A luta stopay!, By Wole Olaoye

a-luta-stopay!,-by-wole-olaoye
EndSARS Direct. Photograph by Kola Sulaimon/AFP)

I, too, grunt ALUTA STOPAY to the perennial wasting of our youths within the name of law enforcement. My determined takeaways from the EndSARS protests is that our youths are smarter than us. Thank God for puny mercies! They are as digital-savvy as their counterparts in totally different places on the earth. Be taught about how they raised funds, assigned initiatives and ran a global campaign from their bedrooms!

A luta continua! Vitória é certa! (The wrestle continues! Victory is horrible!) That used to be our bid-tune in those heady college students union days, when our blood boiled with patriotic fervour as we challenged the excesses or inadequacies of our unelected military fiefs.

That wrestle yowl is so central to the raison d’être of student unionism that it’s captured within the Qualified Ife anthem of Obafemi Awolowo University: “Awake, vigilant, revolutionary, a luta towards all oppression…”

Labour unions all over Nigeria hold additionally coined variants of the slogan to mobilise their constituencies. Admire their youthful compatriots in greater institutions of discovering out, they, too, bid that it’s their ancient responsibility to spit within the face of conscienceless energy. Call it an ideological wrestle yowl and that you just might perhaps now not be inappropriate. A luta has change into ingrained within the consciousness of the revolutionary elite.

Because the EndSARS drawl erupted final year, I had an ‘Ali-Mun-Chase’ flashback. When teens detect one thing going inappropriate, they strive their damndest to step in and invent a commerce, more so when they’re the verbalize victims of a ‘siddon compare’ posture. The first sentence within the unwritten structure of formative years is that it’s better to die fighting on the sector than to inch out to your sleep.

I don’t buy formative years harshly. I merely can’t. My region is urged by the records of our elders: “Instruct, o ye elder, if, once upon a time, the exuberant blood of formative years had now not coursed by your veins”.

After we were younger, we lived as much as the attributes and ebullient manifestations of our era. Woe betide us if we now quiz that the flexibility to dream dreams would expire with our era; what form of fools’ paradise would we be inhabiting to mediate that our fireside will invent only raw ashes, without latent embers to ignite another stick of firewood!

The EndSARS drawl had a quantity of determined takeaways, whenever you happen to objective buy the trouble of dispassionate prognosis. Our Ali-Mun-Chase drawl of the 70s used to be for the democratisation of education. The military wished to form education the retain of the rich and we raised a terror. We went by every local authorities in this nation and supplied our viewpoint on to the of us. It turn out to be a nationwide wrestle attractive college students, workers, lecturers, farmers, transporters, archaic institutions, even individuals of the protection companies. Had the military authorities now not had the monopoly of violence, it would were a determined account.

365 days after the 2020 protests, it’s determined that now not great has changed. If the youths were looking out for to bait the authorities by asserting their plans earlier than time, they finished spectacular success. Executive operatives behaved in a predictable manner.

However the drawl did now not will ought to hold long gone that far, if the military authorities had engaged the Nationwide Union of Nigerian Students (NUNS) led by Segun Okeowo. These in authorities regarded down with contempt at school students as the dregs of the scum of the earth — and they overlooked a golden replacement to be taught from the younger and incorporate their tips into governance for the betterment of the society.

Miracles did happen at some level of ‘Ali-Mun-Chase’. There were circumstances of student platoons embedded in police barracks and launching their guerrilla forays into local markets from there. The authorities belief they were ghosts because they had sealed all greater institutions and placed the entire well-known student leaders underneath a 24/7 gaze. If only they knew that no authorities of grannies can out-mediate teens in a dream for the long inch.    

Identical miracles, this time of the digital variant, came about at some level of the EndSARS drawl of 2020. The teens were so organised that they held their conferences, arranged funding and strategised the utilize of social media. While the nation used to be stuck within the stagnant mud of analogue ‘brawn over brain’, the kids took their message to the realm. There used to be no nationwide leader of ultimate consequence in any continent of the realm who used to be now not mindful that Nigerian youths were on the streets with an urgent message for their survival.

That message had a ring of familiarity to it. Police brutality is now not an exclusively African phenomenon. Assume it or now not, in another aspects of the realm, Nigerian policemen would compare esteem guardian angels. But that doesn’t form their behaviour tolerable. It’s been some time since Man left the cave. Humankind has always been aiming for greater ideals since our ancestors finished bipedal gait. We stand gargantuan and erect. Whoever makes an attempt to pressure us to prostrate or genuflect our manner by lifestyles deserves whatever he gets.

The EndSARS drawl showed us that youths are youths, no subject where they were born. The Lagos formative years wants the finest issues in lifestyles; so does the Kano formative years. While their leaders are basically enthusiastic in politicising all the pieces underneath the sun, the youths correct are looking out for to make a contribution their quota to building, if only authorities will stop being a stumbling block. Most youths encounter authorities by the uniformed personnel gathering bribes on the roads, on the borders, on the airports, seaports…. Certainly, all around the attach!


365 days after the 2020 protests, it’s determined that now not great has changed. If the youths were looking out for to bait the authorities by asserting their plans earlier than time, they finished spectacular success. Executive operatives behaved in a predictable manner. What better replacement might perhaps the Nigerian police hold had than the anniversary of the EndSARS drawl to suppose the realm they’d consigned the programs of the cave to the previous? But they flunked the test! The attach else on the earth (with the exception of in those climes where lifestyles is savage, brutish and short) would law enforcement officers openly assault journalists, attorneys and passers-by? 

The EndSARS drawl used to be a wrestle towards police brutality. If someone overlooked the video clips and news tales highlighted at some level of the protests, they couldn’t hold overlooked the brutality that attended the commemoration of the major year anniversary. Nothing has changed. The name of the outfit, Particular Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) might perhaps well additionally were changed to Particular Weapons and Ways (SWAT), but the thinking that governs their engagement with the public is nonetheless as analogue as ever.

Our teens hold the potential to out-mediate the terrorists. And they’re on hand for patriotic causes if engaged. Imagine if the massive cerebral muscle and global attain of the EndSARS protesters used to be deployed towards the terrorists! 

The protesting teens outsmarted the protection companies. They staged a cell drawl in autos, while some merely walked. It used to be a nightmare coping with an entire bunch of autos and hundreds of protesters on foot. The protesters waved Nigerian flags. The safety agents waved teargas launchers and guns. The sheer brutality of their assault on a total lot of of us, in conjunction with one Uber driver who used to be bloodied for brave to display that the very attach of residing where he used to be arrested used to be in point of fact in entrance of his home, used to be correct to form. This used to be SARS in action, carrying the jacket of SWAT.

I am reminded of regarded as one of many lectures we invited the colossal Fela Anikulapo-Kuti to divulge in those memorable years aforesaid. The title of the lecture, I mediate, used to be “Decolonisation of the African Mind”. Fela traced the struggles of the dim man from the origin of time, all the map by slavery and colonialism. Our ancestors’ ancestors struggled towards many forces earlier than they might perhaps well salvage rid of slave merchants. Then our ancestors struggled to ship colonialists packing and then struggled for independence. After that, neo-colonialism reared its head, forcing our of us to take hold of in another wrestle. The dim man has always struggled towards one thing or the replacement, said Fela. The the relaxation of the realm has been forging ahead. 

So, Fela said: “Enough of that form of wrestle. We must upward thrust above the  wrestle for frequent existence in screech that we are succesful of now face a more elevating be troubled of creating. We are going to present the choice to’t be tied the entire map down to struggling for a footpath, while the the relaxation of the realm is charting highways to the moon. Enough of this aluta continua that you just guys are shouting. The wrestle has persevered long ample. Now, the wrestle must discontinuance. I grunt, “ALUTA STOPAY”.

I, too, grunt ALUTA STOPAY to the perennial wasting of our youths within the name of law enforcement. My determined takeaways from the EndSARS protests is that our youths are smarter than us. Thank God for puny mercies! They are as digital-savvy as their counterparts in totally different places on the earth. Be taught about how they raised funds, assigned initiatives and ran a global campaign from their bedrooms! Had I a grunt within the subject, I would invite them to present me a digital template for defeating terrorism in its a total lot of variants — Boko Haram, armed herdsmen, ungun knownmen, kidnappers, bandits, unknown gunmen and the most unusual entrants, v-a-n-d-a-l-s!

Our teens hold the potential to out-mediate the terrorists. And they’re on hand for patriotic causes if engaged. Imagine if the massive cerebral muscle and global attain of the EndSARS protesters were deployed towards the terrorists! 

Referring to collaboration with those in another case belief of as odd bedfellows within the anti-dread battle, no perspicacious person can hold to nonetheless ever grunt never. 

Wole Olaoye will likely be reached by wole.olaoye@gmail.com.

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