By EMEKA EZEKWE
The Endsars protest as a metaphor for rage against police brutality and its consequential aftermath calls for serious introspection and sober reflections, most importantly, it has posted a strong warning signal to all of us about the things that will come in future .Many analysts have argued that Nigeria had it coming long ago but decided to play the ostrich by burying our head in the sand.While some say that more military deployment should have been made to curtail the wanton destruction of properties that followed.l posit that our present crisis has no requirement for military deployment yet until all options are exhausted and underlying causes unearthed and treated.
A country with a very large population of young people is both a blessing and a curse. A blessing because the productive and fearless energy of youths could be exploited and harnessed maximally for the development and growth of the economy and a curse, because, it remains a perpetual time bomb if allowed to idly waste away to germinate into threats to the stability of the country. Nigeria should have made preparations earlier to cater for her youths through employment generation or at least creating and maintaining a robust economy that gives opportunities for talents to thrive. It is called planning. Our young people have been pushed to the wall and now they don’t care anymore,no work,no food,no security,no governance and no hope.The worst thing that can happen to a human being is to lose hope .A workable solution should begin with reaching out,dialogue,engagement and fatherly appeals,not arrogant interviews ,threats or condescending broadcast.The youths are in a good position to win this war,they have nothing to lose in a nation that offers no hope or future to them.
No matter what anyone may say or think,the Endsars protest against police brutality is very successful to the extent that it has captured the attention of the government,politicians,stakeholders and the whole world to the strange,wicked and perfidious actions of our politicians who have deliberately weaponized poverty ,hunger and hopeless through impunity and arbitrary exercise of political power.Mathma Ghandi once said that “poverty is the greatest violence”.China,with its very large population and abysmal human rights record still became the first country in the world to lift the largest number of citizens out of extreme poverty.How do we begin to explain the deliberate hoarding of palliatives materials in the face of so much hunger in the land.What does it really mean to be a young person in Nigeria in 2020? What options and opportunities are available to youths in present day nigeria 🇳🇬?In an attempt to neutralize a harmless ,progressive and nonviolent protest,hooliganism was deliberately introduced by politicians and the matter got out of control.We may have to live with the consequential aftermath of this.
The strange belief of people in power that coercion is better than persuasion and that every dissent is opposition that must be crushed with military might gave rise to the events of the last few days .The use of security personnel to harass ,intimidate and kill fellow citizens under whatever guise is evil and demonic.The deliberate underfunding and underequiping of our police force says it all.The preferential and reckless deployment of soldiers to quell civil protests in a democratic setting is an aberration and a prelude to full dictatorship.A country may be classified as unstable and failed when you have military operations in almost all states of the federation,a popularly elected government should have nothing to fear from the electorates ….the often repeated and trite phrase “ government duty is to maintain security ,law and order” is deliberately coined to mean intimidation and violent engagement of opposition and critics.Government duty is also to create prosperity.A government is said to lack legitimacy when it loses the support of the masses .All our children are asking for is the right to be alive and prosperous in a country that derogatorily refer to them as “lazy”
Why would our government prefer “enforcement “ as a first line of action to dialogue,engagement,negotiation and persuasion? Law enforcement should always comes in as a last resort when every other means must have been explored and exhausted.Why are our rogue SARS officers fighting cybercrime with guns instead of IT and cyber security tools?why are security men in Nigeria not accountable for extra judicial murders?Why has it become very difficult for our “gallant” soldiers to defeat boko haram terrorists and the marauding herdsmen after such a long time? Why are soldiers always easily deployed to civilian soft target situations?What type of training do our security men and women receive that make them hate and treat civilians and fellow citizens with so much hate,condescension and disdain instead of love and respect ?Why are our soldiers everywhere on uniform even during off duty periods ?Do we have a metropolitan military? Why are citizens scared of and suspicious of our military men? What makes our policemen believe that they can effectively combat crime without a supportive civilian involvement?
Do we really need our two law making chambers?Is their salaries and emoluments justifiable and commensurate to their functions?should politics in nigeria be a lucrative and money making venture in the midst of abject poverty,squalor and wants?How do we reform our electoral system to make vote count and empower citizens to effectively choose their leaders ?How do we attract the right people to politics ? Do we need a new constitution? What is wrong with 1999 constitution? Should there be devolution of more powers to the states and local government?do we need to go back to regionalism?are the state governors currently doing enough for their states in terms of governance,development,infrastructure and security?is it possible to have a progressive,United and prosperous Nigerian nation?
If there’s a relationship between governance,employment and security ? Then that’s the main lesson of the Endsars protest.A booming economy with guaranteed employment prospects equals low crime rate.a country of happy ,satisfied and fulfilled citizens guarantees a stable polity.One of the major differences between developing and developed countries is in their management of political and economic power :When a white man acquires political power,he consolidates his position by sharing power with the masses ,running an inclusive government and making a larger number of citizens feel the impact of governance so they they can leave him alone to enjoy his tenure and give support ,meanwhile,when a Blackman acquires political power ,he appropriates power maximally for his friends and family to intimidate,harass,kill and crush his opposition and critics ,eventually he spends all his tenure fending off threats to his throne.
The Endsars protest may have stopped but not ended,…….seizing opportunities presented by the ceasefire in the comings weeks would be a better way to show that some lessons were learnt.
Our youths are not criminals
Our youths are not lazy
Our youths are idle
Our youths are hungry
Our youths are angry
The fire 🔥 next time may consume all of us ,let’s create employment and get the economy booming again😳
I stand with the youths 💪