EndSars: 1 Year On, Did We Learn Anything?

Tunde Leadership, Security

Today is 19th October, 2021. By this time last year, the whole of Nigeria was engulfed in fear, hatred, questions etc. The once peaceful #Endsars protests across the country had been hijacked by criminal elements.

One of the response of the government was to use force to disperse the good, the bad and the ugly from our roads and the resultant effect was something no one envisaged. The shooting at the Lekki toll gates leaves more questions than answers. Where people killed at the toll gate as submitted by some? Is it true that no one died at the toll gate that day? These are questions that tore deep into the fragment of our space.

If not for anything, some Nigerians have learnt certain lessons. As an individual, I really wish more people acknowledge the burning issues that if addressed, could change our polity. Well, slow growth is better than no growth. It was evident that if people came together with one large voice, the unscrupulous few would have no choice than to give way.

Like I said during the #Endsars campaign, I have been brutalised 3 times by policemen in Nigeria, not necessarily by SARS personnel. The rot was/is deep down in the Nigerian Police Force. However, taking a deeper look, we can identify this same SARS behaviour in institutions that use arms and those that don’t use arms.

One thing we know is that our leaders and military personnel are not always truthful. So it is important to keep information and evidence. One of the news that greeted us after the Lekki shooting was the denial of the military that they were the ones who went to the toll.

Another thing worthy of note is that many Nigerians don’t believe in research or facts. Someone said people were massacred at the toll gate and obviously that is what many of us went with. It was much later, people opted to have the discussion asking; could this really be true?

The focus changed a bit, to yes, the military shot but not directy at the protesters and no video evidence showed that the military personnel shot into the crowd and no corpse was captured on video. Be that as it may, we have once been divided into 2 again as we always do. Those who believed that people were killed and those who believe that people were not killed at the toll. If you search deep down, many times, our belief to stories is hinged on our likeness or hatred for the government in power.

The sad part is that we still see and hear of police brutality today. More worrisome is the worsening security situation all around the country.

The only lesson worthwhile is that Nigerians should be ready to give their all to take the country back and lend their voice to correct ills in the land. It should not just be an act or an event, but a daily thing to remind everyone that we deserve and want better.

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