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By Segun Showunmi
We all accept that the right to protest is a fundamental human right. At least we pay lip service to it. Upon review of the #ENDSars protest and matters arising from same, especially on the first anniversary of the inglorious day, we have our stars to thank for what could have dragged us into a revolution of the nature of the “Arab Spring”—which left a lot of North African countries destroyed. Yes, we have our scars, allegations of killings, destruction of properties, and general chaos. However, we are lucky to have somewhat of a country now one year after.
It is appropriate to pay obeisance to the memories of all those who suffered, died, got injured or lost valuable properties. In all, we must never forget what happened and what could have gone wrong and what lessons we need to learn from a near meltdown, the type of which some other locations would have had gory tales of woes and scars to show for it. In all, as we say here, we thank God.
Now to the crux of the matter. What are we going to do with Endsars, and what it represents! How do we #Reset our country? We have huge issues with our security, our policing structures, our nation-state concept, our governance philosophy and all. We have to tell ourselves the damn honest trust. We seem not to have moved quickly with the opportunity that the youth agitation presented. When the youth of a nation pick up the courage to organise themselves in such a protest of that magnitude, leaders must answer transparently and deliberately the questions that their protests throw up. We are duty-bound to understand that failing to do what we need to do, we will pay very dearly given the youth bulge and the unemployment issues of our country.
As for the civil societies and the professional protestors, it’s time to review and rewrite the playbook, for we must move to a level of decent descent; otherwise, we will destroy all things that we have observed from areas where an unmanaged meltdown in the name of protest had destroyed things that will take a lifetime to build. Indeed a great revolution must and is a combination of micro evolutions. Baby steps in the right direction will give us much more than great giant leaps into chaos. May the memories and lessons of the Endsars protests inspire us to Reset Nigeria.