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Wednesday, September 20, 2023

#ENDSARS: The Uncertainty Of The Effect Of The Nigerian Youth Revolution

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Written by Olayiide Bolaji

For all we know, the hashtag #ENDSARS started trending on twitter when a video surfaced of a SARS official shooting a motorist in Delta state, pushing his body out of the car and driving away his exotic vehicle. Within the next thirty minutes, more gothic crimes committed by the supposed Special anti-robbery squad were unearthed. People were not only mad at the irony, they were also mad at the Government’s silence over a matter as serious as the protection of the lives and properties of its citizens.

Protests sprung virtually in all nook and cranny of Nigeria, even in the North. Some Nigerians abroad protested wherever they were. Celebrities and important political figures prodded the Nigerian Government to do something, to dissolve the body and reform the entire police force. But the protest was still greeted with lukewarm attitude from the government. By mid-October, the protest was getting out of hand, something had to be done immediately, and the first thing that crossed the government’s mind was ordering the military to open fire on unarmed protesters in Lagos. October 20, 2020 is a day that would remain evergreen in everyone’s memory.

The Nigerian youths occupying the Lekki Toll Gate.

The speech made by the Nigerian president few days after the incident only worsened everything. It was clear to us, we needed an utter overhaul of the Nigerian political system. But even the over two weeks protests didn’t have a concluding plan. One would have expected that after the event, Celebrities and youths who were at the forefront of the protest would create a Youth movement group/political party even on twitter. No doubt, the movement would get millions of following within hours of its creation.

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The energy sustained during the protests died down gradually, and Nigerians returned to their normal activities. Unfortunately, things might not get better than we are hoping. Had it been that an all-inclusive youth party had been created, different strategies would have been laid out to prepare people for the coming 2022 presidential elections. Eligible youth leaders would emerge out of this party and they would be scrutinized thoroughly.

If there is one thing we have learned during the protest, it is that Nigerians actually love themselves, and are willing to look out for their brethren no matter the cost. A go-fund-me was set up for a one-legged girl who came out to protest. She was to get a prosthetic leg. Within hours of the funding, the money was complete. There was a helpline for the protest and funding was easy as several individuals contributed for the protests. In fact, some people even did online giveaways for people to get data and just retweet #endsars. The bottom line is that- Having a funding problem has an extremely low probability for the political party.

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Consequently, Universities all around Nigeria would be visited. After all, they are universities, they contain potential youths who are eligible to vote. By the time the university tour is complete, visiting communities and constituencies would be next. A conscious effort would be made to reach people in the North and get their support. It might look too easy on paper. It is not, but with hard work and determination, it is not an impossibility. Consequently, with all thing being equal, we would have a seventy percent chance of electing the first youth president and senators who are willing to serve the people, represent their interests and make their welfare top priority. That, is a revolution.

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Unfortunately, with the look of things, the two major parties- All Progressive Congress (APC) and People’s Democratic Party (PDP) would still have the upper hand and put anyone they wish in positions of power. The cycle continues: corruption grows, recession becomes a constant characteristic of our economy and we still remain underdeveloped as we have been since independence.

It is just too sad to imagine.

Originally published on Scoove Africa

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