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End SARS anniversary: Our demands still not met – Nigerians

Police arrests EndSARS protesters in Lagos

On the one-year anniversary of the End SARS protest in Nigeria, locals in Osogbo, the capital of Osun State, went about their daily routines in a calm manner.

A reporter from the DAILY POST went around town and noted that business went on as usual in areas where protesters might readily congregate.

Even with low police presence at Lameco junction, business and regular activities continue unabated in sites like Stadium roundabout, Oke-Fia roundabout, Lameco roundabout, Ogo-Oluwa and Olaiya roundabout.

On the anniversary of the end of SARS, some citizens told DAILY POST that nothing had actually changed because the injustice that sparked the protests was still present in society.

They went on to say that the Nigerian police had not modified its methods or manner of operation, and that the demonstrators’ five-to-five agenda had yet to be implemented.

A journalist, Ayo Ologun, stated that Nigerians should remember that End SARS was a metaphor for a slew of issues that Nigerians, particularly the youths, had been dealing with.

He added that the demonstration took on the narrative of young people wanting to regroup and unite in order to overturn the status quo.

Ologun acknowledged that a number of factors had led to the demonstration, which had resulted in a number of lessons and regrets, including destruction and vandalism.

“We gathered one year later to analyze the issues and critically examine other issues that led to the protests,” he said.

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“The five-on-five requirements.” What percentage of them have been met? What impact did the panels that were set up across the country have? How has the government compensated those who lost their homes and businesses as a result of the protest, and what has the government done to ameliorate their suffering?

“Also, to draw lessons and to forge ahead as a nation.”

Waheed Saka, the Convener of Dialogue365, was of the opinion that there is the need for a sincere discussion around EndSARS from the point of view of the citizens, government, and civil society adding that a lot of lives were lost due to the protest.

In his words, “Some businesses went under and government also lost due to the protest.

“Most importantly, what have been the lessons? The bottom line is, we need to look at the critical areas to improve our street engagements.

“First, to list the trust of the people again. Secondly, from the point of government, lessons have not been learnt and that can be observed in the show of force on the streets of Lagos and Osogbo today.”

While maintaining that it was not necessary, he explained that society being policed by all the power of the military is living on a keg of gunpowder.

He advised the government to show that it was doing something on the demands of the masses and also that victims should be adequately compensated.

He also called for a synergy between the people and security agencies especially the police in order to find a common ground to tackle police brutality, extortion in a way that will reflect the agenda of End SARS.

Lamina Kamiludeen Omotoyosi stated that there have been some changes but the targets have not been achieved in the country.

He also stated that there was the need for a discussion to find a lasting solution to the issues raised during the protest.

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