Abdullahi Adamu, senator representing Nasarawa-west, says the #EndSARS protests were sponsored by some prominent Nigerians to discredit the north.
The #EndSARS protests were staged by youth across the country to campaign against police brutality in October.
Speaking in an interview with Daily Trust, Adamu, who was the Nasarawa state governor between 1999 and 2007, described the protests as “machinations against northern interest”, saying they were sponsored because “one of us is the president today”.
According to him, if President Muhammadu Buhari were not from the north, “you will never see this kind of nonsense”.
“Some prominent Nigerians have made claims to that effect, just about a month or six weeks after their prophecy of doom became manifest with the EndSARS protests. We believe that from the little information we got when the protests were taking place, the actual timing was not what the young people really wanted,” Adamu said.
“At some points, some people, somewhere, who had ulterior motives against the government wanted to use the labour strike against the government to foment trouble and destabilise the country.
“Fortunately, the negotiation between labour and the government was successful, leading to labour calling off their intended strike. The government handled this situation very well. But the issue of police was a bit hasty because it has affected the morale of the police.
“We saw some machinations against northern interest in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. One of us is the president today. And you will never see this kind of nonsense when a non-northerner is there. I am sorry and regret to say this, but that is the reality and the truth.”
Asked to name those allegedly behind the protests, Adamu said, “we do not want to start mentioning individual names at the moment. If it comes to that, we will”.
The northern governors had earlier alleged that “diabolical influencers in form of hooliganism, ethnoreligious bigots and even political marauders” are bent on pulling the nation down and pushing for regime change in the guise of the #EndSARS campaign.
They subsequently called for the censorship of social media to check the spread of fake news.