An old adage says it is the person wearing the shoes that knows where the toes are hurting.
It has been an unusual couple of weeks in the country Nigeria with the rise of the youths against institutional oppression. The widespread protests against police brutality which has taken over about 20 states out of the 36 in the country is a phenomenon that has never before been experienced by the ruling elites in Nigeria whereby the youths and masses cry out with one voice “Enough is Enough!”.Last week, as the #EndSARS protests were gaining heat nationwide, there were pockets of #ProSARS activists who in a counter call, advocated for the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) not to be disbanded by the government.
These counter-protest however did not go far, with many labelling it as being government sponsored and heralded by only “northerners”
By last week, the hash tags #EndInsecurityInTheNorth , #EndBanditryInTheNorth and #SecuretheNorth were high on social media trends with youths in Kano, Kaduna backing up their online agitation with peaceful protest across the sates mentioned.
Popular cartoonist, Mustapha Bulama, has been very vocal about this through his art:
While the southern states in Nigeria contend with killer-policemen, the northern states have been in a constant battle for their lives going on eight years now.Recall a few years back when we tremble once we hear “Boko Haram has attacked”, for those in the north now the list has lengthened because for those who are not killed or captured by Boko Haram, the bandits will rustle and murder;
Those who escape the bandits have the herdsmen to fight with; any who is left behind from the herdsmen attack will be kidnapped and have to sell all their property left from the aforementioned evils to pay ransoms to the kidnappers who sometimes kill their victim or even re-kidnap whoso came to deliver the ransom; and just should by chance any escapes all this, the Governor’s convoy can be attacked and over 30 people will die.
Planning for the “future” has become a pipe dream in the Northern region of the nation. In a country where the bulk of its leaders are from a particular geopolitical zone, it would be expected that such zone would benefit from this structure but alas, reverse is the case.
The battle for a “New Nigeria” is double pronged, as much as we fight for an end to police brutality, let us also lend our voice to end insecurity in the north.
The youths are tired of the segregation, bad governance, insecurity, lawlessness, backward thinking and so much more irregularities that the government currently stands for. They say push a man to the wall too hard and he will turn back to fight for freedom. Since the 1980’s we have been told that we are the leaders of tomorrow, to the government we say Tomorrow is here and we have come to lead it.
So lend your voice to the struggle, #EndSARS, #EndSWAT, #EndInsecurityInTheNorth , #EndBanditryInTheNorth and #SecuretheNorth for a better country. Let peace and unity reign as is written in our National Anthem.
By Shalz Ekelaka