#EndSARS — A Protest Beyond Police Brutality
A friend asked on my wall, "SARS has been disbanded, what else do the protesters want?"
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Well, you don't understand. Asides the fact that over the years people have come to disbelieve the government - some folks had fellow citizens die in their hands during these protests as at yesterday - there is bottled-up anger in the land.
They are angry at the general insecurity in the land.
They are angry at the unemployment rate in the country.
They are angry at the hunger fuelled by the high inflation.
But they had no place to make this anger felt by the authorities.
That is why at every newspaper stand, you hear feelings of frustration at the state of the nation.
Go to bus stops. Sit in public transport. Observe discussions in offices.
Check reactions of family members while (unfortunately) watching NTA at home after Startimes subscription has finished - Hint: "See them, all of them are thieves; liars."
They all betray feelings of helpless hopelessness.
One chance to REALLY protest and what you see is what they have had inside; all being let out.
The toga of the protest may be about police brutality, but look deeper and it's about the failure of the Nigerian state.
To show you the genuineity of it, you will not see political party affiliations.
No APC - Kano government has sacked the special adviser on media for supporting the protests.
No PDP - Wike is afraid of the outcomes and has banned the protests in Rivers. Not that these people will listen anyway.
It's about the Nigerian youth. It's an opportunity they really don't want to let pass by.
This quote may have come before his time, but I love the phrasing Rahm Emanuel gave to it when he said,
"You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things that you think you could not do before."
This generation has never really stood up for itself - those Tea Noobu-led politics-laden 2012 fuel protests do not count. But in this crisis this generation is coming to realize the potential of the indefatigable human spirit to unleash itself. Images from these protests rival any available from any part of the world.
These protests may not pan out as expected - first attempts at anything have a high failure rate anyway - but the best thing you can do to a man who has lived in darkness all his life is to give him a taste of sunshine.
Make no mistakes, he will be back for more.