For Police Brutality, Youth Unemployment & ASUU Strike, It’s Payback Time
With the ongoing nationwide youth #endsars #endswat #endpolicebrutality protest, Nigeria is heading into an economic shutdown as we sail into uncharted waters. As the situation unfolds, If the Nigerian government thinks that the youths will suddenly get tired of the open-ended demonstrations that have led to massive gridlocks, daily private business uncertainty, and loss of state government revenue, I believe that they need a rethink. With the high rate of youth unemployment, the disregard for the education system that led to the long ASUU strike – youths feeling idle at home for months and coupled with the anger of the police brutality, there’s so much time on their hands to occupy the nation in protest for a long time. The country has failed its youths. It’s payback time.
To find a solution to the situation at hand won’t end with reforming the police and prosecuting all the corrupt officials. That is just a start. To take a large percentage of the youths off the protests, the government has to do something that can immediately and positively impact the Nigerian youth’s well-being. I suggest they have to find an instant solution to the ASUU Strike. Pay lecturers their outstanding allowances and other demands. And have reduced tuition fees to convince the youths that the government does have their back. Also, there’s a need to find a solution to youth unemployment. It’s becoming ridiculous. It’s time to boost the economy with fiscal policies and grants that will create employment for youths all over the country. Nigeria can’t have a successful future when there’s more money allocated to manage government officials than those earmarked for empowering the Nigerian youth.
Amongst several protesting youth, this article signals that I can still extend an olive branch. But if the ruling authorities can’t reason with any of the listed demands, then the protests will continue.
Words by Sesan Adeniji: @sesanadeniji