By now, it is evident that the little gains of reforms in governance which were rammed through during the #EndSARS campaign may have been rolled back one after the other.
Particularly related to police interaction with civilians, a signal from the Inspector General of Police (IGP) which was made available to the public on October 31 included sections where fiat was given to police officers to make use of their firearms in self-defence and to maintain law and order in society.
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Summarily, it appears that the protests which were geared towards the demand for restraints in the use of force with civilian members of the public may have been a waste in terms of reforming the police.
The arrogant manner in which the police have conducted and carried themselves all through the #EndSARS protests is notable. And now with the new directive, cases of police brutality may begin to spike again – even though men from the defunct SARS unit may no longer be on the road.
Alternatively, the move by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to begin to freeze the bank accounts of prominent members and organisers of the #EndSARS movement can be believed to be a vindictive crackdown on the entirety of Nigerian youth. The novel is also a negative signal meant to rubbish current efforts at alleviating the plight of youths.
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Particularly, two young members of the Lagos judicial inquiry panel set up to investigate the Lekki massacre boycotted the Saturday sitting because their bank accounts were part of those embargoed with the aid of a spurious court pronouncement.
Moreover, there are also now incessant reports of some key members of the #EndSARS movement who are now being illegally detained and charged falsely. It is believed that the State is merely looking for minor excuses to make scapegoats of the ones that are currently being victimised – not necessarily because any evidence of crime by these youths have been found.
While it will be hard to wound back the political re-awakening of the ordinary Nigerian as a result of the #EndSARS movement, these current measures by the Federal Government will eventually fail as their scare tactics lands with a dud.
Rolling back some of the gains of the political rebirth of the Nigerian citizen is only temporal, the path to eternal liberation of the Nigerian youth and the masses is eternal.
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