exercise the harboured evil agenda on Nigeria. They desperately sought to unseat President Buhari through the backdoor and by crude means. So, expectedly, when the #EndSARS protests sprouted, they shouted hallelujah in their secret camps of darkness in celebration of victory ahead of the attack on Nigeria.

It was an anticipated opportunity for “crisis-prenuers” and crisis merchants to sell their wares. Unmistakably, on the foreign plank, it was the long-awaited golden opportunity that Amnesty International (AI), the other foreign conspirators and internal disgruntled political elements, which they excitedly utilized to cripple the country. Therefore, these combinations of overt and unground forces against the country, scrambled ravenously on who amongst them would deliver on Nigeria, the heaviest and dazzling blow of crisis and destabilization.

For them, it was time to burn down Rome to the admiration of her enemies. But God Almighty prevented it. He alone frustrated the unjustified plans and plots of the enemy forces against the country and Nigerians. It is now the break of dawn, and the losses are being counted.

And surely, the subversive elements behind the condemned #EndSARS protests are exposing themselves everyday by their actions and dispositions in the aftermath of the carnages and bloodshed. But to discerning Nigerians, those behind the hateful, resentful and discredited violent protests are already unmasked now even in their thick masks.

They are those who urged the intensity of conflagrations or arsons on Nigeria; they are those who fabricated imaginary shootings and killing of protesters at Lekki; they are those who sponsored the demonstrators, some of whom provided cash backing in millions of naira, food and medical supplies; they are the saboteurs who concocted lies, photoshopped pictures of fake news and circulated on social media, and later, contracted CNN to amplify the fake scripts; and they are the Nigerians, who threatened President Buhari and the Nigerian Army with ICC, but have shied away effeminately from making submissions at the Lagos State probe panel, an indispensable preliminary step.

And the evidence and signposts are everywhere today. They have held captives of their own conscience. They are the IPOB leaders/members; they are the foreign elements; disgruntled political merchants and civilian coup plotters. All are the haters of Nigeria’s democracy; but wished to be given a democratic platform to govern Nigeria. Time resolves all mystery and this deliberately contrived and dispensed demoniac punching of Nigeria would also pass away; whilst the dramatis personae would be left standing alone, nude in the darkness of day, deserted and despised by rational Nigerians.

Ibekwe is a public affairs analyst and wrote from Enugu.

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