Nigerian Youths’ Remonstrations And The Tenebrous Quest For positive Change In Governance: My Thoughts On End-Sars Movement -By Emmanuel Menseh Madaki, Esq.
The political and social milieus of the Nigerian clime had recently been agog with scintillating activities of remonstrations spanning from discontentment and displeasures in Governance by ebullient Youths who took to the streets for their crusades. The Youths had littered the streets of major cities in Nigeria such as Lagos, Abuja, Portharcourt, Anambra, Jos, Kaduna, Ibadan etc. with placards inscribing the rot that had befallen the Nigerian Police Force (NPF) especially the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) urging the Nigerian Government to disband the callous activities of the SARS Unit of the Force. In fact the international community has also vouchsafed to add its sonorous voice to the campaigns for positive transmogrifications in the affairs of Governance in Nigeria and other allied issues of great national concerns.
The Youths have been the prime agents of positive transformations and are often the most adversely affected by change in the socio-political context of Nigeria. The mammoth population of Youths in Nigeria is a direct signification of the assets we have as a nation for political reformation and transformation within a democratic space and efforts must be intensified towards encouraging pressure groups and formidable movements for the betterment of the Nation.
Historically correct is the fact that in Nigeria just like other African Nations, Youths have indubitably played significant roles in the country’s political landscapes, especially in the struggle for independence from colonialists and immediate post-independence formulations. However, from the 1980s, Nigerian Youths began to face enormous challenges due to the manifest weakness of the Nigerian State, corruption and indiscipline in leadership. This apparently have accounted for the dissipation of the Youths’ voices in the political hemisphere and their overburden with socio-economic problems without concrete efforts for economic emancipation of the Youths by the Nigerian Government.
The demonstrations and the myriad protestations by the Youths is constitutional as codified and empowered under Article 11 of the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights Act (Cap A9) LFN 2004 and Chapter IV, section 40 of the 1999 Constitution as amended which provides for the right to Freedom of Assembly and Association. The section provides that:
“Every person shall be entitled to assemble freely and associate with other persons and in particular, he may form or belong to a particular party, trade union or any other association for the protection of his interest”
This section validates the protests by the End-SARS movement and any attempt to disband or proscribe the peaceful activities of the movement is unconstitutional unless and until the express demands of the protesters are met. Section 1 of the Constitution (Supra) states unequivocally that the Constitution is supreme and being the organic law of the land, any law that is inconsistent with the express provisions of the constitution shall be rendered null and void to the extent of the inconsistency.
The End-SARS movement is an inspiring and positive clarion call for all and sundry to join in this public outcry over the gross violations of human rights and the gruesome and wanton murder of defenseless innocent Youths which had lingered over the years. The Act setting up the Police Force is sacrosanct on the mandate granted the Police with SARS inclusive which is to protect at all costs the lives and properties of Citizens and not to be masterminds of inhumanity to man. Section 14 2(b) of the Constitution (Supra) has security as one of the core responsibilities of government and this duty must not be conveniently compromised.
To my fellow Nigerian Youths, we must discern henceforth that we are a formidable force and we have the intellectual wherewithal to change the course of history and nauseating events around us. We must not be cowed into giving up on this struggle for a better Nigeria. We must wax stronger and without fear or compromise until the change we so desire is attained. We must fight hard to restore the lost sanity of our nation and its attendant lost glory. We are no lesser humans from those who fought for independence. We have embraced docility for so long and the right time to break-away from the shackles of retrogressive ventures is now not later. Arise O Youthsand let us claim our heritage back from lackluster leadership and ineptitude. Nigeriamust be restructured; Security agencies and personnel must be reformed for the good of all and the rebirth of a new Nigeria.
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