#EndSARS Protesters Showing Mafia Mentality – Festus Keimo
Festus Keyamo, Nigeria’s senior lawyer and Minister of State for Labor and Employment, said the #EndSARS protest currently taking place in the country is going wide.
The minister said that some criminals have mingled with real agitators, armed with weapons that can injure innocent Nigerians.
According to him, President Muhammadu Bukhari’s regime was committed to improving the welfare of police officers, noting that the president had raised police salaries in the country two years ago.
Keyamo has responded to one of the #EndSARS protesters’ demands for higher remuneration for police officers across the country.
The protesters are demanding that police authorities conduct psychological assessments and retraining of all disbanded SARS personnel before they are redeployed.
They demand the release of all arrested protesters, justice for all victims of police brutality and adequate compensation for their families.
They also want an increase in police salaries, as well as an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all police misconduct allegations.
In response to one of the five-point requests by protesters on Tuesday, Keiamo, who spoke live on Facebook chat with The Punch, said the federal government was unwilling to raise police salaries at this time.
He said: “The president has no authority to appear tomorrow and announce new salaries to the police. When you do this, you even trigger an industrial crisis because you have different sectors of society, doctors, government officials, soldiers and others will make new requests.
“Last year we paid the minimum wage. Two years ago, it was President Bukhari who raised the salaries of the police. This was after intense training with an increase of almost 100%. The corporals and everyone who went home smiled.
“For this you need to look at the national stock exchange. We are borrowing money right now, and so we are giving a lot of subsidies. ”
He stressed that Nigeria’s police reform is a process that will not happen overnight.
He said the release of the detained protesters was an “event” by the federal and state governments, but other steps will take time. Therefore, he called on the protesters to give the government the opportunity to do so.
There must be a face in the struggle for fair negotiations between the government and the protesters, he said.
The minister said: “The government cannot refer to hashtags, and when they do, they don’t know if they are exhaustive or not. The next day, after sorting out these hashtags, the other party will come up with another request. Nobody will.
“A voice is boiling around everything, and right now there are fifth columns in the middle of it all. I’m sure you’ve seen some hashtags like #BuhariMustResign. These are people who push the boundaries of their demands without revealing from the very beginning what they want.
“It’s just a moment of emotion and lack of intelligence. This is the mentality of the mafia right now. But at some point, some rumors about the reasons should allow people to find out facts and fiction.
“Some people know the voice of reason to add right now, but they are afraid to release the voice of reason because they are afraid that a mass of angry listeners will rush over them. But we don’t have to, we have a little more experience than them and we have to tell them how it should be done. “
He expressed his sympathy for the families of the victims killed in the ongoing protests, insisting that some unscrupulous elements have joined the demonstrations to crush the real protesters.
He said: “Some criminals have mixed with the protesters, we must always understand this. Criminals sometimes go out to mingle with real agitators. They carry weapons and in the process can injure innocent Nigerians.
“We need to film these incidents, thoroughly investigate, and everyone who is involved in this, whether they are law enforcement officers, is brought before the law.
“There must be peaceful protests on both sides – protesters must behave responsibly, even law enforcement must act in moderation.”