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Northern elders call for cessation of #EndSARS protests


The group, which initially supported the protests, said other interests have now infiltrated the protests


A sociocultural organisation, Northern Elders Forum, has called for an end to the ongoing protests in Nigeria against police brutality, under the banner of #EndSARS.


The protests which began as a social media campaign moved to the streets about two weeks ago, leading to widespread protests in major cities.


PREMIUM TIMES reported how police and suspected hired thugs variously attacked the protesters in a desperate move to bring the protests to an end.


At least 12 persons have been reported killed in the course of the protests.


In a statement late Monday, the Northern Elders Forum said the protests have “registered tremendous success” but warned that the continued civil action is being hijacked by other persons with ulterior motives.


The call followed a similar one by the Ooni of Ife, Adeyeye Ogunwusi, when he received former President Olusegun Obasanjo in his palace on Monday.


The Northern elders’ statement signed by Hakeem Baba-Ahmed, Director Publicity and Advocacy of the group, also called on the government to “honour its commitment to serious changes in the manner it handles our security.


“It was particularly noteworthy that young Nigerians led these protests in its early stages, and the Forum acknowledges the heroism of these young people who stood up to say, enough! We have also noted that tragically, some people have lost their lives in these protests.”


The Northern elders said they were alarmed by criminal acts being perpetrated under the guise of the protest which include attacking police officers, jailbreak and molesting innocent citizens.

“We are very concerned that these acts of criminality suggest that other interests with criminal intent or subversive goals have taken over these protests.


“If these acts continue, as they will unless we bring these protests to an immediate end, every law-abiding citizen, including protesters who are pursuing legitimate goals, are in danger.


“The Forum does not believe that this is part of the agenda of the overwhelming majority of protesters.”


The group asked “young Nigerians to salvage what they have achieved so far, and prevent opportunists and criminals from hijacking the good work they have accomplished.”

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