THE Department of State Services (DSS) has raised the alarm over a plot by unnamed persons to destabilise the country with mass protests over the current fuel scarcity in the country.
Spokesperson for the DSS Peter Afunanya said in a statement on Saturday that the alleged plotters intend to stage protests that would be similar to the #EndSARS demonstrations that spread around the country in 2020.
“The Service is aware of a plot to use students, striking university teachers, labour unions, disgruntled individuals and strategic groups as well as exploit the global energy situation to carry out a mass protest like the ENDSARS. This is despite ongoing efforts by government to address the issues,” parts of the statement said.
The DSS also alleged that there a plan by some elements to stoke violence in parts of the country particularly the North-Central.
According to the DSS, those behind alleged plan intend to cause ethno-religious crisis, ignite reprisals and heat up the polity.
Afunanya noted that the sponsors of the alleged plot have mobilised foot soldiers and held several meetings in and outside the target areas.
“While the Service views the machination as unpatriotic, it is on the trail of the agents of destabilisation who are desirous of using violence to achieve ulterior goals
“Though it has emplaced measures to disrupt these tendencies, it warns the ring leaders and their cohorts to desist from acts capable of causing a breakdown of law and order. The public should be rest assured that the Service will, in conjunction with other security agencies, go after the sponsors of this scheme and ensure the law takes its course,” the statement read.
Some Nigerians are planning to protest against the current fuel scarcity, lack of electricity and economic challenges in the country.
The date for the planned protest called ‘Resist Hardship Struggle: Occupy Nigeria Phase 2’ has not been announced.
The #EndSARS protests in 2020 was a massive turnout of young Nigerians against extra-judicial killings by operatives of the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The protesting Nigerians demanded the scrapping of the SARS unit, increment in police salaries, setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct and psychological evaluation and retaining (to be confirmed by an independent body) of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed.
Although SARS has been since disbanded and judicial panels were set up to investigate cases of police brutality, other demands of the protesters have not been met.
In response to the ##EndSARS protests, security operatives were deployed to Lekki tollgate which led to the Lekki Massacre of October 2020.
A judicial panel set up by the Lagos state government found that protesters were killed by operatives of the Nigerian Army on October 20, 2020.