Tuesday , October 27 2020
Credit: Guardian news
Credit: Guardian news

Recent twists in anti-SARS protests in Abuja and other states

• Thugs, robbers attack protesters in Abuja, Lagos
• Protesters occupy Kogi Government House
• CNPP asks President to address the nation on protests
• Northern coalition begins to protest, demands a state of emergency

Nationwide protests against brutality by men of the proscribed Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) entered its sixth day yesterday with new twists and turns.

In Abuja, many of the protesters were injured as they came under severe attacks by thugs armed with dangerous weapons. This happened as protesters, numbering over 1000, occupied the Kogi State Government House.

Also yesterday, a pressure group, under the aegis of Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG), declared that it would today (Thursday) commence indefinite protests across the 19 Northern states over the high level of insecurity and killings in the north.

In Abuja, there was confusion at Berger Under Bridge as fierce-looking hoodlums, armed with machetes and clubs, attacked protesters.

The activist had gathered at the Berger area for the third day running, calling for police reform.

They were, however, attacked about 1 pm, throwing the busy area into pandemonium.

While the demonstrators tried to talk with the machete-wielding men, they were attacked, leaving many of them with serious injuries.

The situation degenerated as the assailants started destroying windscreens of parked cars and attacking protesters. Some medics who accompanied the protesters later intervened and rushed some of the injured to the Jabi Medical Centre.

Determined to stand their ground, some of the protesters launched counter-attack on the assailants, injuring several of them. The medical team also treated the injured assailants.

IN Kogi, youths blocked the gate to the Government House, denied everyone, including security operatives, government officials, access into the complex.

They insisted the disbandment of SARS by the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, was not enough to stop their protest and demanded a total overhaul of the police.

“There is a need for a total overhaul of the Nigeria Police Force,” one of them declared.

They demanded to meet with Governor Yahaya Bello, and rebuffed attempts by the governor’s Chief of Staff, Jamiu Asuku; State Security Adviser, Air Commodore Jerry Omodara, and other government officials to address them.

The protest took place despite an address by the state governor warning that hoodlums had hijacked the march.

Bello had, on Tuesday, expressed worry that people he described as hoodlums and criminals had hijacked the rally.

The governor, who stated this while addressing journalists at the Lugard House, Lokoja, said he was concerned that what had been a generally peaceful protest by citizens was threatening to become mindless attacks on government facilities and running battles with the police.

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