The success of the recent End Special Anti-Robbery Squad (End SARS) or #EndSARS campaign-a social movement in Nigeria by the youth that started on “Twitter” the call for an end in police oppression and brutality in Nigeria via scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigerian Police Force, has again underlined the importance social media as a positive force.
Like July 25, 2017, youth advocacy groups under the aegis of ‘Not Too Young To Run Campaign’, when Nigeria youths marched along the streets of Abuja, the nation’s Federal Capital Territory to among other things protest against age barriers on political posts, Nigerian youths have presently and visibly used the social media to enhance, among other things; communication, stakeholder engagement, knowledge acquisition, awareness building, accountability, advocacy, relationship building activities and activism
The newspaper indeed congratulate the youth for this feat. And also commend the Inspector General of Police, M.A Adamu, NPM, mni, while announcing the disbandment of the security outfit- of THE SPECIAL ANTI-ROBBERY SQUAD (SARS), noted that it was in the finest spirit of democratic, citizen-centred and community policing and in response to the yearnings of the Nigerian people, and in its place created a new unit known as Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team which will fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the defunct SARS.
As a media organization, in as much as we appreciate this far reaching effort of the IGP, it’s our position that disbanding SARS or creation of SWAT cannot provide solution Nigeria Police calls for.
Like Nigerians of goodwill have noted at different times and places, we support the call for a total overhaul of the present structure of Police Force in the country and the reorientation of the personnel to make them more efficient and accountable for their actions. Very importantly, the process of recruiting officers and men of the Force should be re-evaluated to attract more graduates of sound mind and body who must be exposed to international standards of training and laced with adequate funding of operations and an enhanced remuneration package for all policemen across board.
For the Nigeria youth, it is not yet time for celebration as the challenges confronting the nation currently demands more questions.
As incentives, this is the time for the youth to demand for good governance and a reduction in the cost of governance at all levels. This is also time for them to ask; why unemployment rate is currently according to NBS report at 34.2% and under-employment at 26%? They must demand explanation to what made the country become a very high risk borrower that services its debt with 50% of its annual revenue despite the abundant natural resources? And why the country’s revenue crisis has remained unabated in the last five years, while the borrowings have persisted, which is an indication that the economy has been primed for recurring tough outcomes?
The youth must use this period to find out from their leaders what happened to our educational system which used to be a model to other nations of the world and a beacon of glory for Africa-and immensely adored and celebrated globally as our students/graduates showed unsearchable depth and great intellects in every discourse, ahead of their counterparts in other nations?