#EndSARS Protest: Time to Review Exercise, Withdraw From the Street
By M .J. Akwash
As a populous black nation of the world, Nigeria is going through trying times right now. This is because events in recent times are disturbing and worrisome. For instance, the lives loss each and every day across the country is unwarranted and shouldn’t have been so in the first place.
The #ENDSARS #EndBadGovernance protest nationwide has now placed Nigeria among countries in the world that her citizens can take to the streets in demands for their rights., this is because Nigeria became free on Tuesday 20-10-2020, a day that Nigerian youths in their numbers agreed to die for a cause that would liberate them despite the use of live bullets by Soldiers that killed scores that night.
These were mistakes which could have been avoided during the protest, this include the inability of the youths to trust themselves by appointing leaders to talk with government on their behalf has gave room for hijacked.
Even though there were reports of government sponsoring counter protest, but I believed if there were leaders who were coordinated and coordinating, the counter protest would meet a strong resistance. Also the leaders would have spot that easily before they infiltrate the genuine protesters. There is no aircraft without a pilot, who is believed to be in charge, even though there are co-pilots onboard. The on-going protest nationwide against maladministration, whether is called #Endsars, #EndBadGovernance, #injustice #Corruption or #EndPoliceBrutality, would have achieved more result than what is consider as achievements today from the struggle. This is because if the protest was carried out with proper coordination, the issue of violence won’t be an option whether is by anti or pro #EndSARS protesters.
They are all youths and so would have resisted the temptation of being used by those considered as enemies of the people.
My heart is with those who lost love once across the country, I’m glad that Lagos state Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu has said that the CCTV was not removed, that means the footage should revealed the true situation that happened at the Lekki Tollgate that left many youths dead, so that the perpetrators would be brought to book. I’m also hoping the Judicial Panel of Inquiry put in place by various state governments would heal some wound caused by police brutality in the country.
The youths however need to go back to the drawing board, review the whole exercise look at the absent of leaders to the protest who to show directions nationwide which was visible and draw up lessons for future protest. An interview with some youths during the protest regarding selecting individuals to negotiate with the government on their demands revealed that the major reason is lack of trust. You hear them saying, “we are all leaders, no one is our leader, we don’t trust anyone to represent us”.
You can’t protest endlessly, because every protest has a lifespan. Once your demands are met, you need to discontinue the protest and re-strategize for future struggle. However, the beauty of the protest is that the youths can actually come together irrespective of ethnicity or religion, the youths came together with one voice, so going forward, they need to appoint leaders among them to engage government on any issues regarding the welfare and well-being of the citizenry. Even though the major issue has to do with trust, but we must learn to trust one another. So, going forward if we must change our present situation, we must learn from our mistake today.
Now that President Buhari had said that the government has heard the youths loud and clear, with a promised of his administration readiness to implementing the demands, I expect the youths nationwide to withdraw from the streets. They should henceforth put forward her leaders to engage the government on the implementation. They should also review the protest and draw lessons for the future. God bless Nigeria, 4ward ever.