Founder of Social Intervention Advocacy Foundation (SIAF) Segun Awosanya (Segalink) has lamented that the #EndSARS movement for the termination of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) which led to the massive street protests across Nigeria has been hijacked by interest groups for selfish reasons.
The self acclaimed convener of the EndSARS campaign released a press statement on Twitter making his intentions known that the protests have been manipulated by a group called “Fifth columnist” and weaponized against a hostile takeover on the government.
Read statement below:
Fellow Citizens, for the past 48hours I have had a series of coordinated attacks on my handle by known fifth columnist who commoditizes the struggle for emancipation of the vulnerable in our society.
The exploiters of vulnerabilities aimed at denigrating the works of years of the altruistic work towards bridging the gap between the Police Institution and our society is non-partisan and included all Nigerians as run by a fully registered incorporated trustees @SIAF_NG.
The #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG movement is a platform of expression for Nigerians.
But some individuals who have in the past tried to compromise our convictions in the past have tried and failed again in their attempt to seize a struggle for the soul of Nigeria through a genuine advocacy by aiming to weaponize it against the Government via a hostile takeover.
These attention seekers operating the vilest of hate illegally went to present themselves as the face of the #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG Movement to Billionaires & Governors who dangled money in their faces. A commercial militia was raised with one goal in mind.
The goal is to hijack the Advocacy by attacking @segalink until he gives up the struggle why they turn it into a jamboree in defiance to the state. This is now another “Occupy Nigeria” approach using unsuspecting Nigerians a pun in the process. They want to keep the protest on.
These were folks who never had demands until @SIAF_NG released an official press. This is where the 5for5 was extracted. But we didn’t mind since we thought the protest was organic until we realized their effort to spread lies about the structure.
We do have a Convener. You can engage the most critical institution in Nigeria while being incognito unless you are Boko Haram. Our policy is clear, we amplify the genuine concerns of the vulnerable public without strings attached and will not stand by & watch this madness.
The onslaught was masterminded by Debola Williams, Dipo Awojide and others lapping Governors and other prominent celebrities into the plot just to take advantage of the traction for their own purpose. It is not an organic protest but monetized & weaponized politically.
I am known for my objectivity and incorruptibility thus the attempt to rubbish all that has been done with conspiracy theories so as to take full control just like they have ruined the struggles in the past. No more People have to die for these lots to gain. This ends now!
This is the symbol of the cult group that wants to hijack the genuine advocacy targeted to objectively engage Govt on behalf of the people to fix our 90years old institutions and save the lives of our youth. They want to own it & weaponize it against the state. @PoliceNG
We have strictly maintained that the #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG advocacy is not a protest even while we maintained that citizens have the rights as empowered by the constitution to demonstrate their discontent. It is obvious that once protest is ignited hijackers will infiltrate. Since we started the advocacy in 2017 until 2020 before they hatched the protest, no Nigerian has died based on the #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG advocacy but since the Protest started we have been recording deaths and this hurts as we’ve never exposed citizens to undue risk.
We made progress with the PoliceReform Bill and the Police Trust Fund bill without seeking Governors and billionaires. It was organic, transparent and objective. There were no sinister plans to weaponize anything against anyone. But for these ones, the lives mean nothing.
Our organization remains committed to the people without strings attached. We remain self funded and seek no grants. We will not sell our soul and risk human lives because of greed and lust after power. I’m not interested in 2023. Be careful out there. This is a Game.
We have played our role and done the needful. SARS has been ended as demanded and the Police Reform is in gear beginning with the assent to the Police Bills as facilitated. Some of the demands however activated will take time to materialize. Don’t be kept on the streets unduly.
We remain on course. Our dialogue of years with the authorities can’t be derailed and the movement can not be hijacked no matter how much they try. Your genuine need to express discontent via protest is being exploited now. This is why they want to keep you in harm’s way.
I hope at this point the authorities will do the needful and make a believer of the people so as not to allow these opportunists endanger more lives even after demands are met. These headlines could have been fine if the issues were not exploited by these lots. @MBuhari
Businesses need not bleed while we agitate for better policing. The people don’t need to suffer more. This should end now. The exploitation of the idleness of Nigerian youth is an assault on their dignity with the commercialization of this protest. This is not Nation Building.
The hands of Nigerian “George Soros” is all over this and I implore Nigerians to be mindful. This is no longer an Organic protest and you deserve to be kept safe. You have been used once before and they are trying again. Another concert is brewing. Be wary.
This is not about any individual but your safety is paramount. My warnings may fall into dead ears again but at least I tried. Protest is your right but you should know when you are being used. The struggle continues and Govt will be held to account without any ulterior motive.
There are a thousands of hashtags groups and organizations can deploy to launch their protest but if you must use anything relating to #EndSARS #ReformPoliceNG it must be in compliance with the vision of the platform as spelt out by @SIAF_NG. We protect lives not endanger them.