The nationwide #EndSARS protests is a message to those in power and authority that a revolution is impending in an atmosphere of social, economic and political inequities and infamy, a former senator, Shehu Sani, has said.
He said the protest signifies a new dawn of resistance and struggle for justice, rule of law and good governance.
He said this in reaction to the demonstrations across the country against police brutality.
The protests were triggered by illegal arrests, detention, extortion as well as extrajudicial killings of innocent Nigerians by officers of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Although, the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, had announced the dissolution of SARS and the formation of a new unit, Special Weapon and Tactics Team (SWAT), the protests are still on with Nigerians calling for total reform of the police and prosecution of officers involved in the illegal acts as well as release of arrested protesters.
According to Amnesty International, about ten protesters have been killed by the police and scores injured in the protests which turned violent in some states.
In a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES, Mr Sani said though the trigger of the protest was police brutality, police reforms are not enough to address the underlying and provocative factors that compelled the mass of the youth to take to the streets.
“The political class have for long toyed with the lives and future of our youth who were left with no option but to revolt.
“Systemic plunder and theft of the national resources, mass unemployment, collapse of public education… and the poor and stupendous and brazen display of wealth by the children of the rich and those in high public offices to the contempt of the children of the poor grievously inflames the anger of the revolutionary youths on the streets.
“We must admit the fact that the political class have taken the poor and the downtrodden for granted for long. The protest is conscience in motion. The opposition, the trade unions and the parliament have failed Nigerians until the Youth took their destiny to their hands.”
As long as the government at all levels and the nation continue to be run for the benefit of the few and their immediate families, this kind of uprising is just the beginning, he said.
While he commended Nigerian youth for rising up, the ex-lawmaker noted that it is Nigeria and governance that need to be reformed, not just the police.