The EndSARS protest : activists and non activists’ side of the coin.
As it Happened
Many Nigerian youths came out in the cold, fighting for the safety of ‘youth’ in the #EndSARS protest. There were those with slightly indifferent disposition to the protest. I like to point that, this does not mean they didn’t care but for a variety of reason such as: outlook to life; lack of experience with SARS; the feeling that there are more pressing issues e.g. frustration of students due to ASUU strikes and how many youths did not take the same drastic steps, perhaps, because of the popular “school na scam” mantra; Boko Haram; bad governmental policies; economic hardship; family and friends of terminal diseases victims; – the list is endless.
Why Some Stood Aloof
These are some of the reasons for their disinterest. Hey! This does not imply, they are cool with SARS activities. Imagine losing a “beloved” to stray bullet ( SARS, thieves etc.). But more importantly because the hospital operators insist on seeing a police report before attending to the dying victim. Naturally, the bereaved will be more open to ‘protests’ relating to medical policy reformation.
Some other appalling conditions include people dying because they could not afford certain medical services and so on! What about a fellow living far from the city or city centers, who only know about the Boko Haram killings- having been a victim of losing all or some members of his/her family or properties? Yet, the same energy put into the EndSars movement was not carried out against such man’s inhumanity to man. On this premise I apologize on their behalf for being either passive or outrightly in different.
What Can be Done to get Their Support?
It is, up to us the youth to “end police brutality” and inadvertently prove to the disinterested youth that we are not just doing this for selfish motives. Instead, because of our dream to birth a safe Nigeria. This will bin any idea that protesters are only out there to ensure they continue their online frauds unchecked.
They are making all these noise to enable them continue their fraudulent practices without any hinderance. Some even said, if na wetin no concern their quick money gimmicks will they be this enthusiastic? Ah! No mind them, sebi ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Universities) and the F.G (federal government) de play chess with millions of their destiny, how many of them don protest?
How many of them have thought that a better Nigeria will prevent them angling to travel out of the country? Why are they not protesting against the poor conditions? Why have they not protested this sham of a democracy despite being denied the dividend of democracy? You go de hear all manner of excuses and opinion as to the ‘water into a basket’ expectation.
The beauty of it all
In essence, as some of the ENDSARS protesters have thought and will learn; POWER INDEED BELONGS TO THE PEOPLE. Even moreso, that YOUTHS can effect the change they desire hence similar efforts should be put to fight other injustices. I mean, social media have aided the spread of this ENDSARS movement, we must also utilize it for future movements.
I plead via this media too, that the voices lent to #EndPoliceBrutality and #EndSarsNow, especially Nigeria entertainment celebrities will continue to aid movements even if it’s not of immediate concern to them. This is because, it is clear from the profile of protesters that ideologically knitted persons follow their kind.
What I mean is, when Omoyele Sowore led his #Revolutionnow movement, just a minute section of the same youths were concerned and from all accounts, it’s very safe to say – it would have had a motherboard effect if it succeeded. But because, it seemed to have a long term structure and to an extent boring to the average Nigerian youth, it garnered little or no support , in fact the protest against Pastor Fatoyinbo at the time had more followers .
The beginning we didn’t see coming
Now we have the EndSARS movement as a springboard, to achieve even more with the somewhat unconcerned government we have. Let us prove and thereby unite ourselves in one voice by showing that ‘patriotism to us, is not tied to sentiment’ and that an atom of selfishness will mean we are not different from those we seek to correct. This can be achieved when we successfully end SARS, we move on to something else , the space is huge.
At this point, I would like to suggest a number of hashtags but because of the timeliness of writing, I rescind the idea and put it out to you ‘dear reader’s to create hashtags addressing one or two of your nation’s many issues.
SARS: Special Anti-Robbery Squad (1992 – Oct 2020)
Use of pidgin: to express original thoughts of Nigerians.