Communique of Penpushing Media after a debate on the theme, ’Putting the #EndSars in proper perspective: Lessons therefrom’

The participants cutting across professions and strata of the society  took a critical look at the #EndSars protests saying perhaps it was late in coming. They noted that probably  the leadership of the Police Force turned a blind eye to the all-too glaring excesses of its men in the Special Anti-Robbery Squad noting however that  it was apparent even to the blind that one day,  something will give way , with , emotions  boilng all over with the citizens  reaching a cul-de-sac  and turn round and fight back.

And so it was when the youths rose up to demand for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The discussants recalled that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad was created in 1992 to investigate and prosecute people involved in violent crimes as an off-shoot of the Mobile Police (a.k.a Kill and Go)

They noted regrettably that the squad soon became notorious for serious Human rights abuses, extra-judicial killings, rape and other untoward atrocities including extortion and harassment of people, particularly, Youths.

The participants in the online discussion  noted some  reported scenarios where a SARS operative shot at and killed a young man on the street of Ughelli in Delta State, pushed his body out of the car he was driving and sped off with the dead man’s Lexus SUV and  the case of a woman who hitherto had been barren but was lucky to conceive being brutalized by  SARS operatives leading to the loss  of  her precious pregnancy. These are just a few of the high-handedness of the SARS operatives and their inhumanity, as it were.

The Penpushing  discussants  said when  the #EndSars  broke, the government was left gasping not knowing what hit it and not sure of what to do because there was no identifiable leader or group of leaders to negotiate with.

They therefore came up with the following recommendations that:

*In its coordination, the #ENDSARS protest has shown that the youths of this nation are a formidable group  which can twist the hands of government and also bring about an end to bad governance. Perhaps, it was this possibility that rattled the Federal Government into taking unsavoury steps to curb it.

*They took note of   too sordid stories too difficult to recount here saying the invasion of the protesters at Lekki in Lagos (under the cover of darkness and the clandestine support of some government apologists) left  a sour taste in the mouth asking  how  unarmed protesters, waving the National Flag and singing the National Anthem were reportedly  shot at by operatives of the Nation’s Armed Forces?

*They said although, there is relative peace,  comparable to the peace of the graveyard, as  embers of the ENDSARS protest are yet to be put out. They cautioned government against measures that could  ignite the matter  to avoid setting in motion unwittingly the season 2 of the episode.

*Noting with concern,  the discontent in the land, the grinding poverty, the inequalities, mass unemployment and the seeming  ethnic and parochial tendencies of the present administration, the participants  expressed  concern   that there  was certainly still fire on the mountain.

*They urged that  government,  on it’s part, must immediately put in place measures to address the imbalance in the socio-economic and socio-political structures of the country, engage the youths meaningfully and create a platform for the exchange of ideas that will give the youths a say in the governance of the country.

*Penpushing  Media discussants said this is not the time for government to gloat, but  to look inwards, reduce the cost of governance at all levels, cut down on the over bloated salaries and allowances of politicians particularly  the legislators, curb the flamboyance of the Executive arm of government and make the nation work.

*As we approach another festive season,  the Penpushing members said government must ensure that electricity supply is guaranteed,  with  no fuel scarcity and  he roads  made  safe for travelling concluding that failure to do this, may lead to #EndSars Two

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