Liberal Mind

Before another protest

By Adetunji Ayobrown
Rarely unpredictable and most often lethal is any unguided nationwide protest. And the likes of #EndSARS in Nigeria had clearly shown everyone that the only thing necessary for evil to triumph is when officeholders and policymakers refused to act and or too late in doing so.
Circumstances are the rulers of the weak, but are instruments for the wise men. Many analysts and stakeholders are of the opinion that President Buhari’s policy seems to be setting the stage for real revolution in the country. That fact is that the FG is not sincere and acting pretentiously in some of its responses to the protesters agitations.
We cannot pretend not to know that hunger is a terrible evil, when #EndSARS started, Buhari never thought that the average Nigerians who could not get food to eat, are capable of making the FG lose sleep.
Though, it was predicted and seen as just a tip of the iceberg compared to what is yet to come. With these several warnings for our policymakers and political office holders to strive harder towards lifting the country out of her present economic underdevelopment.
For the #EndSARS protesters, allowing hoodlums’ infiltration to destroy both public and private properties is one major step backward; and it is time to get back to the front and check the game. The key and major items on the demand lists of the protesters must be met by FG irrespective of any intimidations.
Chaos seen and heard from the echoes of their voices, warning that ‘no matter how much you pay or whatever your seat number, if Nigeria nationhood aircraft crashes, we’re all likely to end up dead. That was the loudest tone of their messages. Describing what is to come after the #EndSARS protest is a mere tip of the iceberg.
That the FG tagged #EndSARS campaigners as terrorists still baffles many. The FG was widely criticised for tagging #EndSARS campaigners as terrorists with prominent citizens and groups deploring the Central Bank of Nigeria’s action of freezing the accounts of some of the campaigners.
The Federal Government has succeeded in freezing the accounts of scores of #EndSARS campaigners after telling a Federal High Court in Abuja that the funds in their accounts might have been linked to terrorist activities. According to a written address in support of a motion ex-parte filed by the CBN, which froze about twenty accounts in the second week of October and thereafter approached the court to seek an ex- parte order to freeze the accounts.
The case with suit number FHC/ABJ/CS/1384/2020, filed before Justice A. R. Mohammed, the CBN, however, made no mention of the fact that the 20 accounts were owned by persons involved in the #EndSARS protests, but told the court that the funds might have emanated from terrorist activities, is unbelievable.
Democracy is about accountability to the people. Perhaps, he took the EndSARS protest from passive philosophy. Many see Buhari to be intentionally setting the stage for revolution ‘by excluding, disenfranchising many Nigerians not on the basis of competence but on the basis of ‘they don’t belong’.
An ally by definition is eligibility in size, shape or manner; measuring up to certain points before attaining such tag like associate.
Interestingly, some friends begin as enemies, and vice versa. Buba Galadima, a former ally of President Muhammadu Buhari warned that the #EndSARS protest, which attracted global attention is just a tip of what is next to come.
Too qualified to deliver the message. Profiling Buhari is very easy for his former ally, if you doubt this ask Galadima, former National Secretary of Congress for Progressive Change, President Buhari’s former party. But sometimes, to truly understand how and why things end up the way they do, better understanding of how and where it begun will help give better analysis. Galadima complaints and statements about his former friend cannot be ignored.
The government’s attitude is leading the country into another revolution without realising it. Nigerians accused the FG of causing the revolt by systematic exclusion, disenfranchising people not as a result of competence but on the basis of ‘they don’t belong’. Nigeria needs a leader that is a large-hearted Nigerian that is ready to unite and carry all within as he governs. The future belongs to those who know where they belong, just as the protests by the youths are noted to be very genuine, forcing attention of the country’s policymakers and office holders to stand-up to the country’s challenges.
Tagged ‘another wrong turn. Now, blocking the accounts of #EndSARS protesters on the pretext that they were terrorism suspects showed that the Buhari’s government is not sincere about meeting the demands of the impoverished citizens. Two notable Nigerians who have dared to come out honestly, and with no bias are the senate president and Galadima, former ally of Mr President.
For many Nigerians, there is no reason for them to suffer this much and for so long. This government should note that such intimidation as being carried out will not augur well for the nation. Side effects of such untamed revolutionary process had led to breakup of many countries and forgotten nations. How ours may go may largely depend on FG’s response, but what lead to #EndSARS is still up for more interpretations and explanations.
We should note that the President of the Senate, Ahmad Lawan also sounded a very strong notes of warning to the FG against paying lip service to the issue of youth unemployment and that tagging them terrorists potent more than danger for the nation’s survival. Nigeria as a matter of urgency should declare a state of emergency on youth employment and empowerment so as to escape another round of #EndSARS protests which if allowed can send the country into the oblivion.
*Ayobrown, Senior System Analyst, National Pilot Newspaper, writes via aayobrown@gmail.com

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