Borno State Governor Babagana Zulum on Friday warned promoters of the #EndSARS protests that the Boko Haram insurgency started with youth protests.
The governor of the Nigerian northeastern, which has suffered maiming, killing, displacement and destruction at the hands of terrorists, gave the warning during an interview with State House correspondents after his meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
On the unpredictability of the #EndSARS protests, Zulum, whose state has remained the epicenter of the activities of insurgents, said the Boko Haram crisis started with protests by youths against the use of motorcycle helmets in the state capital, Maiduguri.
Warning against the protests turning into a disaster, Zulum noted that over one million people have been displaced as a result of Boko Haram activities, which were fallouts of the protests against the use of helmet.
The governor said, “On the issue of #EndSARS, I am calling on all Nigerians, especially the youths to be very careful. The whole Boko Haram saga started as a result of the protests by some youths in Maiduguri against the use of helmet by motorcycle riders. You have seen the situation now.
“Over one million people have been displaced and the most affected population are the vulnerable, the youth. Some of those that led the EndSARS protests (in Borno) have left Borno State; they are either staying in Abuja or Lagos or abroad. We have to be very careful.”
He said the #EndSARS protests did not take the dimension of Lagos State in his state because the youths were advised to examine the situation and recall the past, when the situation was so bad.
“Now, there is emerging peace in Borno State and we don’t want anybody to disrupt the peace. The youths are with us, we are taking very good care of them, palliatives are being distributed to them as and when due. We are giving them some financial support and I think the best way every Nigerian should seek for his/her right is through legitimate means. Otherwise, we are not going anywhere. Peace is very important,” he said.
He added: “The issues of transparency, good governance are very important. Whatever we are doing in Borno State, we are ensuring that the entire public is well involved. Fortunately, Borno State received the palliatives early enough and within two weeks of receiving them we had distributed to the deserving ones.
“Let me also use this opportunity to condemn police brutality in other parts of the nation; at the killings at Lekki Tollgate. But, I must also condemn the excesses of some of our Nigerian youths in taking the laws into their hands by destroying some of our infrastructure in attempt to support the legitimate demands of #EndSARS protesters,” Zulum said.