Nigerians, irrespective of social status, political affiliation, ethnicity and religion have been united in one voice; #EndSARS campaign.
This has come as a surprise to many as Nigerians only put aside the barriers and unite when the Super Eagles play. However, the need for survival has pushed out the ‘lazy youths’ to the streets to demand an end to police brutality.
On October 11, 2020, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu announced the dissolution of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS), after days of protests in some states across the country.
Following continued protests, the Presidential Panel on police reforms accepted the 5-point demand by protesters on October 13, 2020.
The aforementioned achievements would not have been possible without the collective voice of the youths, who put aside all differences to demand for better security of their lives and generations to come.
This kind of energy has only been witnessed during Big Brother Naija reality show, where fans spend millions of naira on votes and campaigns for their favorite housemates, regardless of their ethnicity or religion.
Speaking to AN24.net, a sexagenarian, Mr Ilesanmi Oriola said that the older generation owes the youths “a sincere apology”.
“Never did I think that in my lifetime, Nigerian youths will rise and demand for the betterment of their lives. I see most of them as an unserious lot because of the kind of things they waste their time and energy on.
“I must commend the protesters for risking their lives, despite the high possibility of getting harrased or even worse, killed by police or soldiers for protesting. If they can keep up the energy, those in power should be very scared as it will bring about the much needed change,” he said.
A 56-year-old retired civil servant, Mrs Esther Oyeyemi said that she was impressed by the turnout of protesters on the streets of Lagos.
“I was also affected on Monday by the protesters who blocked the road. While some motorists lamented, I was extremely impressed and also joined them for few hours.
“Spending time among them made me realise that these youths saw eachother as the same. They just wanted to make sure that the government heard their voice. They went all out to make themselves comfortable by providing food and drinks that was much more better than what the government shared as palliatives during the COVID-19 lockdown. That is the power of unity and cooperation. They have made history,” Mrs Oyeyemi said.
Reacting to the impact of the protests, A Twitter user, @momentswithbren tweeted: “Nigerians came together and spoke the language of unity. A multicultural nation with over 500 indigenous languages. Though tribes and tongue may differ but the #EndSARS #EndSWAT protest for change made us speak the language of unity.
@iamokon tweeted: “I’ve never seen Nigerian youths and maybe all Nigerians this determined in their lives; dropping all differences and sentiments aside to push for a common goal. This unity dey give me joy and long may it continue. We speak with one voice!”
@uncle_ajala tweeted: “I love how Nigerians are looking out for one another in this protests, we are not distracted, we are united to achieve common goal, people are even returning missing phones on protests grounds. This is victory, this is unity, God bless Nigerian youths.”
@rilexis tweeted: “This still feels so unreal… so Nigerians can come together in Unity and stand up to the government like this!!!!”