The federal government has condemned Canada for repressing truckers who were protesting over COVID-19 mandates and other restrictions in the country as insurrectionists. Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, yesterday, said the action of the Canadian government amounted to double standard. Mohammed’s condemnation was a veiled reference to the anti-Nigeria government stance of Canada and other countries during the #EndSARS protest in October 2020, which culminated in the blockage of public roads and massive destruction of government and private property.
The minister wondered why all of a sudden, protesters who barricaded roads had been branded as threats to public safety and subjected to a number of clampdowns by the Canadian government and private organisations. He said the Ontario government had frozen access to millions of dollars donated through online fundraising platform to the truckers while GoFundMe had shut down the campaign to raise funds for the protesters. Similarly, he recalled that Twitter, which allegedly funded #EndSARS protesters and even helped them to raise fund, had also blocked the truckers’ account.
“These are the same entities that are now rushing to distance themselves from the protesters in Canada and even denying them the use of their platforms,” Mohammed stated.
He added, “This is similar to what played out during the January 6th 2021 insurrection at the US Capitol in Washington, D.C. where those involved are either still being investigated or have been charged to court. I don’t blame them. Nobody wants their country destroyed under the guise of protests.
“Don’t misunderstand this intervention. We are not gloating over the unfortunate development in Canada. But we are only calling attention to the double standard involved in the way protesters deemed to be violent are perceived in Nigeria and in the West.”
He derided the double standard of those who had referred to hoodlums who destroyed public and private property in Nigeria under the guise of #EndSARS as peaceful protesters, while tagging similar protesters in their own countries as “insurrectionists and terrorists.” The minister said no one would be talking of freedom of expression or freedom of association and the likes guaranteed by the constitution if there was no Nigeria. He said the country’s destruction would not be allowed under the guise of protest or unbridled freedoms.
He also boasted that Nigeria was far ahead of most countries in the world, which had now realised the need to regulate social media in the interest of their own people.