Why I referred to #EndSARS protesters as children – Desmond Elliot
Veteran Nollywood actor and lawmaker representing Surulere Constituency, Desmond Elliot, has claimed that he was not referring to ‘everybody as children’ during the EndSARS saga.
Recall that Elliot was at the receiving end of some heavy criticisms on social media, especially on Twitter, during the height of the 2020 #EndSARS protests after a video emerged in which he referred to the people ‘attacking’ the Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa, as ‘children.’
The lawmaker made the remarks while pushing for the regulation of social media, which further infuriated many Nigerian youths online who deemed his action as an attempt to silence them.
However, the veteran actor, after some deep reflection on the incident, has now tendered a public apology to everyone offended by his comments.
Elliot made the apology while appearing on a TVC programme ‘Your View’, where he also explained that his remarks then were directed at “teenagers who were cursing at Mr. Speaker” on his Twitter handle.
He said the backlash he has received has taught him that politicians must always be humble and respect the electorate.
Elliot’s words: “What I can say is, I think forgiveness is divine. I mean, no one owns it all. Something can be your truth and to another person, it might not be. I don’t think going back to bring out those sensitive moments would do anything.
I think at the end of the day, I apologised for, and I’m still apologising to those who must have misconstrued what I said. I said I was taken by emotions but in the end, it still didn’t take away from the fact that the hatred is too much. The polity, the hatred is too much. We are all built on love. We can change things by love.
“I’m in politics now, eight years and I still stand on the fact that love conquers all. I mean, I’ve gone out on the street and people still curse at me. But I’m not afraid, I’m not ashamed. Because they don’t understand the stress that you go through and I pick it from their point of view because someone just hoped that you could just help him or her. And at that point, you are stressed with so many things. So at the end of the day, it happened.
“I wasn’t referring to everybody as children. It was the people that were on my Mr. Speaker’s handle, that were talking to Mr. Speaker, I was referring to, and not everybody. And truly, they were teenagers, when I clicked on those who were cursing at Mr. Speaker. And that’s exactly what I said. But I’m sorry again. That’s what politics teaches you. You must learn. You must! You can never be prideful. You can never buga in politics. Who you be? So, you must humble yourself. If you wan buga, go inside your gym and get weight. Lose weight when you’re outside. Lose it!”