By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA-A Social Analyst and promoter of good governance with Hope Initiative,an Abuja based nongovernmental organisation, Mallam Bashir Abdullahi,has said the Nigerian youths needed not just a structured leadership but also a well-articulated compilation of demands for a roundtable meeting with authorities after the #EndSARS protests.
These,he said,”must be comprehensive and addressing all areas where leadership and governance have failed over the years.”
He commended Nigerian youths for coming out to speak with one voice against the fault lines of Nigeria through #EndSARS protests.
He said the success of the protests was an indication that Nigerian youths were very angry with the current situation in the country, which according to him was ‘a product of many years of vision-less leadership and bad governance.”
Addressing a media conference, Tuesday, in Abuja,Mallam Abdullahi said,”I suggest we please prepare to go to the table with the authorities to discuss but before then, we need a structured leadership and a well-articulated compilation of our demands which must be comprehensive and addressing all areas where leadership and governance have failed over the years.”
He noted that,”The #EndSARS protest has sent a clear signal that the youths of Nigeria have found their voice and the message is that we need comprehensive reforms in all sectors of our country, be it security, education, healthcare, governance, economy or youth engagement.”
“To assume that it is all about police brutality is a simplistic interpretation of a complex situation,” he said,adding that:”For decades, Nigerians have been complaining about police brutality, the Nigerian state has turned a blind eye, despite panels upon panels set up and recommendations upon recommendations made.”
He recalled with regret that “the SARS problem and other forms of police brutality have lingered for too long”, adding that,”The Nigerian police are reputed to be the most corrupt in the world.”
“Each time there is a public outcry, the authorities take cosmetic measures.
All presidents since 1999 have set up one panel or the other on police reform. The reports are gathering dust on Aso Rock shelves. Meanwhile, the police have been gleefully stockpiling dead bodies, cocksure that there would be no consequences,” he said,regretting that,”SARS went on robbing and killing with impunity.”
While noting that,”Poverty, unemployment and inequality are the biggest triggers of uprising in any society”,Abdullahi tasked the government to draw lesson from the protests with a view to fulfilling its mandate to the citizenry.
According to him,”Some young person’s taking to “yahoo”, drug dealing, and armed robbery are products of a system that does not reckon with the implications of unemployment and poverty.”
“An idle hand, it is said, is tempting the devil. No human being will sit at home and die of hunger. Self-preservation is a basic human instinct. If it is to steal, beg or borrow, the human being will strive to survive,” added.
However, the social analyst said:”I am not in any way justifying crime”, adding:”However, a wise society will make a connection between unemployment, poverty and crime, and act decisively to address the problems at the root.”
Expressing happiness over the success of the protests, he charged Nigerian youths to seize the opportunity in emplacing what he called
“tactical measures in moving forward.”
“As a young Nigerian, I am very proud of the gallantry displayed by the youths in this movement. The accomplishments are already unprecedented but now require tactical measures in moving forward.
“In all, we need to have an articulated game plan. We must have an end game in mind.
“At what stage do we sheathe the sword and seize this golden opportunity to begin to hold leaders at all levels accountable as a movement? No government official, whether elected or appointed, should sleep at ease again,” he said.