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#EndSARS: Knowing When To Fight And When To Quit – By Philip Agbese

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The positive public perception; the overall consensual verdict and even desirability of the more than 10 days #EndSARS protests have faded. It is fizzling out with the speed of a tornado surprisingly.

By this development, the general consensus among Nigerians is clear-#EndSARS protests originally conceived by Nigerians as peaceful expression of grievances against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), an outfit of the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) over years of extrajudicial killings, brutality, bribery, extortions and unlawful arrests/ detentions have ostensibly become public nuisances.

Apparently, the protests have been hijacked by some politicians who are allegedly sponsoring hooligans, miscreants, criminals and deviants to cause massive public unrest, attack law abiding citizens, breach public peace, torching of public buildings and personal properties, prison breaks, vandalization and looting of businesses. The latest tales from the protests are the targeted assault on prominent politicians and personalities in cities rocked by the protests.

It is daybreak for the protesters now because the #EndSARS protests have become violent and bloody. Its mutation into such violent and undemocratic character has prepared its grave and coffin early enough. Indeed, the death knell has sounded for the protesters.

The reasons instigating the protests are genuine and the concern of every Nigerian. This is irrefutable. But its concomitant abuses have dealt a fatal blow on an otherwise noble cause. Nigerians have won the battle against SARS by drawing Government and global attention to the evils embodied by SARS, a microcosm of the NPF.

And at the same time, Nigerians have lost the battle in the sense that the veiled infiltration of the #EndSARS protests by reprobates and the conspicuous rebranding of its original agenda and concept signifies the defeat of the same populist cause and struggles. It now appears more like a replication of the aborted planned mass disruption of public peace before the inauguration of President Muhammadu Buhari for a second tenure, the mild version, which later surfaced as #RevolutionNow protests.

Therefore, when the protests morphed from #EndSARS into the display of placards with inscriptions or hashtags like;” #EndBuhari; #BuhariMustResign; #EndMarginalization; #EndbadGovernance; #EndNepotism #OnResourcceControlWeStand; #EndNNPC; #EndModernSlavery; #FreeNigerDeltaRegion; #ShameOnNDDC; #LegalizeNigerDeltaLocalRefineries;#EndBadDrinkingWater #LegalizeNigerDeltaPetroleumProduction; and #EndGovernmentFraud among others signaled a trouble at its explosion stage.

And the sensed trouble is very near; lurking in the corner and dark rooms of Nigeria. The obvious politicization content of the #EndSARS protests gave rise to another group of Nigerians who displayed a poster in Abuja with the counter hashtag, #March4Nigeria. The messaged was lucid that a ten million -man march will be organized to appreciate President Buhari as a listening leader who granted all the requests of the original protests and engineering the needed reforms at the Unity Fountain, Abuja on Wednesday, October 21st, 2020.

These are not only worrisome signals, but witting romance with the path to anarchy, chaos, disruption of public peace and total breakdown of public law and order. No responsible government, unlike emperor Nero, would go feasting while the country is on fire. If times have ever been tough for Nigerians, they would now become tougher.

Let Nigerians take this precaution from Yobe state Gov. Mai Mala Buni, and APC national caretaker chairman, “… the protests should have ended since the Federal Government has responded and promised to address all the demands of the protesters; demanding an end to police brutality in Nigeria and total reform of the entire Police Force…The ongoing protests show that there is a hidden agenda after the government has responded to the protesters’ demands. There are criminals who see the disbanded police unit as threat to their criminal activities.”

Dear protesters of #EndSARS and whatever other identity or agenda infused into the remonstrations’, the time to quit is now that the ovation is loudest. There is a strong sense in what Kimberly K. Jones uttered; “The time to quit is before you wish you had.”

The unpleasant howls of the chickens in the poultry yard signifies ominous danger of a prying hawk. Elvis Presley admonished that“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”Knowing when to fight and when to quit the stage with dignity, unbruised and unscathed defines the strength of one’s character.

A wise man who is fighting a battle knows when victory has come and when to accept defeat. Nigerians have earned the most important victories in the #EndSARS conundrum with Mr. President disbanding the discredited police outfit, and a promise of overhauling and reforming the NPF. In fact, Mr. President has promised to meet all the demands of the #EndSARS protesters.

Now, it is crucial for all and sundry to realize that actions on some of the demands of the #EndSARS protesters are immediate, which the President has responded accordingly; while others will definitely take weeks and even months. Therefore, continuous occupation of streets, cities, breach of public peace, violence and destructions can never be the panacea. This will only cause avoidable carnages and deaths.

Quite bluntly Nigerians, with the recent developments in the country on the #EndSARS protests, it’s obvious, the goal post has been missed after all the beautiful dribbles on the playing turf. But the protesting Nigerians failed to locate the 18-meter yard box when the goalkeeper was on the ground. The glory of the protests is also discloured by the alien and unacceptable tenor of the protests.

No one tells a blindman that it is raining, he feels the downpour. Nigerians again, it is time to quit the struggle honourably and give government time to act on the demands. Let compatriots learn from the quip of Sakeya Barns whosaid; “I refuse to let this house become my grave”or Lauren Oliver’s, “There’s always some relief in giving up;” because according to Curtis Tyrone Jones, “Life is never too heavy to pick up where we left off.”

The brazen breach of the democratic rights of other Nigerians in the guise of asserting and exercising what the protesters feels it’s their own liberties is pathetic display of dimwit and has irrevocably hamstrung the struggle. The ongoing criminal activities in the country in the name of #EndSARs protests should prick every conscience. In this regard, Nigerians won the battle, but lost at the same time. It is a time-honored lesson for all.

There is no victor nor vanquished! Definitely, Government has learnt from its past mistake of docility over the unlawful oddities of SARS; also, individuals have learnt a pile of lessons too. An American author, Dan Crenshaw in his book, “Fortitude: American Resilience in the Era of Change,” unknowingly counselled the #EndSARS remonstrators; …. Quitting isn’t about succumbing to reality or failing to change what can’t be changed. Quitting is not the same as failure. Quitting means giving up – in a context where there are other options. Options you know you have.” The time to quit the #EndSARS protests is now! #

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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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