A file image of the #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, before the gunfire.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has urged the genuine youths who organised the #EndSARS protest to deploy their capacity to positive endeavours.
The minister gave the advice in Lagos on Saturday while fielding questions from newsmen after inspecting the headquarters of TV Continental(TVC) that was vandalised and set ablaze during the #EndSARS protest.
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The minister led a delegation of heads of Information agencies under his ministry to inspect the offices of The Nation newspaper and TVC that were attacked during the protest.
“My advice to the EndSARS protesters is that they have shown that they have the capacity to mobilise and organise, which is a good thing.
” However, they must deploy this capacity to positive endeavours.
“They must join in our campaign against all forms of violence, either from the excessive use of force by the security agents and from hoodlums.
“We want them to use their platform to campaign against mindless unprovoked burning and looting,’’ he said.
The minister noted that the original conveners of #EndSARS protest meant well before it was hijacked by hoodlums and people who had ulterior motives.
He said the government had also met their five demands before the protest was hijacked.
Mohammed recalled that in meeting the demands of the protesters, SARS was disbanded by the Inspector General of Police and members of the squad were recalled and sent to undergo medical evaluation.
The minister said President Muhammadu Buhari in a national address also gave an assurance that the disbanding of SARS was the first step in the reform of the police.
He added that the National Economic Council (NEC) took far reaching decisions, including the setting up of panel of enquiry in each state to look into police brutality and bring those guilty to justice.
He said NEC also directed the setting up of a Victims Support Fund to compensate all victims of police brutality and the families of those who had died.
Mohammed said that the protest would not have resulted in violence if the organisers had called the youths out of the streets and opted for dialogue.