The Igbo people in Nigeria have a saying and it goes thus: “a man who has a fly on his testicles is the most diplomatic man” the reason for the saying is that he doesn’t want the fly there, however, he has to be careful as to how he wants to wend the fly off so that he doesn’t hit his tesicles in the process.
This analogy is that of the #Endsars movement at the initial state. The people were careful about how they wanted to go about this, because they were concerned that the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit in the Nigerian Police force, whose duty it is to combat armed robbery incidents may be a necessary evil.
Even though there has been allegations of extrajudicial killings, unlawful detention, kidnapping, torture, extortion and robbery, from this singular unit, people have been saying, that there is a need to tread with caution in dealing with this police unit, because we may need them to combat crime.
Although, every time there have been these allegations from the youth since 2017, the government of Nigeria has released a statement. The statement according to evidence of screen shot from other statements, always goes like this: “SARS has been officially dissolved, the IG of police just announced in a live broadcast”
This statement would have been easy for people to believe, but at the moment when this statement was released, the Nigerian police where shooting live bullets and spraying hot water at peaceful protesters in the country’s capital Abuja, coupled with reports of people from different parts of the country about them still being profiled and harassed, by the same group that was supposedly banned, at the same moment the IGP announced that they were banned.
When this statement was released, the protest for the scrapping of SARS had lasted five days. What is most agitating, is the deafening silence from the executive arm of government. There has been no single statement from them. When the ban on the unit was announced, people thought that the protest would end. Alas, for three years, none of the released statements from the Inspector General of police has yielded any visible fruit.
Today, 12th October 2020, is the sixth day of the protest and the government is wondering why people are not tired. The government is wondering why there is traffic in Lekki, convergence in Abuja, protest in Anambra, Jos, Benin, Ogbomosho, Ibadan, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos and all across cities in Nigeria.
Because, the breed of youths agitating are the ones who have been called lazy, disrespectful, unable to hold Nigeria, weak, always on their phones, only interested with football and reality TV shows, can only trend a hashtag for one day, before they are distracted, dye their hairs, do tattoos and are incapable of leading Nigeria.
But for six days, these same youth have signed a petition to get the IGP prosecuted by the International Criminal Court, slept on protest grounds in the dark with mosquitoes and without any form of security, donated over 6million naira to support and feed protesters, bailed peaceful protesters who have been jailed illegally, appointed no leader for this protests, never asked the religion or tribes of fellow protestants, volunteered ambulances for this cause and are not ready to back down, until their demands are met.
There is yet hope for Nigeria.