Nigeria in Crisis: The Way Forward

end sars

On the 1st of October 2020, Nigeria celebrated her 60th independence. There have been various arguments in the public space as to whether the country has any reason to celebrate or not. The ongoing protest in the country is an indication that 60 years of independent rule have yielded very little returns to the masses. The EndSars protest which re-emerged on Nigeria’s Independence Day has drawn both national and international interest with celebrities and religious leaders joining Nigerian youths to demand an end to police brutality and bad governance.

Historically, the agitation for the discontinuation of the rogue police unit “SARS” began a few years back, with the social media being its originating platform and major driver. However, due to share lack of will by the political elite to listen to the agitation of the masses and do the needful, the agitation has exploded into what it is today. And if care isn’t taken, it might get worse in the coming days.

Although the #EndSars protest might have begun as a response to unchecked police brutality, however, it has intensified to include agitation for good governance, better infrastructures, adequate security among others. These manifold agitations evidently highlight the failure of the Nigerian government over the past 6 decades to deliver the dividends of democracy to the people.

Nigeria’s 60 years of independence have been largely characterized by a culture of poor leadership by both military and civilian regimes. High-level corruption among public officials, impunity, mismanagement and embezzlement of public funds, etc. are the norms among the political elite. Over the past 6 decades, the masses have been neglected to drown in poverty, unemployment, hunger and other forms of economic hardship, which have further led to an unprecedented increase in the spate of violence and insecurity in various parts of the country.

Even without police brutality, the current protest and agitations in Nigeria today is an eventuality that is bound to happen sooner or later. You can only oppress the people for so long, they would eventually fight back and demand their constitutional rights. What then is the way forward? How do we rectify 6 decades of bad governance? How do we put an end to the ongoing crisis and restore normalcy to the country? Well, the answer is simple, with good governance, with a government that does not only listens to the yearnings of the masses but also makes meaningful efforts to implement them.

What Nigeria needs today is the type of government that Abraham Lincoln described centuries back, we need a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Even though our de jure form of government is a democracy, the de facto system of government practised in Nigeria today is far from democratic. Only a truly democratic government can rectify the failures of the past 6 decades of bad leadership, corruption and impunity.

To conclude this article, I’m appealing to all Nigerian youths to remain steadfast and committed to achieving our common goal, which is simply good and accountable governance. The road ahead may be rough with several bumps but together we can pave the way for a better Nigeria and make the dreams of our founding fathers a reality.

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