What is the reason to stage a protest? The idea is to be heard, to give a voice to the demands of the masses, to show the presence of dissatisfaction with the policies of the government especially when these policies do not reflect the wishes of the governed.
This is why we protest. A protest is an outward display of inward displeasure without which it could be assumed that the ruled agree with the terms and conditions of the ruler. As ironical as this may sound, silence too has a voice. It is a voice that depicts satisfaction and acceptance of the status quo.
So when you do not protest, you’re simply saying that you’re pleased with actions and policies by which you’re being ruled. It’s an indirect endoresment of government policies. This is why the protest to #EndSARS is very pivotal.
It showed that the youth were truly fed up and were willing to take stand for the implementing of actual social change. The EndSARS protest changed the lens through which the Nigerian youth were viewed. We’ve been described as lazy, asleep, inactive, dormant etc by both local and foreign media. But EndSARS has changed that narrative.
This protest will serve as reminder both to us and posterity that the youths of this country once stood united by a common cause despite obvious ethnic, religious, political and ideological differences. We stood against police brutality and social injustice. We stood against the unjust profiling of young men on the basis of appearance.
Physical appearance is never a proof of the content of one’s character. It may give you an idea but you can’t completely gauge or assess one’s true character and nature through presence or absence of tattoos, ear rings, dreadlocks and rag jeans.
It is not a given or a sine qua non that young men who dress this way are actually criminals. This was what we stood against and we got a positive response. This response might be a dishonest strategy by the government to pacify our minds but what’s important is that there was a response.
So this is a Clarion call to all Nigerian youths who stood for the cause to remain standing and not to give up. This is the birth of a new era for young Nigerians, an epoch were the government will be run strictly on our own terms and conditions as it should in every democracy that respects fundamental human rights.
Let us not allow ourselves to fall asleep again back into inactivity and apathy. Let’s remain bound by an unwaivering will. Let’s keep this fire burning until it burns away the darkness in this country. We must mould our collective destiny with our own hands.