It is no longer news that Nigeria has been witnessing a nationwide protest by the youths calling for an end to the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) due to the incessant brutality and abuse of human rights by the dreaded police unit.
The agitation by the youths which has been going on for about 13 days started off as peaceful protests but fears are now rampant that the #EndSARS movement has now been hijacked by hooligans and miscreants as reports of violence, jailbreaks and arson have now become rife in the media.
However, irrespective of this Nigerian Youths should not lose focus or become discouraged in their demand for a safe, prosperous and egalitarian society where justice, equity and prosperity are paramount and available for all citizens of the nation.
A critical examination of the demands of the #EndSars movement by the Nigerian youths indicates that all they are asking for is a Nation where love reigns. This is clear in how they have been able to raise resources and mobilise logistics amongst each other during the protest without allowing tribal or religious differences to come into their protest.
The Youths are preaching love and Nigeria should embrace LOVE as a slogan and practice everything that shows we love one another.
This love should start right from the basic unit that forms a nation – the FAMILY. If love reigns in our families and society at large we will be able to eradicate the ills in our nation and achieve all the youths are clamoring for.
It is the lack of love that makes individuals who have been elected to represent the interests of their constituencies turn their back on their people and choose to instead live fat on their misery.
It is the lack of love that makes the few in position of power to hoard national resources for themselves and allow the nation to crumble into dereliction.
It is the lack of love that makes a human being raise a gun and shoot a fellow human being in cold blood just because they belong to a law enforcement unit and thus see it as a criteria to misbehave and engage in extrajudicial killing.
We have too many wicked people in this nation and their agenda is the same, which is to destroy, oppress and dehumanise their fellow beings.
These set of people are in the political class, the police, military and in the business world.
The #EndSars movement is a call for a change from our wicked ways and to embrace love in this nation and for a start, the political class should lead the way.
Our President, State Governors and members of the National Assembly should slash their salaries and allowances by 50% to indicate their willingness to create a positive change in the nation. This will encourage the youths to view their government as a listening one.
In addition, there should be a human rights and reconciliation committee set up to address the various issues of police brutality and other human rights abuses. Adequate provision and compensation should also be given to the victims who have suffered untold loss and pains, while the commensurate punishments should be given to those who have been responsible for such pains and losses.
Together we can make Nigeria a better nation for all.
Engr. Bola Babarinde
APC South African Chapter