If lessons are not learned, mistakes are bound to repeat themselves. Our hearts might be heavy, and it may seem there is no light at the end of the tunnel. Nevertheless, what we have learned from this protest will give us an insight into how to carry out plans in the future.
Every Protest Need Leaders
The End SARS protest was faceless without a leader. Though in the beginning people felt this was an advantage as the government will have no one to bribe or silence. Sadly, as the protest kept spreading across the country it became difficult to control it without a leader or leaders.
Additionally, the dialogue is very important in meeting demands. Having leaders will make dialogue and consequently resolutions possible.
The Government Does Not Care About the People
The Nigerian government does not care about the people. The demands of the people were simple yet they chose to sabotage the peaceful protests through the use of thugs as opposed to meeting the demands of her citizens. This shows just how insincere our leaders are.
Also, as opposed to truly ending SARS they decided to trick the people by merely changing the name to SWAT. To add salt to our injuries, in the Presidential speech, the Lekki massacre incident was snubbed. It was as if nothing happened. To date, no one has taken responsibility. No one is being punished. It feels like the sense of justice has eluded our government.
Yesterday, the 26th day of October, the former governor of Lagos State in the person of Mr. Babatunde Fashola miraculously found a supposed hidden camera at the Lekki toll gate. Honestly, the government feels her people are daft and can be cheaply fooled.
The People Have Lost Trust in the Government
Even after the government announced that the demands of the protesters were being met, people didn’t stop protesting. To them, the government was simply repeating their usual tales and should not be trusted except visible results are seen. This shows that people have lost trust in the government.
The Nigerian Flag Has No Meaning for the Government
Protesters felt by holding the national flag they won’t be hurt by the military. This was not the case in the Lekki toll gate massacre. The national flag was stained with the blood of Nigerians shot by their soldiers.
Social media started the protest and kept it going. However, it got heated and social media kept fueling it until it blew up.
A host of persons stayed behind their keyboards inciting violence while staying at home. This consequently led to things going sour.
Knowing when to retreat is vital. This is one aspect we the citizens failed. There was a time we needed to retreat since things were getting out of control. Unfortunately, we mistook retreating for cowardice, forgetting that foolhardiness was not bravery.
Hopefully, in the future, we can retreat when needed.
Anarchy is Worse Than Tyranny, and Peace is Priceless.
After the Lekki massacre anarchy took over the country. People broke imposed curfews and the laws of the land. The adverse consequences of this affected not just the government but ordinary citizens.
Shops were looted, police stations and banks were burnt, and lives were lost. It was by no means a pleasant sight. Ironically, this will become a good excuse with which the government will loot more finds in the name of rebuilding damaged properties.
We Need To Educate Our People
There is a need to educate the youths on the street to stop being tools in the hands of politicians. The thugs employed by the government to disrupt the peaceful protests were young people. If we don’t want them to use these guys to hijack ballot boxes during 2023 elections we must educate them on how the government is using them to kill their future.
United We Stand; Divided We Fall
The unity we enjoyed irrespective of tribe during the protests must continue else nothing tangible can be achieved.
I sincerely hope the lessons from this nationwide protest will be like a lamp to guide our feet as we make plans towards 2023.