Hoodlums attack #ENDSARS protesters in Abuja
Suspected hoodlums allegedly sponsored by disgruntled members of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) on Wednesday invaded the venue of the protests and attacked peaceful #ENDSARS protesters at the Berger roundabout, Abuja chasing away the protesters with dangerous weapons.
However, the police swiftly calmed the situation, as no life was lost but some protests were injured while a number of cars were damaged in the melee.
An eye witness told BusinessDay that he protesters had condone-off all the roads that led to Berger roundabout, one of the major bus stops in Abuja Municipal Area Council and distrupted the flow of traffic causing many vehicles to take detours with the attendant gridlock that caught motorists along Jabi and the Airport road where the headquarters of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission EFCC is located.
He said the pro-SARS group were seen marching towards the venue at about 1pm, to attack the protesters, while chanting war songs and pro-SARS slogans.
The protesters mainly youth have for four consecutive days marched in the streets of the nation’s capital to demand not just the end of SARS brutality and rights violations but fundamental reforms in the police system.
Wednesday’s protests had no clear leader but they were before the clash peaceful marching around the roundabout under the Berger Bridge, brandishing placards with varied inscriptions and chanting songs such as “end police brutality now”.
Most of the protesters were not impressed by the new police tactical outfit the Special Weapons and Tactics Team (SWAT)announced on Tuesday by the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu, as replacement for SARS.
One of the protesters described SWAT as a “problem changing its name”.
The protesters are demanding for a far -reaching reforms backed by an executive order by the president Muhammad Buhari to assure Nigerians of Government seriousness.
In a related development, activist and a member of the Bring Back Our Girls campaign team, Aisha Yesufu released a video in her Twitter handle where she called on the protesters not to give up until the right things are done. She also tasked the protesters not to be distracted about the reported leadership tussle among them.
She said: “Please don’t get distracted over this issue of who is this, who is not what; eye on the ball —forget the distraction. There is nothing yet for you to go into fighting mode over. Focus on your message and the results that you want. That’s what is most important.”
Although the Federal Government has dissolved the notorious SARS outfit on Sunday following waves of protests across the country, the protesters have remained adamant.