A Social Analyst and the Coverner of Hope Initiative in Africa, an Abuja based non-governmental organisation, Mallam Bashir Abdullahi, has called on the #EndSARS protesters to come together and engage the government in dialogue to find a winning solution to their demands.
Abdullahi, who made the call while addressing journalist in Abuja, commended the Nigerians youths for coming out to speak with one voice against the fault lines of Nigeria through #EndSARS protests.
He Urges the protesters to come together and create a platforms through technology where all protesters can have representatives in each state.
He said, “I suggest we please, we shall come to a table with the authorities to discuss the challenges, but before then, we need a structured leadership and a well-articulated compilation of our demands which must be comprehensive and addressing all areas where leadership and governance have failed over the years.
“The #EndSARS protests have gained international traction, and perhaps have the most famous hashtag on Twitter for the last week. From rapper and US presidential candidate, Kayne West, Arsenal FC midfielder Mesut Ozil, to British media personality, Piers Morgan, we are witnessing a lot of people across the globe lending their voices to the protests against police brutality in Nigeria.
“The SARS problem and other forms of police brutality have lingered for too long. The Nigerian police are reputed to be the most corrupt in the world. Each time there is a public outcry, the authorities take cosmetic measures. What is clear is that Nigerian youths are very angry with the current situation in the country, which is a product of many years of vision-less Leadership and bad governance.
“The #EndSARS protest has sent a clear signal that the youths of Nigeria have found their voice and the message is that we need comprehensive reforms in all sectors of our country, be it security, education, healthcare, governance, economy or youth engagement. To assume that it is all about police brutality is a simplistic interpretation of a complex situation.
“For decades, Nigerians have been complaining about police brutality, the Nigerian state has turned a blind eye, despite panels upon panels set up and recommendations upon recommendations made. As Professor Jibrin Ibrahim, respected political scientist and newspaper columnist, pointed out, all presidents since 1999 have set up one panel or the other on police reform.
“The reports are gathering dust on Aso Rock shelves. Meanwhile, the police have been gleefully stockpiling dead bodies, cocksure that there would be no consequences. SARS went on robbing and killing with impunity,” he said.
He noted that some young person who are taking to “yahoo”, drug dealing, and armed robbery are products of a system that does not reckon with the implications of unemployment and poverty.
According to him, An idle hand, it is said, is tempting the devil. No human being will sit at home and die of hunger. Self-preservation is a basic human instinct. If it is to steal, beg or borrow, the human being will strive to survive. Let me be clear: I am not in any way justifying crime; however, a wise society will make a connection between unemployment, poverty and crime, and act decisively to address the problems at the root.
“In all, we need to have an articulated game plan. We must have an end game in mind. At what stage do we sheathe the sword and seize this golden opportunity to begin to hold leaders at all levels accountable as a movement? No government official, whether elected or appointed, should sleep at ease again. What are the lawmakers doing with the constituency projects? Why are the roads so bad? Why are the hospitals and schools in such horrible state? Why are government officials chartering jets to attend political rallies? How are the budgets spent? These questions should shape the next stage of agitation, which should be peaceful and orderly as usual”.
By Ernest Nzor,