Now that EndSARS protest has been hijacked, what next?

By Hassan Zaggi

The past few days were, indeed, tough and rough for both the governments at all levels and the citizens.

This is following the sudden turn of events that led to the burning, destruction and looting of both private and government property in some of states of the federation.

The EndSARS which started peaceful and was well accepted and supported by majority of Nigerians, suddenly turned bloody leading to the loss of many lives.

Indeed, from the beginning of the EndSARS protest, no Nigerian expected that it will later turn out this bad with sad tales in most states of the country.

In fact, most analysts of the happenings in recent days believe that the EndSARS protest which was commended globally suddenly turned and placed Nigeria in global map for the wrong reasons.

The looting of both public and private properties, no doubt, gave Nigeria, the giant of Africa, a shameful name among comity of nations in the world.

This is definitely not the aim of the crafters and originators of the EndSARS protest. The aim, according to most of them, was to draw the attention of the government to the many ills in the Nigeria Police Force and other sectors of the economy so that the government can adjust.

In fact, after the disbandment of the SARS, the protesters were pushing for good governance in the country. This was commendable.

Painfully, however, the well-intentioned protest has since been hijacked by criminals and hoodlums. The question thus is: What next?

Even though the truth is bitter, but one need to be courageous to say it no matter who is affected. The EndSARS protest has lost all the gains it made following this sad and ugly development.

Their intension was to remain peaceful to the end, but sadly, however, this has been scuttled by enemies of the nation.

It is time for the EndSARS protesters to quit and re-strategise. This is because further continuation of this protest may bring doom to the country.

Many national assets have been destroyed. Many precious lives of young, promising Nigerians have been lost and the entire nation has been given a bad name internationally, hence, it is time for the originators of the EndSARS protest to go back to the drawing board and map out new strategies.

Failure to quit the protest will definitely lead to more loss of lives. The recent address by the President and the order given by the Inspector General of Police, (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, for the police to take over the public space are signals that the EndSARS protesters will not find the country fertile for their protest any longer.

The recent order by the IGP reads: “The IGP, Mohammed Adamy, has ordered the immediate mobilization of all police operational assets and resources to bring an end to the wanton violence, killings, looting and destruction of public and private property, and reclaim the public space from criminal elements masquerading as protesters in some parts of the country.

“The IGP gave the order to all Assistant Inspectors General of Police (AIGs), Commissioners of Police (CPs), Heads of Police Operational Units, Squadron and Base Commanders in charge of Zonal/State/FCT Commands, the Police Mobile Force, Counter Terrorism Unit and the Special Protection Unit.

“In addition, CPs/Heads of Police Formations in the various states have also been charged to mobilize their men and work in sync with the Command CPs in the areas where they are domiciled, to dominate the public space and ensure peace and safety in the affected areas.

“The IGP, while noting that enough is enough to all acts of lawlessness, disruption of public peace and order and wanton violence which have resulted to indiscriminate looting of shops, malls and ware houses, damage to property and loss of lives in some parts of the country, further directs the Police strategic managers to personally lead and coordinate the operation and use all legitimate means, to halt further slide into lawlessness and brigandage.

“The IGP however warns trouble-makers not to test the collective will of the nation by coming out to cause any further breakdown of law and order.”

This order, according to security analyst, is strong enough that the men and officers of the Force will not take it lightly.

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