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Thursday, October 22, 2020

EndSARS Protest; The Story Behind the protests



Nigerian Lady with a placard that reads End Sars Now

EndSARS Protest; The Story Behind the protests

The Nigeria as we know it slept on Saturday 3rd of October, and very exasperated citizens woke up to reports of yet another alleged murder of a Nigerian youth by members of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) officers in Delta State. Although a normal headliner in Nigerian tabloids for years now, the public outcry that follows such reports doesn’t result to any prosecution or the least explanation by the now defunct F-SARS of the Nigerian Police force.

Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit
Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigerian Police Force

Even though the Police Force vehemently denied any hand in what happened to Joshua Ambrose the young man from Ugheli, Delta State; Nigerians did not buy it and this ushered what is said to be the most widespread, independent, non-partisan and voluntary protest in the nation’s 60 years history.
The anger being felt by the Nigerian youths who refused to celebrate the annual independence day four days prior due to perceived ineptitude and incompetency in the present administration was amplified by the news of the familiar monster the government created and wouldn’t keep on tight leash despite numerous complaints of abuse, murder, kidnaps, brutality, extortion and violation of human rights.

man holding nigerian flag and endsars flag during a protest

The protest began online on 4th of October with hashtag #ENDSARS and quickly blew into an inferno when musicians Douglas Jack Agu (Runtown) and Folarin Falana (Falz) announced a date (8th of October) for a peaceful protest after another of their spineless colleague chickened out due to alleged pressure from the Force hierarchy.

picture of Folarin Falana A.K.A Falz
Folarin 'Falz' Falana
picture of Douglas Jack Agu A.K.A Runtown
Douglas Jack Agu (Runtown)

In spite of the protest against brutality from police officers, peaceful protesters were shot at and brutalized, resulting in the death of at least one young man, Jimoh Isiaq and injuries on more than ten others in the beginning days of the protest. The ill advised move of the government to stifle the protest with arrests and intimidation met hard resistance, alongside the threat of some weak Governors banning protests in their states and the alleged threat to shut down internet service with the intention of destabilizing the protest with communication breakdown.

lekki tollgate endsars protest crowd picture
Lekki Tollgate EndSars protest crowd

The protest is increasingly demanding accountability and respect from armed forces in the country and is also requesting immediate review of the salary of the police force which is suspected to be the root of the decay in the system; its tentacles are also spreading to address other begging anomalies in the country. The widespread but surprisingly very coordinated protest by the youths is forcing the government to bend to the will of the masses.

picture of lekki tollgate endsars protesters at a candle night session
Cross Section picture: Endsars Protesters at Lekki tollgate observing a candle night session

This protest has seen Nigerians  both in the country and in Diaspora exert their power, expertise and influence in managing finances and donations to the cause of the protest, initiate immediate release of detained protesters, arrange conveniences, coordinate and mobilize offline and online patriots and most importantly lend one voice regardless of class, tribe, social status, occupation, gender or age!
It is one of its kinds in the history of this nation and no matter the outcome, it is now obvious to the average Nigerian youth that our problem is not tribe or religion but a failed system thriving on our hatred and blowing out of proportion our otherwise negligible differences.

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