#EndSARS campaign is one that will never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria. A time young Nigerians trooped out in their numbers in one voice to kick against Police brutality and seek better governance. The two weeks long nation wide protest adequately represented the power of people and strength in unity. Events inside the EndSARS episode happened so fast that one needs to be awake all the time to be abreast of goings on. However, one will not deny that very many unfortunate incidents across the country had been. From hoodlums allegedly hijacking the protests, to protest “organizers” attacking one another on Twitter, to soldiers reportedly opening fire on peaceful protesters. No doubt, there has been a twist in the tale of the #EndSARS peaceful protests; there were the Good, Bad, and Ugly moments. Nevertheless, here are five things about the #EndSARS movement we can’t get over.
- Service with heart and mind: Concerned Nigerians were storming the streets in protest. Volunteer lawyers were bailing protesters that were unlawfully detained. Volunteer medics were treating injured and wounded protesters. Well-meaning Nigerians kept funding the course. Celebrities and personalities used their social media platforms to raise awareness. Skit makers, comedians, musicians, and actors all used their art to create awareness. Artists, photographers and creatives put together a number of designs and crafts to also raise awareness. Footballers were creating awareness on the football pitch. Hacktivist joined in the fight. Brands amplified the protest in ways they could. Religious leaders were lending their voices, and leading prayer walks. Even when the press was almost suppressed by it’s regulatory bodies, groups took up the representative to ensure the media was not compromised. 12 days into the #EndSARS protests and all hands had been on deck for a well organized protest!
- The Fighting Spirit: The resilience and strength of Nigerians have been reflected in the past few weeks. The protesters were at the protest sites in the rain and under the hot sun. Even at the face of death, the protesters stood firm. Keypad warriors were not left out, #EndSARS protest was number #1 on the trend table in Nigeria for almost a week and was on the trend table of other nations. The tweets even caught the attention of notable international celebrities and global personalities. Jack Dorsey lent a voice to the protest and went as far as creating an emoji for the hashtag. Artistes like Rihanna, Cardi B, Jidenna, Tory Lanez, Beyonce, Nickiminaj, Trey Songz, Big Sean, Chance the rapper, and actors like John Boyega, Denzel Washington, and many others also joined in too. Politicians like Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden also tried to call the government to order. At the peak of the protest some states imposed curfews, this didn’t stop other protesters from continuing “God’s work” in other parts of the state. The Nigerians in diaspora also didn’t relent in getting their voices heard by taking to the streets to demonstrate.
- Oneness and Unity: In addition, there have been volunteers from all works and spheres of life, coming together to a achieve great fits. The youths dropped their tribal, religious, and cultural differences to speak with one voice, in one accord! No biases! Everyone contributing their own quota and with togetherness, they have been able to achieve greatness!
- The Organization: Furthermore, steps and Measures were taken to make sure the protest was a peaceful and comfortable one. One cannot but recognize the Feministcoalition, for making sure these were possible. There were food, drinks, and a medium to get your phone charged, you almost have no reason to not physically join the protests.
Gang gang👊🏽 pic.twitter.com/P0c2Lpt9Q7— FK. (@fkabudu) October 17, 2020
Protest Radio: The #EndSARS protesters unveiled an online radio, Soro Soke. Soro Soke, yoruba for ‘Speak Up’, had been a tagline for the protests. It is a metaphor for all youths to voice out against bad governance and stop being intimidated. The radio is to achieve effective and timely communication during the nationwide protests. The station can be accessed through https://s4.radio.co/s99d55c85b/listen.
An Helpline: The #EndSARS protesters also created a toll free help line. This will aid quick response to medical attention, to food, to legal aid, and many more.
We're still on job. There have been quite a few medical/hospital bill requests lately and still normal requests from outside Lagos. And the mental health lines are running for anyone who's struggling. We're working with @MentallyAwareNG & @StandtoEndRape— FK. (@fkabudu) October 22, 2020
A Charging spot: A solar-powered phone charging spot was mounted by #EndSARS protesters at Lekki toll gate to enable protesters keep their phones charged and powered all through the protest.
Hygiene: The protesters also made sure they cleared the protest ground after every protest.
Came out with my broom. A lot of folks are here too, cleaning pic.twitter.com/KQIFkzdHgq— Editi Effiòng (@EditiEffiong) October 17, 2020
5. NIGHT OF LIGHTS: This is our favorite part of the protest. A candlenight across the nation was organized in memory of victims who had lost their lives to police brutality.
Candles were lit for all lives unjustly lost to police brutality. Young people in Nigeria have been protesting day and night across the Nation for 9days now, fighting against police brutality and government corrupt.#candles #endsarsnow #endsarsprotest #endswat #EndSARS pic.twitter.com/LROoA9tpBb— Anthony Obayomi (@obayomianthony) October 16, 2020