By Ike Uchechukwu,Calabar
The #EndSARS Protesters in Calabar on Wednesday resist a group of thugs reportedly sponsored by yet to be identified individuals to disrupt the peaceful protest.
The Incident Vanguard learned occurred at Effio Ette Round About, MCC Road, Calabar Municipality LGA, one of the muster points where the Endsars protesters usually meet.
An eyewitness told Vanguard that the protesters chased the thugs while threatening to set two of them that were apprehended ablaze
One the eyewitnesses, Anthony Umo said:” The thugs numbering about 20 were given a hot chase when they arrived at protest point at Effio-Ete Junction while trying to unleash mayhem on genuine protesters with a view to breaching public peace, but they were overpowered by the resilient protesters.
“While others narrowly escaped from the scene, two were caught were beaten black and blue before taken to an unknown location,” he said.
When contacted, Cross River Commissioner of Police, Abdulkadir Jimoh told Vanguard his officers and men have been highly professional in handling the protest across the Capital city.
Jimoh said:” Our men have been most professional in their handling of the situation in the State capital, Calabar.
“No protester has been maimed, shot or arrested in any part of Calabar and it’s environs, we have ensured their protection till date and we intend to continue to carry out our duties in the most professional manner.
“Although from cultivated intelligence we know that some unscrupulous elements are looking for ways to cause violence in order to provoke law enforcement agents to react but we have been very proactive and we understand the mood at this point, we are not leaving anything to chance.
“I can assure CrossRiverians to go about their lawful business and as we will protect lives and property at all times,” Jimoh assured.
Meanwhile, following the rise in the level of violence at Endsars protests across the country, Cross River governor, Prof Ben Ayade has warned CrossRiverians not to confront security agents deployed to keep the peace.
He also assured the people that the government will not sleep until the people’s demands were met
Ayade gave the warning in a statement he personally signed late Tuesday night and made available to Vanguard.
He said: “Great Cross Riverians, I want to salute the courage of our young people who joined their compatriots across the nation to protest against police brutality and bad government in Nigeria. As you are aware, my administration has over the years made the well-being of our young people a key priority.
“The power of the people is supreme. Your voices have been heard and we will not sleep until your demands are met. Please do not confront the security agents deployed to keep the peace. Let us remain peaceful, for that is what we are known for.
“Please note that the government will not abdicate its responsibility of protecting lives and property. Everything within the ambit of law will be done to uphold this sacred duty.
“Indeed, not only do we have the youngest political appointee in the country, who is just over 16 years old, our state executive council is the youngest in the country.
“I value the life of every Cross Riverian. I am, therefore, appealing to our young people to avoid any act that could bring them on the way of harm now that the Federal Government has deployed anti-riot policemen in our cities.
“You have through your sustained protests, made your points. We have heard you loud and clear. I also advise parents to keep their children away from misguided elements who might want to recruit them to cause violence in the state,” he said.