The Federal Government says the #EndSARS protest has been hijacked by hoodlums and people with ulterior motive to destabilise the country and bring down the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, stated this on Sunday when he featured on a Radio Nigeria programme monitored by the News Agency of Nigeria in Abuja.
Mohammed said the Federal Government had met the demands of the group and was implementing them.
Having met the demands, he said it was absurd that protesters were remaining on the streets causing mayhem, obstructing movements and inflicting pains on Nigerians.
He said: “When you look at the demands of the #EndSARS and the decisions of the Federal Government, it is clear that there is no single demand of the group that has not been met.
“Therefore, one will begin to ask if there is any ulterior motive because what we have witnessed in the last few days is that they have moved their demands from five to seven.
“As soon as the government approved one demand another one will follow.
“From the five demands, which were initially tabled and have been addressed, they are now including petrol price, National Assembly salaries and allowances, electricity tariff among others.
“Then you begin to ask yourself what exactly is the motive of the protests and who are those behind them.”
According to the Minister, it is more nauseating that the protest has gone violent, claiming lives and causing injuries as well as destruction to property.
Mohammed said Saturday’s assassination attempt on Governor Adegboyega Oyetola of Osun State, who came out to identify with the protesters and address them, was a clear indication that the protest had been hijacked.
Mohammed said the Minister of Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, was equally turned back on the road by the protesters in Abuja.
He said: “Peaceful protest is synonymous with democratic tenets and to that extent we see the EndSARS protest as the manifestation of how far our democracy has developed
“Regrettably, the protest has been hijacked by hoodlums and by people with ulterior motives bent at destabilising the country.
“As of today, many people in many parts of the country simply cannot go out because people are being intimidated and roads have been blocked.
“There was a report of a pregnant woman that died inside the ambulance simply because she could not get to the hospital because of the protesters.
“This cannot be allowed to continue because where your right stops another person’s rights begin.
‘While government will continue to engage, no responsible government will fold its arms and allow the state to be thrown into anarchy.”
NAN reports that the #EndSARS group has been protesting what it calls police brutality.
The protesters at inception came with five demands, including that all arrested protesters be released and justice be given to deceased victims of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, and compensation to their families.
They equally demanded that there should be an independent committee to oversee the investigations and prosecution of any member of SARS found guilty of extrajudicial killings.
They demanded that all personnel of the disbanded SARS undergo psychological and medical evaluation as well as retraining before they should be redeployed to other services of the police.
The protesters also demanded that the salary of the police should be increased in a manner that will adequately them for protecting lives and property of citizens.