#ENDSARS: What Separates Violent Thugs From Peaceful Protesters? By- Amb. Gospel Edoho John (GEJ)

Newsie Events:- #Opinion
Still on the protest against the just disbanded Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) Department of the Nigerian Police Force alias grievances against bad governance, it is crystal clear that anything without a head is a monster. Thus as responsible youths who have displayed patriotism and solidarity as loyal citizens, we must shield our swords and restrategize at this point.
Nigeria’s independence didn’t happen at a glance, a lot of collaborations were made between the youths alongside the adults. As long as we keep saying that we do not have a leader, then we will trigger series of events that will linger and go down the line of history for our generation. We must learn from the experiences of our past military juntas and the very civil war spoils so as not to upturn our cause for justice and truth.
The recent heist of the hijacked peaceful protest is very ill-fated. Genuine protesters would not do such yet allowed it. What separates violent thugs from peaceful protesters? Saying that it is not peaceful protesters destroying public and private properties and lives but hoodlums are like when the government claims it is not the trained policemen brutalizing but a few bad eggs, and then expect applause for the populace. We should all respect and protect public properties and the equally fundamental right to freedom of movement of non-protesters. This is the balance as only leadership can define the boundaries of demonstration and where hoodlums get off tangents.
As we move to end Police brutality, we must also accept dialogue as a reasonable panacea for peace and progress in our idles, and an end to bad government, we must appreciate our collective mandate in democracy as the ballot remains the only way to remove another democratically elected president or governor and not resignation opinions of some quarters. The problem of most of our youths today on this is “share the money” – a notion that is about selling out their conscience at the polling unit for immediate gratification. We can prepare to make this change come true in 2023.
A protest is primarily to get the attention of the government, then secondarily, to give reasons and make concrete demands, thereafter to negotiate and allow implementation. Our concern at this time should rather be to ensure that our urgent need (leadership) should not be hijacked through the backdoor, like the NLC, ASUU, etc., we have had individuals like Tuface Idibia, Naira Manley, etc., tried to lead a protest in the past but restrain by politicians, so if we will have to go live on the internet and television for all eyes to see through the stages, such will be an added advantage.
At this stage, it is time to suspend this protest and engage the government both at the federal and state levels, lest all gains are lost. While hardliners may dismiss this as being pacifist, we should rather engage democratically lest anarchy sets into the game. This is wisdom, I hope God guides our leaders right and help our youths the truth to know, in love and honesty as attain our lofty height. We Win
Best Regards
Stay Safe
Amb. Gospel Edoho John (GEJ) is a public affairs analyst, Social Work Practitioner, and Researcher. He is the Chairman of Young Progressives Party, YPP Eket.
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