On Wednesday, the Nigerian Bar Association and civil rights groups has strongly condemned recent hoodlums' attacks on people protesting against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police.
It was reported that some of those who condemned the attacks alleged they were the handiwork of government.
The protests in most parts of the country have been on since Wednesday last week by Nigerian youths, who called for the disbandment of SARS, accusing the police squad of corruption, highhandedness and harassment.
However, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, disbanded the squad on Sunday and on Tuesday, set up the Special Weapons and Tactics Team to replace the disbanded SARS.
The #EndSARS campaigners despite the disbanding of the squad, presented five demands to the Federal Government, which the later on Tuesday said it had accepted.
The campaigners' five demands include: Release of all persons arrested by the disbanded police unit and justice for victims of police brutality; setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct (within 10 days); psychological evaluation of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed, and increase police salary so that they can be adequately compensated for protecting lives and property of citizens.
However, the protests took a fresh dimension on Wednesday when hoodlums bearing cutlasses and sticks attacked protesters in Lagos and Abuja.
The Pan-Yoruba group, Afenifere, condemning the attacks, stated that they reflected the divisive nature of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).
The group spokesman, Yinka Odumakin, in an interview with The PUNCH.
The PUNCH reported that Odumakin said, "It is a reflection of the 'we' and them' divisiveness of this government. We can only hope it would hand over a united Nigeria in 2023"
"A government that would mobilise on ethnic line against protests against police brutality is a threat against the unity of the country and will run the country towards implosion"
"The regime cannot unite Nigerians on anything and when they unite themselves on a common issue, it finds a way to split them based on fault lines"