It would be almost unGodly of me to not share an opinion on the #endsars campaign that has been at the forefront of all global news. Irrespective of the global perception of Nigeria, I & many others at Tw³C are indebted to the richness of Nigeria . Nigeria has given me so much: a sense of purpose, the spirit of resilience and a relevant proverb for almost every situation in life (lol).
#Endsars is a campaign that started in Nigeria. SARS, stands for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, assembled in 1992 as a response to a rise in criminal activity across Nigeria. It seemed like a noteworthy organisation that stood to protect the Nigerian citizens. However, somewhere down the line SARS became another corrupt organisation that terrorised Nigerians by unlawfully arresting, harassing and even killing them. The call to reform and/or end this organisation has been going on for a very long time.
I suppose the amalgamation of the events of this year that brought the world's greatest issues to light resulted in the momentous street protests and solidarity on social media against the crimes of SARS. Several videos, pictures and accounts were released that conveyed SARS operatives callously killing unarmed citizens, particularly Nigerian youths. In response to the uproar, the Nigerian government announced the dissolution of SARS and its replacement with SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics).
No-one reprimanded, no reforms and the same people in SARS transferred to SWAT. This time, Nigerian youths were not settling for a rebranding and marched (peacefully) to the streets in the thousands demanding that their terms be met. On the 20th October 2020, people who left their homes to protest against the unlawful and wrongful killings that swept the nation-met their demise. Street lights were switched off, military sent in and gunshots were let off....with confirmed reports of many losing their lives while singing the national anthem!
This went against every human rights legislation but also the everyday citizen's expectation of their leaders. How could leaders that Nigerians so subserviently revere turn against them in this manner? The request was not for better education, food, safety or employment. It was simply to spare their lives, give them a chance to live...
For many (myself included), this wound has cut so deep....it is arguably one of the most hopeless moments in modern day Nigeria. However, as one who looks to hope in all things, I remain hopeful for Nigeria because from the united front that Nigerian youths displayed I believe that the rebirth of a great nation has come. I passionately believe in this and so I stand with fellow Nigerians to say: #endbadgovernance
I am particularly encouraged by the #feministcoalition (who were front and centre in the mobilisation of funds and resources to protestors) and their perfect display of female leadership: empathetic, intentional, result-driven and accountable. This is what happens when women have opportunities to lead and I hope that this stands as proven evidence to why the attainment of #genderequality in leadership is so important!
If you want engage with ongoing developments, lend your voice or even understand the situation more, check out the links below:
Governing Hearts since the'90's,