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EndSARS: Ban on protests

EndSARS: Ban on protests
November 29
13:57 2020

BY YUSUF MUTIU OLAITAN

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The section of Nigeria’s population who think President Muhammad Buhari is an autocratic leader isn’t too wrong. They have a basis with which they could argue and triumph. Even though I do not subscribe to the notion that the president is a dictator, yet, some decisions from the federal government are just too staring right in the eyes to make one believe that the president is almost a dictator.

The #EndSARS protest will go down as one of the best-organized events in the history of this country, it’s more than a protest. Considering the coordination, the organizations, the resoluteness, and the firmness of young and passionate Nigerians, not until it was hijacked by hoodlums, all thanks to the people at the helm of affairs in this country.

For more than ten days, the #EndSARS protest was on simultaneously across the cities of Nigeria. No geopolitical region was left out. As rudderless as it were, there were decorums and steadfastness. The people of Nigeria took the moment to seek protection from those who sworn to protect them, but what was the response of our Government? Assault, harassment, indictment, intimidation, and all you could think of. While protesting against police brutality, the answer Government could offer the protesters was more brutalities and killings of the innocent protesters! What a Nation!

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The highlight of the protests was the occurrence at Lekki tollgate on 20-10-2020. I wouldn’t know what happened at the scene, but there are two facts no sane mind should argue. One, the protest at Lekki was a peaceful one. It was the most coordinated in the country. Two, the government are not being sincere with whatever that might have happened in Lekki. The contradicting statements by the Governor of Lagos state and the Nigerian Army are enough a reason to doubt the sincerity of this government.

After the incident at Lekki, Nigerians now came to the reality that this government cannot act the democracy they preach every time. They retreated but did not surrender. Immediately after the vacation of the streets by the teeming populace, the government placed a ban on mass gatherings and protest across the country.

It worries one sick how this government thinks they can subsidize democracy to suit their intentions. About two months ago, every of the current administration of President Muhammad Buhari was seen first at various campaign grounds in Edo before they journeyed to the southwest to continue the same exercise in Ondo. I’m not joking! Who are the advisers of this government? Why must they take the country for a joke!

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To save themselves of the looming shame, they told the world that the protest was banned because of the fear of the second wave of COVID-19 and it leaves one to wonder where COVID-19 was spending its holidays during the political rallies in Edo and Ondo.

Shall we say COVID-19 is a threat to only those who yearn for proper governance or the Government is afraid that the people are getting wise, which in turn could hamper their “Na we dey run am” style of governance!

Away from that, didn’t we all agreed that protest is an integral part of democracy anywhere in the world? Why is our own taking a new dimension? Would it be safe to say that our leaders don’t know what democracy entails? You think they know it, but how come they are acting in stark contrast to what democracy encompasses?

The Government has made it clear that it won’t tolerate any #EndSARS protest henceforth, little did they know that the suffering the system had over the years inflicted on Nigerians is more than #EndSARS protest and we shall continue to ask questions so far we still practice democracy. It’s our right to ask for protection and life and we shall not shy away from it.

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May God bless Nigeria!

Yusuf Mutiu Olaitan can be reached via phone: 07061350320, and email: [email protected]

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