Prominent Nigerian comedian, Francis Agoda famously known as I Go Dye has written an open letter to the President of Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari condemning killings of innocent protesters of #EndSars movement across the country, since Tuesday.
The comedian who said he was acting in his role as Global Peace Ambassador called on the President to protect Nigerian youths, stating in no unclear terms that they are only exercising their human rights. He even took the President through the memory lane of his own activism against the government of the day when he was in opposition.
In a letter made available to the media he writes, “Your Excellency, Mr. President, I found it pertinent as a global peace Ambassador and a concerned citizen at this critical time to write you this letter in the wake of the prevailing circumstances in the country. The #EndSars protest that is increasingly blowing like a hurricane has no doubt left the majority of the political leaders bewildered. Many have asked the question of *Why are the youths still on the street after the government has disbanded SARS*? The answer can not be far fetched. The youths are on the street for the purpose of ENDSARS which means:
E- Education and Economy reform; N – Nigeria constitution reform; D- Debt Accountability; S-Security reform; A- anti people policies; R-Restructuring and S- Save cost of Governance.”
Continuing he adds, “Your Excellency, the President will recall that INTERNATIONAL YOUTHS DAY 12th AUGUST, 2017. I wrote you a letter Logic and Reason without guns as to solve the unforeseen problem of today.
Since then several attempts have been made by these youths to protest against perceived anti-people policies, bad governance and unexpected hikes of certain commodities by the government and her agencies, but every of their attempts has received severe punishment from the rods of the Police Force, their supposed friends.
They have often worn the garments of masquerades with their arms like an army set for battle and scare the youths to scamper. The idea was to civilly disarm the police (their greatest enemy and obstacle) and create a platform to roll out the litany of their agitations . Let it be noted that like the victory of the South Africans over Apartheid , in the eyes of the world, this global protest has earned the Nigerian youths victory over intimidation of all kinds.
“Sir the Nigerian youths are on the street to protest against unemployment, they are on the street to protest against bad government policies, they are on the street to unshackle themselves from the chains of political slavery that has kept us stagnant since 1960, they are on the street simply to reclaim their stolen future, #EndSars was only used as the key to unlock the closed lips of the Nigerian youths for their voices to be heard just as you felt in 2014 when you attended the ‘Salvation Rally’ protest against bad government and hijack of the Nigeria Police and other security agencies against the increased spate of insecurity, killings, corruption, and police brutality.
You were not shot, not even any of your supporters were killed, so sir, why are the peaceful protesters of my generation being killed ? I want to remind you that a bag of rice was 9, 000 naira before you came to power and today that same bag of rice is 36,000 naira, so I want you to feel the pains of hardship they are going through on a daily basis. It’s painful that after independence in 1960 Nigeria still cannot boast of 3 hours of light supply and good Federal roads across the country.
“Today, many of our youths have lost hope; patriotism has declined in our daily lives, due to frustration and the failure of the government to provide some of the basic amenities. Today, there’s no social welfare program for our aged parents so when the youths of my generation look at tomorrow there’s no hope in sight for the next generation.
“The most dangerous thing for the government to do at this time is to apply the use of force against these protesters.”
The humour merchant concluded the letter by advising the President on the way forward, citing what needs to be done at this trying time.
He writes, “My advice to Your Excellency is thus, to see the protest as an accumulated anger from the youths which predates this present regime. All past governments have failed us. Nigeria’s hope was placed on you but things have got worse than ever.
Therefore, to make Nigeria better than you met it, I recommend that Your Excellency, the President should use your office and steal the opportunity of this time to assemble all the past Heads of State and Presidents that are alive and notable leaders of thoughts, alongside renowned youth leaders and activists to a round table as a think-tank committee that will review the agitations of the youths and match their recommendations with action.
This will go a long way to pacify the aggrieved youths and renew their hope for a better future. If this is done, posterity would definitely be kind to Your Excellency, Mr President.”