Endsars Protests: A Call For A Paradigm Shift In Governance.

Source: Prof. Benard Ifeanyi Odoh
Click for Full Image Size
Prof. Benard Ifeanyi Odoh

1. My heart bleeds watching the horrendous videos of #ENDSARS protests and the killings of Nigerian youths across the country by 'Nigerian security operatives'. I deeply sympathize and empathize with all those who have lost their loved ones in the #ENDSARS protests. In the same vein, I equally pray God for the peaceful repose of the souls of the Nigerian youths brutally murdered or injured in the current #ENDSARS protests. May their souls rest in peace through the mercies of Jesus Christ. Amen!

2. It is imperative from the reactions of the Nigerian governments at all levels to the #ENDSARS protests: which are not limited to disbandment of SARS in all police formations; hurried establishment of SWAT; inauguration of panels of enquiry on police brutality and promises of reformation of the police force, that our governments do not understand the full import of the #ENDSARS protests and the scope of the demands of Nigerian youths.

3. From what we have witnessed so far, #ENDSARS is a slogan adopted by Nigerian youths for their agitation for an end to police brutality, extra-judicial killings, insecurity, poor and epileptic system of education, general mismanagement of natural and human resources, lack of public utilities, a system of negative reinforcement where merit is extremely ignored, gross unemployment, nepotism, retrogression, institutionalized geometric poverty, lack of freedom, gross abuse of public trust, leadership ineptitude and other vices which all tiers of governments and our leaders seem to either encourage or be complacent about. In summary, ENDSARS is the battle cry of the Nigerian youths who, having realized that their destinies lied in their hands, have risen from their slumber to agitate for a positive paradigm shift in their governance; so as to thereby arrest the gradual descent of their country to the precipice. Since section 14 of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (as amended) enjoins Governments at all tiers to protect lives and property and engineer development et cetera for enhanced living, it is therefore difficult to blame Nigerian youths for the peaceful protests as those derivative principles are not justiciable.

4. Given the intractable face-off between the Federal and State Governments on one hand and the Academic Staff Unions of Universities, ASUU, and the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics, ASUP, on the other hand, which has kept the largest and most sensitive segment of Nigeria's populous youth constituency out of the campuses and idle for long, it is safe for anyone with a discerning mind to say that our leaders saw the agitation of the youths coming but failed to take proactive steps to avert it.

5. I therefore call on both the Federal and State Governments to make reasonable and tangible efforts to bring representives of the protesting Nigerian youths to the roundtable for meaningful, frank and open-hearted dialogue to enable the governments clearly understand and articulate a broad-spectrum response to the #ENDSARS agitations of Nigerian youths. The federal and state governments on one hand and the academic staff unions of nigerian universities and polytechnics on the other hand should, as a matter of urgency, shift their grounds and come to a compromise as regards their face-off to enable resumption of academic activities for the benefits of Nigerian youths in our academic institutions. These, I believe, will solve the current impasse in the country better and faster than attempts to suffocate the agitation of the youths through executive fiats or other means.

6. As faultless as the reasons for Nigerian youths' #ENDSARS protests seem, I hereby appeal to the intelligent, ever-vibrant and resolute Nigerian youths to embrace the calls for truce to enable them positively engage the federal and state governments. This appeal stems from the obvious facts that the government and the entire world have heard the demands of Nigerian youths; and that hoodlums seem to have infiltrated the hitherto peaceful protests and hijacked them for general criminal purposes and wanton destruction of public and private property or utilities which would be needed to make life more meaningful after the protests.

7. I encourage our federal and state governments to be alive to their responsibilities to citizens to abate degeneration of the already bad situation. The citizens should also support and encourage the various tiers of government at this period of trial.

Long live Nigeria

Disclaimer: "The views/contents expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of The Nigerian Voice. The Nigerian Voice will not be responsible or liable for any inaccurate or incorrect statements contained in this article."