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Dangote, Elumelu Under Fire for ‘Attempting to Corner’ #EndSARS Protesters

The anti-police brutality protesters in Nigeria have accused Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote, Chairman of UBA Group, Tony Elumelu and the Central Bank of Nigeria Governor, Godwin Emefiele of trying to buy-out some of the leading voices of the mass protests and attempting to cause division among the youths so that the government can have grounds to forcefully get the protesters off the streets.

Young citizens across the Nigerian states have been protesting the incessant torture and extra-judicial killings perpetrated by the Nigerian Police, especially officers of its most notorious unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), which was dissolved last weekend when the demonstrations intensified.

On Tuesday, Oct. 13, the Nigerian Inspector-General of police, Mohammed Adamu, named the new police team that will replace the rogue unit as Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT). He also summoned operatives of the disbanded SARS to the police headquarters in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, for psychological examination, retraining and reorientation before they can be redeployed to other beats.

ALSO READ: #EndSARS: Central Bank of Nigeria Allegedly Freezes Donation Account as Protests Intensify

But the irate youths rejected the new formation, despite the fact that the government also agreed to five other demands of the protesters. Most of the youths believe that the new police formation is just a change of name and uniform but the same rogue officers.

It was gathered that in an attempt to intervene and pacify the disgruntled protesters, Dangote, Elumelu, Emefiele, and other business leaders held a zoom meeting with some of the known faces of the protests including Aisha Yesufu, Dipo Awojide, Adebola Williams among others.

While the details of the meeting, which held last night, are still sketchy, some of the conversations have come to light.

At the meeting, Emefiele was said to have proposed to arrange a meeting between the #EndSARS campaigners and President Muhammadu Buhari, presumably so that they can present their demands to him directly and by extension for the protests to be called off. While some of the youths disagreed, others agreed that the protests should end.

A news platform pointed out Williams as one of the youths who agreed that the protests should end but the media entrepreneur denied the report, and others at the meeting defended him.

A screenshot of Dipo Awojide's tweets defending Adebola Williams
A screenshot of Dipo Awojide’s tweets defending Adebola Williams

This has caused bickering among the Nigerian youth on social media as they berate the business leaders, saying they are only after personal interests. They also insist that the protest has no leadership.

To further quell the tension, Yesufu recorded a video message to appease the young citizens, encouraging them to soldier on and stay united so that they can achieve tangible results from the rare demonstrations.

A screenshot of Aisha Yesufu's tweets explaining what happened at the meeting
A screenshot of Aisha Yesufu’s tweets explaining what happened at the meeting

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