In the past few weeks, thousands of Nigerians both in the Diaspora & Nigeria, protested to EndSARS. SARS is/was the Nigerian Special Anti-Robbery Squad that terrorized and killed the very citizens it was formed to protect.
In Nigeria: a fictional account
The EndSARS movement in Nigeria summary
Nigeria seems to have taken everything from Chinedu when all he wanted was a nation where peace, justice, and prosperity reigns. In his critical condition, questions begin to flood his mind. Why would a government that asked for dialogue and declared a curfew, send military men to open fire on peaceful protesters? Why would they then go ahead to openly deny the cruel crime? Why was the protest very peaceful, without any form of arson, looting and vandalism until the night of 20:10:20? How did Nigeria get to a point where thugs were transported in SUVs without plate numbers to disrupt a peaceful protest? After this, what next?
Chinedu will later be discharged and taken to a safe house, but for a long time, he will be haunted by the shadows of displeasure and disappointment.
The younger generation’s perspective
Like Chinedu, several young Nigerians think that a new Nigeria is rising, and it is only a matter of time for the delivery to take place.
Young Nigerians used the EndSARS protest not just make their voices heard, but to also give the leaders a crash course on the 21st-century leadership skills.
The question the older generation should ask is, why would a government clamp down on young people who championed a cause to ask for good governance and better policing in the wake of incessant police brutality?
EndSARS was a highly organized protest
I have never seen a protest so organized like the #EndSars in Nigeria. For instance,
- Funds were raised and accounted for daily.
- Proper provisions were made food, medical aid, legal aid, and private security.
- An online radio station was launched to increase awareness all over the world.
All of this happened within two weeks, without constituting any committee. This has also given the average Nigerian youths a better hope for the future of the nation.
The repercussions of protesting in Nigeria
Reports have it that the bank accounts of those who coordinated the protest have been frozen by the Central Bank of Nigeria. For example, one of the protest promoters, Modupe Odele, was prevented from travelling abroad and got her passport seized.
In London: a fictional account
The EndSARS movement in London summary
Like Foluke, I was severely traumatised by the grotesque images and videos I viewed via social media.
As a Nigerian, born and raised in London, I have witnessed first-hand the changing mindsets of the people around me. I must confess, I am one of them. Before the EndSARS movement, many of us did not have much to say about Nigerian politics, now we do.
The younger generation’s perspective
At the protests in London, young people were the ones sharing, and posting and using their social media platforms to broadcast publicize the EndSARS movement.
An article by The Independent also encouraged people to donate to #EndSARS protest organizers and to write a letter to the local MP in the UK. The letter’s intent was to put pressure on the UK Government to condemn the actions of the Nigerian government in ordering armed soldiers to shoot at peaceful protestors.
A few of my friends wrote this letter and are still fighting for justice in one form or another today. We sign petitions and educate ourselves on what is going in Nigeria today. We have our ear to the ground and will continue to do our part. The EndSARS movement has enraged us all, and we are all now asking ourselves what we can do to help our Nigerian based compatriots.
The older generation’s perspective
‘Foluke cannot blame her dad for his views. In fact, a large chunk of the older generation feels this way because they have witnessed worse massacres during the Biafran civil war.’
The older generation is deeply passionate about the state of Nigeria. They discourage young people from going to protest and see it as a form of making trouble.
After reading the Nigerian account it is clear that both the older generation in Nigeria and the UK have a similar approach on how they deal with the corrupt Nigerian leadership.
I would implore anyone who has Nigerian parents over the age of sixty to start asking them the hard questions about what happened in the past. Right from the Biafran war, we need to know so that we can form well-rounded views. We need to read up about the political parties too.
Calling all my Nigerian friends in the UK
Unfortunately, I have no right to vote in Nigeria as I have never lived there. But for those of you who can, this is an appeal for you to try to perform your civic duty as a Nigerian. I understand that not all Nigerians that fit into this bracket can physically do this. However, Nigerians that flit back and forth from the UK to Nigeria – living in each location for months at a time would be more equipped for voting in Nigeria. Kudos to those who are already doing so.
So, for Nigerians who do have the right to vote, and can physically be there (subject to being able to return to the UK afterwards), why not make it a point to vote in the upcoming Nigeria 2023 election?