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Segun Sega Awosanya withdraws from Endsars protest, calls it an Insurrection Against Nigeria

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Segun ‘Sega’ Awosanya, a social activist who mainstreamed the campaign against police brutality in 2017, has pulled out of the ongoing #EndSARS agitation, alleging that the movement  is a fertile ground for insurrection.

Mr. Awosanya said this in in a speech, sent to Peoples Gazette Sunday afternoon, in response to the ongoing campaign that has defied government’s tactics to be shut down — as protesters insist a lasting solution must be implemented against decades of police ruthlessness before they back down. He said:

“Staging coordinated attacks on prominent reform advocates and then using a credible advocacy’s campaign to raise funds through an unregistered NGO, threatening the integrity of our nation and gunning for youth insurrection in the name of #EndSARS, is even insane”

Mr. Awosanya’s comments came days after he sought to provide solutions to the crisis by urging government and main voices of the decentralised and spontaneous protests to explore common grounds and end the stalemate.

He was criticised for allegedly trying to arrogate undue powers to himself using SIAF, the platform he launched with other activists to fight police injustice and became a target of police harassment.

An allegation which he denied, saying they were being pushed by a group of feminists with whom he has long had a running battle.

The Feminist Coalition has been leading the campaign to raise funds and support victims of police brutality and undue harassment over the past two weeks. Their role received a terrific boost during the week when Twitter’s Jack Dorsey recognised them as the face of the movement, verified their Twitter accounts and amplified their fund-raiser.

The current series of protests began in late September following police’s killing of a young man in Port-Harcourt and an attempted police murder of a man in Ughelli. The government responded by abolishing the brutal police special anti-robbery squad blamed for most of the extra-judicial fatalities on October 11.

Additional efforts have been made by the government to pacify the protests, adopting a working document to curb unchecked police abuses and raising an inquiry panel against previous infractions.

While most of the protesters dismissed those efforts as lacking in seriousness or sincerity, others like Mr. Awosanya said it was time to give the government an opportunity to implement the solutions they have already committed to over the past week.

He called on those who have been raising millions to continue fuelling the protests across the country to exercise some caution as their actions could be interpreted as subversive.

Mr. Awosanya’s decision came as the government began indicating its readiness to forcefully quell the protests that have been spreading mostly across the south, with information minister Lai Mohammed declaring participants as anarchists earlier on Sunday.

On the other hand, the Nigerian Army and the State Security Service have issued separate warnings against continued protests across the country, saying they are being increasingly hijacked by sinister elements.

Protesters, however, maintained that their gathering has been peaceful and will continue to be peaceful if the government and its supporters could stop sending thugs to cause disruption, killing and harming unarmed citizens in the process.

 

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Written by Hiam Terhile

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