Following the #ENDSARS protest and subsequent civil unrest which has rocked the nation for some days now, Nigerian youths should know that there is still hope for our nation therefore should not give up.
It is taking pride on the Nigerian youths for the bold steps they took to organize a decentralized social movement against Police brutality and the operations of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with their long record of abuse.
The protest, which started on The 7th of October with no centralized leadership, involved young Nigerians both male and female, artists and celebrities, youths of different professions all came out en mass to demand for an end to the harassments, assaults and killings of young Nigerians by the Nigeria Police for particularly the SARS. The demand is to actually end that Unit of Police outright.
With no leadership, the youths were well organized and the protest was way very peaceful and turned fun fair, typical of Nigerians who make fun out of every bad situation. The protesters made concerts, musicians entertained, with peaceful rallies, chanting solidarity songs repeatedly, held multi faith prayer sessions, they ate, drank and made merry of the protest.
Also via social media, the protest won supports of many people in and across the globe including celebrities who shared messages of solidarity with the protesters via #endSARS hashtag on twitter.
Unfortunately, on the 12th day into the protest, it took a new turn as a group of hoodlums came with violence to disrupt the peaceful protest which escalated to killings and burning of properties in some cities of the country. These resulted to curfew imposed across many parts of the country to control the activities of the hoodlums, which also abruptly ended the protest process.
On a sad note, on Tuesday evening 20th October, 2020, some men on army uniform were spotted around the Lekki Toll gate where protesters were camped for the whole period of the protest and opened fire on them, leaving a number of them injured and some dead.
It has been the most scary, fearful, heart breaking time for the Nigerian youths but regardless of class, tribe and all of that, they came together to say no to the menace of the Police force. With no discernible leadership in the decentralized structure of the movement, the global support and strength of the movement clearly rattled the establishment of responses and global condemnation of the SARS.
Nigerian youths should know by now that with this singular act, which is now a force to be reckoned with, that it has given them a chance to be heard, so they should not be despaired.
Though the reaction of the government to their plight is not yet a very pleasant one, the aftermath of the president’s speech, which left some youths deflated, but in the typical fashion of Nigerian youths, they responded online with humors to mask their disappointments.
The youths are not yet giving up, even the President’s order to halt physical protests; the youths say they are now going to focus on online agitation more strategically not until their demands are met.
The youths have been appealed to not to be overwhelmed with the present situations, rather they should know that the progress of the Nation Nigeria lies in their hands. They should not loose confidence in the country because the change will still come and it will be from them. They should know that in the whole world, they are still the best for carrying on with life even in the face of hardship.
Nigerian youths are great!!!