The #EndSars Movement in its maiden statement on Tuesday strongly condemned the killings and murder of its members and other innocent Nigerians across the country.
The Movement said its agenda is not to overthrow the government but to deepen democratic culture that ought to derive its powers from the wish of the people and to draw government attention to the horrendous crimes committed daily against Nigerians.
It said it was compelled to speak out in the face of a conscious plot to demonise the group through violence, jail break and killings introduced by the enemies of the protests.
The group said it stands for millions of Nigerians with “good conscience” who are troubled by police brutality as a direct consequence of corruption, incompetence at all levels, economic exclusion and poverty of ideas on the part of those managing Nigerian political economy.
“We are a non-violent movement that draws its strength from history. Our energy is derived from the long-time suffering, deprivations and repression Nigerians have had to endure for generations. Our wisdom is sourced from the heroic struggle of our forebears, those who have laid down their lives so that a better future is guaranteed for the toiling mass of our people. We derive our resilience from the brulality we have suffered in the hands of those we pay to protect us but who have suddenly turned their guns to us; they rape our wives, kill children and turn Nigeria into a hell meant only for those anxious to live in misery and die in penury” the statement signed by its three officials, Mallam Yisa Aliu, Bolaji Falayi and Chuks Egbe stated
The Movement said the overwhelming goodwill it has received from the international community including leaders of great democratic nations, shows that the protesters are not alone and inflact enjoy the unprecedented support of the global community that has watched how Nigeria continue to dance shamefully in the mud.
The group said the violent response of the state has led to the death of tens of peaceful protesters whose only offense was to express themselves against a horrific system that leads to the strangulation of many Nigerians.
“We oppose a system that sustains itself by the blood of Nigerians. We oppose a system that treats Nigerians as footnotes. We oppose a system that kill us before we can grow and a system that turn Nigerians to the laughing stock of local and international communities” the Movement said.
According to the officials, the protest has shown clearly the preparedness of millions of Nigerians to free themselves from the fetters of iron.
“We ask for police reforms,we ask that they should stop shedding the blood of Nigerians, we ask that they should put and end to rape of young people, rape of our mothers, we ask that they should lead young people with decent examples, we ask they should protect us from the heat of the sun, we ask they should allow us to speak against what leads to the deaths of our people, they responded with bullets and armoured vans.”the group said.
The #ENDSARs movement said the protests have been peaceful but that violence was brought in by the government when it sponsored armed thugs to attack the protesters.
The Movement also commiserated with the families of protesters who lost their lives and those whose properties were burnt in Abuja and other parts of the country.
“Our protests have been peaceful. Violence was introduced by the government. This provocation will not spur our members to counter violence. We shall continue to be peaceful in line with universal principles of democracy.
It regretted that the series of attacks both by sponsored thugs and security agencies causing injuries, loss of lives and properties are linked to those who claim to be representing the people.
It will be recalled that in the past thirteen days, there has be what seemed a nationwide protest by Nigerians to press government to put an end to impunity of the defunct police anti-robbery unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS and other unpopular government policies with hashtag #EndSars.
Demonstrators were attacked in Lagos, Oshogbo, Ado Ekiti, Abuja and other places by both thugs believed to be sponsored and security agencies. These prompted volunteer civil unarmed guards to offer protection where possible. There have also been volunteers in the area of free legal services, medical and other critical teams to sustain the daily protests.
The Movement said despite the fact that the protests are well-organised and orderly to the knowledge of both local and international keen observers, it is worried that what is playing out of late is state sponsored violence which increased the tempo of the Movement’s skepticisms of government’s real intention.
” These protests have been without any incidence of violence or crime, personal effects were lost, announced, found and returned to the owners. It’s a protest where people observing religious activities were honoured, ambulances and many other facilities provided by volunteers and services provided either by the people themselves or by sympathisers.
“The government has introduced violence. They want people to believe the protesters are violent to the extent of organising a jail break, burning police stations and so on”
The group said “We are not unaware about the sponsored attacks on us and our properties, nor are we unaware that the numerous criminal acts being committed are tactical plots deployed to discredit the protests and justify the military deployment against the unarmed protesters. We make bold to say we shall not retaliate against any Nigerian or security agent, and that we are resolute to see this agitation to its logical conclusion come what may. We also use this medium to tell the public that it is not an insurrection or a plot to change the government of the day, neither is the Movement involved in any jail break, burning of any police station but rather a worthy sacrifice whose time has come to birth a better Nigeria for all”.