The government said this through its Minister of Defence, Major Gen. Bashir Magashi. Magashi spoke on Saturday after participating in the revalidation exercise of the All Progressives Congress in Kano.
He alleged that most of the protesters were thieves and rogues.
Magashi said, “There is a basic responsibility of the government, and that is to protect every Nigerian, whoever he is. We always believe that given the necessary intelligence, no agent of government will sit down and fold its hands without doing something.
“This #EndSARS issue, if you recall, the minister of information has briefed this nation and alerted that something like this is coming; and we know we are always prepared. This is our job, to ensure internal security.
“We must plan for it. We don’t want to be taken by surprise. And if you want us to be taken by surprise, then, there is no need to call us protectors. If #EndSARS is to take place today, we will ensure that we have peaceful counter plans that we will put in place to ensure that mistakes are not made in protecting the people.
“You know the composition of the #EndSARS crowd. Over 60 per cent of them are people who don’t even know why they are there. They just come to take part. Some of them are rogues; some are there to steal. They want to do whatever they think. There are a few actual people (among the protesters).”
The government added that no government will allow “unpatriotic elements” to destabilize the country under any guise.
“The genuine ones, we want to get them enlightened. They should stop doing things that will create collateral damages for the country. We need people who will sit down and use their brains. Sit down with the government and see what we can do.