1. When a government derives pleasure in suppressing and exploiting its people, it gets to a point when the people become frustrated, and this could propel violent citizens’ response and retaliation.
2. The American Revolution (1765 -1783), Chinese Revolution (1911), French Revolution (1789 – 1799) and Arab Spring (2010-2012) all started with civil uprising and they were all triggered by various forms of socio-economic oppression, denial and other imbalances.
3. The Nigerian government has lost sleep in the past few days owing to the various uprisings ravaging the major cities in the country as youths are protesting the bolstering cases of alleged molestation, extortion and killing of young people in the country by some “awful” officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police Force.
4. While some youths joined the protest, others like us did not; giving the “social identity” of the leading actors of the protest; arguing that the focus of the protest should not be about police brutality alone but a genuine call for good governance and other reforms in the country.
5. However, the narrative is changing with the continuation of the protests despite the dissolution of SARS and replacement with SWAT. Obviously, this protest is no longer about SARS or police brutalization anymore.
I think behind this protest are other noble intentions and determinations premised on changing the long-existing social, economic and political order in the country through the rare opportunity that the ENDSARS agitation has provided. Hence, the new dimension!
6. For me, I think it is high time the Nigerian government began to take the welfare, security and constitutional rights of her citizens, especially that of the youth as fundamental. What we are currently witnessing across the country is nothing but a surging revolution.
Like a ticking-time-bomb, the ongoing rage championed by the Nigerian youth could be defused if managed properly.
If not, I fear it ‘could” bring the country to its knees completely giving the unmistakable determination in the eyes of these young protestants who have sworn to remain on the street protesting; just as some of them have allegedly attempted to hack into the website of CBN, INEC, EFCC and other major government agencies, even as some NGOs in the country are also raising a huge sum of money to power the continuation of the protest.
7. The NUPENG, NBA and other respected Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have pledged to join the crusade in the days ahead. To this extent, many of us may have to join other comrades at the barricade to add more integrity and organised colours to the ongoing agitation underpinning the demand for good governance, responsible leadership and a better Nigerian society.
I am beginning to feel that the long-awaited revolution is here at last, especially with the uncertainty which awaits us in days ahead.
Dare to struggle; dare to win.
Comrades, be prepared!
– Deji Oso DEJ-AVU
Public Policy Expert, Social Justice Activist and Teacher from Ekiti State, Nigeria.