END SARS Protest: No End In Sight

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By Suleiman Umaru

 The  shooting at the Special Anti-robbery Squad, SARS, Protesters at Lekki Toll gate, of Lagos, the nation’s Commercial nerve centre, under the Management of Lekki Concession  Company Limited,  appears to have exposed Nigeria  to the International Community as politicaly unstable.

Nigerians living  in the European cities of Berlin, Germany; Paris, France; London, United London, UK  and Sydney ,Australia, including  the North American country of the United States, US, cities of New York and Atlanta as well as  the West African country of Ghana city of Accra,  Cape town and Victoria in South Africa protesters  were said to have made matters worse.

Security experts believe that all the Politicians who  had been fanning the embers of ethnic nationalism and who  had been  waiting in the wings to see the deployment of troops to the scene of the END SARS protesters by the Authorities to use live bullet and lethal weapons may have given the ammunition to support the protesters to justfy their Campaign for the disintegration of Nigeria.

 This may have been what Enoch Adeboye Adejare, the General Overseer of the Redeem Christian Church of God, RCCG,  saw in a vision  that he had advised President Muhammadu Buhari to give  the country a lasting solution  to secession agitations and  its economic challenges  by restructuring the country as soon as possible, but nobody too him serious. Even Temitope Balogun Joshua, , a Clergy man and founder of The Synagogue , Church of All Nations, was said to have seen a  similar  vision of the Youth Protests  in 2013.

Many believe what the aggrieved Youths are demanding may not  be different from what Abdulsalami Abubakar a retired Niger state born Army General and former Head of state and who had midwifed the fourth Republic had been saying since 2017.  He had blamed the  failed politicians   for the rising tension in the country.

  The retired Army General who could not hide his feelings had said that  the country  was also  going  through’’ bad governance’’. He noted that there had been rising calls for the break-up of the country  by  the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPB and other ethnic nationalities.

President Muhammadu Buhari

The recent clash between  security Operatives and the END SARS protesters at Aba, the Commercial nerve centre of Abia state speaks volume. The protesters who may  haveConceived a genuine  demand of what they want the government to do to change things in country may have seen that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums who had resorted to destruction of public and private property in different parts of the country.

 There are indications that the protesters   may call of the protest  if the Katsina state born Nigerian President could address the the nation to know all that had been agreed by the government immediately instead of giving promises that wold never be fulfilled. The Protesters , interviewed by Channels, had made it clear to those that cares that that they are not interested in the Committee being set up by the various state governments but that are meaningless but action. One of the protesters had said that she graduated in 2018 but not job and had no option but to join the protest to force the government to do the right thing.

The soldiers shooting of the protesters at Lekki  may have provided an alibi for the  hoodlums in the guse of the END SARS prtests to go rampage in Lagos and different parts of the country.

Appearing on Channels Television on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, Matthew Kukah , a Bishop of the Catholic Church said the failure of the President to address the nation over the END SARS protests and the shooting at the protesters by soldiers at Lekki Toll gate which had resulted in killing and injuring  some of some of the protesters have not helped matters.

 The Bishop had  said the country has a President who has a culture of  ‘’I don’t care”  which  was a  clear indication that he has not  come to terms  with the reflexes of a  democratic society’’. He insists that he must ”wake up to know that we have a major crisis at our hands”. ”There is no reason why people  have not been held accountable over the Lekki Shooting at protesters, he”, he said.

He may have listened  to  the  appeal  by Nigerians to rise up to the challenge of the END SARS Protests across the country , as he met  with the National Security Council,  NSC, members which include  Yemi Osinbajo , the Vice President, Babagana Munguno, a retired Major General and National Security Adviser, NSA, Bashir Magaji, minister of Defense, and rauf Aregbesola , a former governor of Osun state and minister of Interior on Wednesday , October 21, 2020.r.

. Gabriel Olonisakin, Chief of Defense Staff was said to have led Tukur Buratai, a Lt and Chief of Army Staff, Sadique Abubakar, Air Vice Marshall and Chief of  Air Staff , Ibok Ekwe Ibas a Vice Admiral and Chief of Naval Staff to the meeting.  Mohammed Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, IGP, Yusuf Magaji Bichi, Director General, Department of State Security, DSS, Rufai  Abubakar, Director General,  National Intelligence Agency, NIA, Boss                 Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation  and  Ibrahim Gambari, a Professor and the President Chief of Staff, were said to be at the meeting.

Niger Delta Millitants involved In The END SARS Protes

Perhaps, to avoid a full blown anarchy in the country, the president, according to Munguno, the NSA, had asked the governors to do everything within their powers to find solution to the END SARS protests. He urged the protesters  to   select their leaders to discuss  with the government, stressing that the government had begun to make concessions. He disclosed that in a few  hours from now, the government would come out with something that would be aggreeable to all Nigerians.     

 Prior to the NSC meeting,  Nana Akuffo-Addo,  the President of the West African country  of Ghana have  had a closed door meeting with the Nigerian President at the Presidential  Villa at the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

, Akufo-Adddo, the Ghanaian President, may have gladdened the heart of Nigerians when he said that he  has begun  ‘’the processes   that will lead to the reform  that are being  demanded by the protesters’’.

Akuffo-Addo, who is not happy at the level of destruction in the country  in the guise of the END SARS protests    had told those that cares to listen  that’ ’violence , be it  on the part  of the police  or the protesters, cannot be  a solution  to the ongoing protests’’ in the country.

 Appealing to the parties for Calm, he said the Nigerian President is ‘’ committed to dialogue in resolving the END SARS  impasse in the country’’.  Olusegun Obasanjo, a former President, believes  that if the government   had  exhausted   all the Opportunities for dialogue  with the protesters  before resorting   to the use of  force ,  it would not have degenerated to violence and clashes. In several parts of the country.  The clashes  and  destruction are more pronounced in Lagos and Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.

Despite the noticeable destruction of public and private property in different parts of the country,  the former Nigerian President had said  that’’ the use of Force to quiet protesters had never been effective but dialogue’’.

 This may have informed why  Tony Ojukwu, Executive Secretary, of the National  Human Rights  Commission, NHRC,   has called  for the arrest of  the military officers  involved  in the shooting  of the ENDSARS, protesters  at he Lekki Toll Gate  in Lagos state on Tuesday, October 20, 2020.

Osinbajo, a Professor and Vice President, had said on Wednesday, October 21, 2020,  that the government  ‘’will get justice  for the END SARS  protesters  who were injured or killed in a gun shot at Lekki Toll Gate’’. He had  described the Lekki Toll Gate  shooting at the Protesters  which   had  sparked’’ global outrage  and fury , as terrible’’. Babajide Sanwo-Olu,  the governor of Lagos state had said   that 28 persons were injured  in the gun shot but  was silent on the number of protesters  killed.

END SARS Protesters in Asaba Capital Of Delta State

Given the information  available to world  Leaders   in the internet on the END SARS protesters in Nigeria and the shooting that took place at Lekki Toll Gate,` which was said to have been masterminded  by soldiers, may have informed  why  Hillary Clinton, a former First Lady of the US,  had called   on the  government ‘’ to stop killing END SARS, protesters’’.  ‘’I am calling on Buhari and the Nigerian Army to stop killing END SARS  protesters’’,  she had tweeted on Tuesday, October, 20, 2020.

Dominic Raab , the British Foreign Secretary,   who may have been touched with the killing of the END SARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, and who watched the Nigerian protesters in UK, in solidarity with the END SARS protesters in Nigeria  was said to have also  called for an’’ end to the violence’’ to avoid further loss of live in Nigeria.

The British Foreign Secretary may have spoken the mind of Boris Johnson, the British Prime Mister, when he said   that the Nigerian government ‘’must  urgently  investigate  reports  of brutality   at the hands  of the security agencies personnel   and hold  those  who had shot  at the crowd of over 1,000 protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate Area of Lagos to account.

The Authority of Presidents  and Heads of States  of the Economic Community of West African  States, ECOWAS,  under the Chairmanship of Issofou Mohammadou, President of Niger Republic ,  which had  mediated in the political crisis in Mali,  had urged the Nigerian government  ‘’to conduct a speedy  investigation  in the shooting  that occurred  at Lekki Toll Gate  area of Lagos state  leading to the death of some END SARS  protesters and injuring of many.

Appealing to the Protesters  to remain peaceful in their demostration, the Commission   ‘’urged the Nigerian security operatives   to exercise restraint  in the handling of the protests and act Professionally’’. The Nigerian President may have given an insider informationto the ECOWAS, leaders about the steps he had taken to resolve the crisis. This is evident going by the Statement made by the Commission which was not different from what the Ghanaian President had earlier said

. The Commission  had  confirmed  that the Nigerian government had taken some important decisions ‘’ regarding the disbandment of SARS, Comprehensive Police reforms and investigation of  cases of  police brutality’’ .  The ECOWAS  Leadership, however,  would want   the Authorities  to conduct the on-going investigations  speedily.

The International Community are said to be watching to see what the United Nations , UN, would do  in the Nigerian situation  to avoid further loss of lives and destruction of public and property by hoodlums  in the guise of END SARS protest .

Antonio Guteres, the UN, Secretary General,  who had has been following recent  developments  in Nigeria has joined other world Leaders  ‘’to call for an end to police brutality  and abuses in Nigeria. 

The UN Secretary General had condemned   the violent clashes    that had erupted in different parts of the country between the END SARS protesters and security  operatives  that had claimed  multiple lives  and caused many injuries. Guteres, the UN, Secretary General, who could not hide his feelings   had encouraged  the  Nigerian  government   ‘’to swiftly  explore avenues  to de-escalate the situation’’.

 He was said to have assured  the Nigerian  government  of the readiness of  the World body ‘’to support   the national efforts  towards finding  a solution to the END SARS protests’’.

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