Some residents of Boji Boji Metropolis have bared their minds on the recent End SARS Protest by some youths within Ika nation and several cities across the country.
The respondents shared their views on the development during a visit round the metropolis by Ika Mirror Newspaper reporter on Wednesday, October 28, 2020, analyzing their observations and the lessons inherent in the surprise revolution by the aggrieved youths whose protest lasted for almost two weeks nationwide.
In his contribution, Mr. Ejime Roland Moseri, A Businessman said, “I acknowledged the recent protest by the youths in several states of the country, I like it, although several souls were lost but I believe that with this, Eyes have been open even the leaders, the youths everyone of them their eyes have been open; the leaders have known now that they have youths, they never believed what happened then, they now know that the youths are not happy with their governance in the three tiers of government.
However, the way forward is firstly, let there be employment for the youths, once the individuals concern have genuine certificates; secondly, let the federal government reduce the jumbo salaries and allowance of the Senators and House of Representative members so that there would be money for the payment of the salaries of those to be employed and to take care of other financial obligations. So, I am suggesting that the federal government and the law makers should reach a compromise and agree on a slash in their salaries so that the government can be able to take care of other financial expenses”.
Mr. Philip Elueme, A Retired Civil Servant, said “Before now none of our leaders or we that are not leading anybody ever thought of such a thing, it is a very good development that this thing happened in order for our government to seat tight, for them to seat up, because they have been leading the people astray in so many ways. Imagine the Covid-19 palliatives which they hoarded, look at how the state Governors stored the items in their warehouse, they refused to distribute the products to the masses, and if not for these young boys we wouldn’t have known that the items have been in their warehouse all this while.
Another observation is that the initial End SARS Protest was hijacked by hoodlums a situation which most of us don’t appreciate because the common man whom they were fighting for suffered more than the government officials. Hence, I am of the opinion that the government haven seen this thing happened, it’s a way forward for Nigeria and they will always live to remember what happened; they should endeavour to protect it from not happening again because there is no war that will do anyone any good. The leaders should do what they are supposed to do for the people, they should do what they are supposed to do for the youths, let them do what they are supposed to do for the elderly and for the entire masses; rather than giving the people promises that they will never fulfill. With this development the leaders have seen that the people will not leave them next time when this type of thing happens, they will certainly get to the bottom of it”.
Mr. Basil Nwosu, A Butcher, said “The protest by the youths is an eye opener to Nigerians, indeed the protest that was centred on SARS really opened so many people’s eyes within and outside Nigeria; it made us to know what is happening in the Nigerian society and it made us to know that our leaders in authority are leading us in falsehood, they have no truth. How can someone, when majority of the citizens are suffering kept increasing the prices of things everyday and commodities meant for the masses were hoarded and kept in their warehouse, yet the people are dying of starvation and want; such practice is an abuse of office and tomorrow when they want to contest for elective positions they will come begging us to vote for them, yet even after voting for them they will not fulfill the promises that they made to the public.
It most unfortunate that the youths went berserk attacking innocent people and looting their properties a development which is condemnable.
My advice to members of the public and the government officials is that they should seat up, they should open their eyes and rule with the fear of God because they do not know tomorrow, they can leave the office tomorrow and someone else will take over their positions. Again, I want to encourage everyone of us to believe solely in God, for with God all things are possible. What happened during the protest is a very big lesson for everyone to learn”.
Mr. Chukwuma Odudu, A Marketer with Ika Mirror Newspaper, said “My opinion on the recent End SARS protest is that it has shown us that as Nigerians we are getting wiser everyday. Talking about the protest, the youths are angry; it was an avenue to voice out their grievances concerning how our politicians and government officials are treating us. On the issue of government arresting the youths who broke into the palliative warehouses, it is the politicians who are hoarding the items meant for the people, that are supposed to be arrested and prosecuted for hoarding the palliatives meant for the masses. The federal government should prosecute the erring state Governors and politicians who hoarded the palliatives meant for the suffering masses. The masses are suffering, imagine a bag of rice being sold currently between the sum of Forty thousand naira to Forty four thousand naira, and government officials are hoarding it; if i may ask, what do you think made the youths to invade the palliative warehouses? It’s because of the hardship in the country, the prices of goods and other commodities are very costly, you cannot open your eyes watching government hoard the bags of rice and expect the hungry masses to just seat back looking; that is why they broke into the warehouses and carted away the items.
However, haven observed the development with keen interest, the way forward is for the leadership of the government at the federal, state and local levels to seat up and carry the people along in their scheme of operations, they should rekindle the hope of the masses for a better future because majority of the populace are suffering and we don’t know the fate of our youths tomorrow and that of the children yet unborn. What are they showing us? They should lead us correctly in unity and bring every tribe together because Nigeria is one. It is as if everything meant for Nigerians are the exclusive rights of our so called politicians, which is not the best; yet they accord so many benefits to themselves to the detriment of the masses; yet we all go to the same market to buy our needs. I urge the President of the federal republic of Nigeria to look into the distribution of the Covid-19 palliatives meant for the masses and prosecute the state Governors and politicians that are hoarding the items”.
Mr. Ijeh . O . Anthony, A Businessman, said “The protest came in the first place in the right direction in the sense that the government didn’t take care of the youths, they didn’t do anything about the Nigerian youths and it’s unfortunate, not to talk of the aged and elderly in the society whom they supposed to take care of. It’s not that we don’t have money, God blessed us with so many things in abundance but we have been entangled with bad leadership. Not only the End SARS issue, the governance is bad right from the local, state and to the federal government level. It is unfortunate however, that the federal government didn’t manage the protest well before it was hijacked by hoodlums as alleged. Why should the government allow the youths to protest for Fourteen days? And there was no security personnel that came out to quell the situation; you understand me? There was no intervention from the government and it was very very abnormal.
The way forward is not only to End SARS, the leadership of the various tiers of government are not doing anything to make Nigeria a great country; it is our earnest desire to have a more united nation, we want Nigeria to be one; but most importantly they need to restructure Nigeria, we are not operating true democracy, it’s a civilian government.
We are shouting no money, no money yet the National Assembly members which comprised the Senators and the House of Representative members are collecting over Ten Million naira individually every month, yet the government cannot pay the Thirty thousand naira minimum wage monthly salaries of her civil servants; the civil servants who goes to the office every working day from 8:am in the morning to 4:pm in the evening, are not getting anything; what about the retirees? Many of whom have died waiting for their monthly stipends. In Delta state many have not been paid their gratuities after several years of retirement, it is abnormal; naturally God did not create us to suffer.
My advise to the Nigerian leaders is that they should change. Change which the present federal administration made while they were coming in, they are not doing it, we are not seeing the change instead what we are seeing is Negative Change; our leaders should retrace their steps both the Governors, Senators and even the President, let them restructure Nigeria so that we can go forward; because without that restructuring the country will not have any headway. Once the present government tries to address the problems of Nigeria effectively the situation will improve positively for the betterment of us all”.
Mr. Emmanuel Uzor, A Businessman, said “Well, the protest which was nicknamed End SARS and End Bad Governance, came to me as a surprise, for a long time I have been having that belief that Nigerians especially the Nigerian youths are so docile that we cannot challenge our leaders and make them accountable of their stewardship to the masses. So the issue of the revolt or protest by the youths is a welcome development. I want to commend the organizers of the End SARS Movement, they have done well, the memories of the protest will continue to linger in our minds for a long time; however, it revealed so many lapses on the part of our leaders, we have come to see the callous part of our leaders. I will like to use this opportunity to appeal to our leaders to have human face, it has exposed our ugly side as Nigerians; although the End SARS protest gave out some reasonable ideas, they passed their messages well; unfortunately, it was hijacked by miscreants along the line who melted their attacks on innocent Nigerians, a very bad development that was uncalled for, I have to condemn such unwholesome act.
However, the protest is a wakeup call for our leaders; let’s see if Nigerians will learn from this revolt, one impression which I believe they must have taken home is that the Nigerian masses are not ready anymore to take Nonsense from our leaders again. For us to move forward, our leaders should from next year incorporate the youths in all their programs, I expect them to include the youths in their planning schemes, failure to do that may result to a more disastrous protest in future. Much as I commend the organizers of the End SARS protesters, I also condemn the destruction of lives and properties, and the shootings and killings of innocent Nigerians. We Pray for God’s divine intervention in the affairs of our country Nigeria”.
Mr. Ejime Roland Moseri,Mr. Philip Elueme,Mr. Basil Nwosu,Mr. Chukwuma Odudu, Mr. Ijeh .O. Anthony,Mr. Emmanuel Uzor