Our great Nation had just blown her horns in celebrating 60 years of independence from British colonial rule. It was by all means a milestone event as we collectively marked our diamond jubilee freedom anniversary in all the sensitive quarters of Nigeria.
A New Nigeria: An End to Corruption?
Still, in the euphoria of the period, most citizens were oblivious of the inevitable and rather astonishing uprising that was set to greet Nigerians.
Just a few days after the glamorous occasion, it was gathered that the video of a SARS official who reportedly shot a man on close range and instantly drove off in his car was pushed out to the internet. This incident catalyzed the escalation of the #EndSARS protests. Beyond mere social media rants, the motion has apparently made gigantic waves in a short period. There's no doubt that the sequence of these unfolding events is not only reshaping but also birthing a new commonwealth for us all.
An infinite number of youngsters have taken to the streets to vent their dissatisfaction and pent-up anger on the ills of governance, moral decadence, injustice, disillusionment and other threats the average young person have had to deal with in Nigeria. The protest popular for its trending hashtag #EndSARS which trended heavily on Twitter and other social media platforms is said to have been to stirred up to challenge and counter the alleged ferocious, inhuman activities of the Nigerian police force especially it's Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
In as much as the speculative demography of these protestants are largely made up of feminist alliances and teaming Millennials, the global community and other stakeholders are still trying hard to unravel the mystery behind the high profile, strategic and systematic series of protests without any known leader.
In the preceding decades, Nigerians had experienced multiple instances of torturous robbery incidents. We've at the time had to deal with the most brutal and notorious of armed robbers. The likes of Anini and Shina Rambo are not names that can hurriedly be swept under the carpet.
Consequently, this special squad was set up in 1992 as panacea which will as much as possible relegate and possibly bring and end to criminal activities of these sorts. It's rather a sad irony that the SARS have perpetrated the same crimes it was instituted to mitigate in alarming proportions.
This saw citizens of Nigeria clamoring for its dissolution. A lot of pressure groups and activists has made several attempts to lend their voices on this negative situation but their moves are probably just yielding fruition.
It's by no means news that any young person who could afford luxury living or showed up in certain ways, especially males who have piercings, wear tattoos, flaunt hairdos or dress in other culturally unconventional ways are randomly characterized as internet fraudsters or criminals by officials of this so-called SARS. Their major victims are mostly young males between the ages of 18 and 35, who are not from well-to-do and low-income families and vulnerable groups who have no voice to speak for them. People have resorted to advising their youngsters to as much as possible be average in their display of material possessions.
At least 15 locations (states) have made their marks on the ongoing #EndSARS street protest including the FCT, Lagos and Porthacourt. And perhaps the Nigerian police would wake up to a new dawn where they can no longer get away with criminal activities as they are widely known for.
This also might be the dawning of the Revolution that activists like Sowore and others has been clamoring for. But ordinary Nigerians who may have been living in abject hopelessness are actually indifferent about these recent developments as they are not sure of what the tail outcome will be.
The fact that the leadership of these protests cannot be deciphered is yet a marvel to many. The degree of impact made so far, the level of attention it is receiving from international bodies and observing individuals only goes a long way to show how mentally and intellectually grounded the average Nigerian youth has attained. It also affirms the fact that there is yet hope for our Nation.