#ENDSARS: Time to talk to the youths, Mr. President

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SIR: The recent killings of protesters in Nigeria as a result of showdown between the security forces and the citizen activists calling for the total end for a unit of Nigeria Police – Special Anti-Robery Squad (SARS).

 

has cast a dark cloud on what many had hoped would serve as a model for democratic transition in countries swept by the corrupt leaders and bad governance.

The country is at the verge of crossroad, again. There are clear indications that Nigeria is now in the triumvirate of a colour revolution and hybrid warfare, and agent agitators are now trying to force the hand of the government towards employing violent suppression of the protests so as to delegitimize the government for a sinister motive.

As a people, it is important to understand that, one should leave the stage when the ovation is at the loudest. The demands of the protesters are well appreciated and the leadership lacks quick response mechanics to show responsiveness which gives more opportunities for new adventure of calamities across the breath and width of the country.

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This pattern has been used in various arenas where people’s liberation movements have been used as a Trojan horse to infiltrate and destroy a nation, if care is not taken at the right time in proper quantity, the civil war is looming as it shows in our collective faces.

Unarguably, citizens are a powerful force for change. That is why more and more governments are doing what they can to silence them — from Russia to China to Venezuela and more. Citizenship gives us sense of belonging on why oneness of voice in our society is so essential. When people are free to speak their minds and hold their leaders accountable, governments are more responsive and more effective. When entrepreneurs are free to create and develop new ideas, then economies are more innovative, and attract more trade and investment, and ultimately become more prosperous.

Dear President Muhammadu Buhari, it is high time you summoned the courage and present error-free speech that would be televised to your children – Nigerian youths. It is now a good time to avert the unknown calamities ahead of us all as a country for if the protesters continue this way, the end result is uncertain. It is important for you to know and realize that the most important and significant title is not ‘President or Prime Minister’; the most important and significant title is ‘Citizen’.

As a result of grievances shown by Nigerians, some families had lost their breadwinners, Nigeria has lost youths who seemed having bright future, economy is cracking down spontaneously, society is not at peace and the blockage of roads across the nooks and crannies of the country inflicted untold hardship on workers and other commuters, many of whom walked for hours to get to their destinations.

I strongly urge the government and the protest leaders (that’s if there are) at this point to move to dialogue with each other if both parties don’t want to regret that they have been exploited to unleash the destruction of Nigeria.

READ ALSO:End SARS: Lawyers for protesters ready, office holders must earn workers’ salary – UAC

No investor, local or foreign will put money in any country where its youths are in a long-drawn protest with the government. As the economic cost of the protests for the last few days continues to mount, the negative effects could be more dire than a deeper recession.

#ENDSARS does not just represent a protest against rogue police officers; it is a symptom of the poor state of the economy, which for months has only gotten worse. Fortunately, the agitation can still be managed but time is running out.

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The National Assembly also needs to introduce laws that protect young Nigerians from police brutality, status profiling and wrongful arrest. Investments in mega tech hubs across the country, establishment of recreation zones in major cities must be carried out by state governments, to keep them engaged in activities that can better their lives.

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