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.
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.
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.
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’’.