Lai Mohammed to religious leaders: Stop inciting the youth as #EndSARS protests escalate
Honorable Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed has warned political, religious, traditional and opinion leaders to stop inciting #EndSARS protesters.
This warning was given by the information minister during a forum organised by NAN on Monday.
The protests, which have lasted for 12 days, have received international endorsement and support.
Despite the measures taken by the government which include the disbandment of the controversial police unit, SARS by the inspector general of police, Mohammed Adamu, demonstrations are still ongoing in different parts of the country.
Recall that some suspected hoodlums on Monday broke into Oko prison located on Benin-Sapele road centre in Benin, Edo state capital, setting several inmates free.
The Ugbekun police station in Benin was also set ablaze by the hoodlums hours after the jail break.
Several cases of violence have also been reported across the country.
Speaking on these incidents, Mohammed said given the turn of events, it would amount to anarchy if leaders nudge on the youth to continue with the protests.
He added that he was disappointed that some leaders were encouraging youths to remain on the streets even after government has promised to meet their demands.
“Leaders should stop instigating the protests because that could lead to anarchy,” Mohammed said.
“The protests are turning violent, unfortunately many of our leaders are fallen short of expectation.
“Rather than advise these youths, they have been instigating them and this is very disappointing.
“All leaders, opinion, religious, political, including traditional rulers, should be very careful in their interventions.
“They have the right to intervene and a lot of them have huge followership, but they should not incite; they should proffer solution not to complicate the matter on ground.
“They should emphasise that the protest is genuine and that the government has listened. They should let the youths know that everything the government has promised will be fulfilled.”
Mohammed said that the original conveners of #EndSARS had lost control of it while hoodlums and people with ulterior motive to destabilise the country had taken over the protest.
“We are talking of the very existence of the country because some people are using the genuine protest to seek an end to democracy and representative government,” he said.
“We are talking of a protest that has descended into orgy of violence, looting, killing and attempted assassination of a state governor.
“A protest that led to hoodlums taking over the whole city of Benin, releasing inmates and setting Police stations ablaze.
“This is not what any leader should support or instigate the youths to continue with.”
The minister appealed to the leadership of #EndSARS to put forward their demands and approach the governors whom he said are willing to dialogue with them.