Politics Today with Abdullahi Yusuf Tela
One key lesson that should be learnt from the recent and heating #EndSars protest in Nigeria is that the unity of the country is hanging on a tree that can fall at any time. The EndSars protest has birthed and reignited some critical issues affecting the country which tempers mostly on the oneness of the country.
Initiatially, the protest took a dimension to call for the end of Special Anti Robbery Squad team of the Nigreria police force. Expectedly these protests took part mostly in the southern part of the country where most of the SARS brutality and harrasment were displayed including Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
As the protest got to its peak, the northern folks felt one sided and embarked on theirs tagged: #Securenorth. Soon after the IG announced the disbandment of SARS, the northern folks heated up their struggle and moved to the street. Some youth groups in the north are of the thoughts that SARS disbandment will only favour the South while pointing out that SARS usefulness in the north is quite needed. In fact, some northern governors like that of Zamfara state, Mohammed Bello Matawalle has told newsmen few days back that his state needs the services of SARS, if other states don’t need them; he called for the deployment of SARS to fight insecurity in his state.
In the same vein, Bello Shariff, the National Youth Council of Nigeria, Niger state chapter chairman in a press conference last week Monday has called on the FG to reconsider the disbandment of SARS and make a reformation so as to provide security personnel that will fight bandityr and kidnappings in the state.
Shariff is one of the many youth voices in the northern Nigeria to participate in the secure north protest that was held across northern states of the country.
This situation however, brought a enermous divide in the country. It drew a line between regional developement and national development. The peace and unity of the country became threatened after many people view the End SARS protest as a southern thing and the Secure ntiyh as a northern thing.
The protests have been able to identify the loopholes in our unity. The social media especially the twitter became a battleground and a den where insults were slaugteed amongst the southern and northern compatriots.
It showed that despite our acclaimed!ed national unity it is eminent to back to the unitary system where regions have their own leaders who oversee their affairs. When Nigeria was operating such kind of administration, it was very competitive and at the same time progressive. The regional governments of all the three (later four) regions were on the run to always ttry to be better than the each other.
For instance, when Obafemi Awolowo established the Western Nigeria Television other regions followed suit and established theirs within the span of few years. Also, in terms of newspapers, the establishmeny followed region after region. The same applies in the educational system. The western region had the first university in the country then followed by the Eastern region before the Northern region established its own in Zaria.
The rivalry in regional government administration was healthy. There was that spirit of development, each region wants to be more developed than the other.
Thus, the imbroglio created by the recent protests has unmasked the unity of the nation; it has undressed the county to nakedness of disunity. Despite the peculiarity in demands of various regions there is at least need for a common voice. This is can only be solved if the country restructure the system to regional administration.