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World Opinions | #EndSars shows that Muhammadu Buhari is the biggest threat to Nigeria’s democracy

21:10  29 october  2020
21:10  29 october  2020 Source:   washingtonpost.com

Protest Erupts at Nigerian Ambassador's House in Maryland Over Killing of Protesters in Lagos

  Protest Erupts at Nigerian Ambassador's House in Maryland Over Killing of Protesters in Lagos A group of protesters gathered in front of the home of the Nigerian Ambassador to the U.S. on Tuesday after reports of the killing of anti-police brutality demonstrators in Lagos.Protests began in October in Lagos against the special police force known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). According to Amnesty International, SARS is "notorious for the widespread torture and other ill-treatment of Nigerians." Tuesday's shootings occurred in the Lekki district of Lagos, the largest city in Africa. While a confirmed number of casualties has yet to be released, witnesses at the scene told Reuters that at least two people had been struck by gunfire.

Innanoshe R.A. is a Nigerian writer, editor, lawyer and activist.

Muhammadu Buhari wearing a hat: Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the nation on a live televised broadcast on Oct. 22. © Bayo Omoboriowo/AP Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari addresses the nation on a live televised broadcast on Oct. 22.

Some things never change in Nigeria. Police and military brutality, the terrible state of governance, the ubiquity of corruption, extreme poverty and inequality, unreliable power supply go in an endless cycle, like the year’s seasons.

Nigerian elections are like gambling. We blindly toss a coin into the air — with no guarantee of what we get. We vote out one corrupt leader for an even more corrupt one. Or, as we like to say, “you go from the frying pan into the fire.”

The Nigerian Army Reportedly Opened Fire on Peaceful Protesters. Here’s What to Know

  The Nigerian Army Reportedly Opened Fire on Peaceful Protesters. Here’s What to Know The Nigerian Army Reportedly Opened Fire on Peaceful Protesters. Here’s What to KnowNationwide protests against police brutality began on Oct. 8, after a video emerged in early October showing police officers thought to be from the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad, or (SARS allegedly shooting and killing a young man in Nigeria’s southern Delta State. Although Nigerian authorities denied the reports, protests erupted across the country calling to disband the unit and #endSARS. Though they are leaderless, the demonstrations are mostly driven by young people who say they have been unfairly profiled by SARS.

Take President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria, for example. As the first opposition candidate to mount a sweeping defeat of a sitting president in Nigeria, Buhari — a former general and military head of state —rode the coattails of rife anti-government sentiments to victory in 2015. To those who voted for him, he symbolized a potent antidote to the issues plaguing the country. He promised to blindly fight corruption and cronyism. He vowed to strongarm the terrorist group Boko Haram into retreat or surrender. He also declared that he would stabilize Nigeria’s dwindling economy and fix the existing gulf of socioeconomic disparities between Nigeria’s uber-wealthy few and the majority of Nigerians who are abjectly poor. In a campaign tweet two months before his historic win, he swore a solemn vow to Nigerians. “Let me make you this promise today,” Buhari wrote. “We will protect your children. We will protect your wealth. We will make this country work again.”

Nigeria protests: President calls for calm after protesters shot in Lagos

  Nigeria protests: President calls for calm after protesters shot in Lagos Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari has appealed for "understanding and calm" after protests against police brutality in Lagos turned bloody on Tuesday, with eyewitnesses telling CNN that multiple demonstrators had been shot dead by Army soldiers, who then took the bodies away. © Sunday Alamba/AP Protesters in Lagos on Tuesday. Following a night of violence which sparked global outrage, eyewitnesses say the city descended into chaos on Wednesday. Videos posted on social media and local television coverage showed a number of buildings on fire, including the Lagos Theater and at least one bank branch.

Today, nearly six years after making that promise, Nigeria has become a relic of what it used to be. Many signs point to Buhari’s failures. He must go.

The streets are raging with violence. Nigerians are under an unprecedented lethal attack by Buhari’s government, which recently killed unarmed citizens protesting against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a brutal and abusive police force in Lagos. The #EndSars movement has become a global phenomenon. After days of denials, the Nigerian army admitted Tuesday that their officers were deployed to the scene of the deadly attack to ensure statewide curfew compliance. The army still denies opening fire.

But perhaps one of the starkest portraits of Buhari’s failures to date are the graphic images and videos on social media that show multitudes of presumably hungry Nigerians fighting tooth and nail to get their hands on bags of rice, flour, noodles, sugar and other food supplies recently discovered in government-owned warehouses full of hoarded covid-19 aid across the country. The food was meant for Nigerians during the height of the coronavirus pandemic, but, like with most things in Nigeria, the politicians decided to reserve it for their own benefit.

Nigeria protests: Prison set on fire as death toll rises to at least 56

  Nigeria protests: Prison set on fire as death toll rises to at least 56 At least 56 people have died across Nigeria since the #EndSARS protests began on October 8, with 38 killed across the country on Tuesday alone, according to human rights group Amnesty International. © Sunday Alamba/AP People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality, in Lagos, Nigeria, Tuesday Oct. 20, 2020. After 13 days of protests against police brutality, authorities have imposed a 24-hour curfew in Lagos, Nigeria's largest city as moves are made to stop growing violence.


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In 2019, Nigeria dropped two spots lower than previous years on Transparency International’s annual Corruption Perception Index — which prompted Buhari’s administration to denounce the report as “baseless.” Additionally, a damning 2018 World Poverty Clock report said Nigeria, Africa’s wealthiest and largest economy, had overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty in the world. Similarly, youth unemployment has risen in recent years, and now stands at nearly 41 percent. Nigerian public universities have been shut down for the past several months due to the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ strike action. The situation may get even worse for my country. A staggering World Bank simulation suggests that “the dual COVID-19 and oil price crisis could push around 10 million more Nigerians into poverty by 2022.”

These reports and the events of recent weeks have made it abundantly clear for all to see that Buhari has not only failed in keeping to his promises, but he has also, more dangerously, defied rehabilitation from his dictatorial past. He is proving himself the single biggest threat to Nigeria’s fledgling democracy. His hands, and those of his accomplices, are covered with the blood of the young Nigerians like me whose lives, dreams and hopes he cut short for exercising their constitutional rights of assembly and protest.

Nigerians in the diaspora join #EndSARS protests

  Nigerians in the diaspora join #EndSARS protests The #EndSARS protests against police brutality that have erupted in Nigeria have spilled beyond the country's borders.People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Oct. 19, 2020.

In support of the recent protests against police brutality and bad governance in Nigeria, I published a manifesto on social media as a suggested framework of the ideological boundaries for the movement. There, I noted that a top-to-bottom leadership change in government and law enforcement agencies is the only path to real change in Nigeria. It seems to me, and possibly to an increasing number of Nigerians, that there cannot be any tangible or long-lasting reform within any sector in Nigeria without replacing leaders and the existing systems and processes.

And perhaps, even more, this is the time to imagine a new Nigeria, that works for all. We need a new Nigeria that protects, defends and holds space for the most vulnerable amongst us — the girl-child, disabled, economically disadvantaged, women, and, yes, the LGBTQ+ community, too. We must also imagine a new national identity, one that is grounded in progressive ideals, such as equality, diversity, unity, justice, loyalty, hard work and selflessness.

Indeed, Buhari and Nigeria’s other useless politicians need to pass the baton of leadership to my generation of Nigerians who have shown a commitment to doing the job and will put the country before themselves. It’s time for Buhari to resign.

Read more:

Karen Attiah: Nigeria’s useless politicians are trying to crush #EndSARS. Africa’s leaders are silent.

Karen Attiah: For the sake of democracy, Nigeria’s #EndSars campaign against police brutality must prevail

Jason Rezaian: With the arrest of a prominent journalist, Nigeria’s Buhari is up to his old tricks

Karen Attiah: After my trip to Nigeria, I hoped to help my mother heal her scars of war

Eromo Egbejule: Fifty years later, Nigeria has failed to learn from its horrific civil war

Nigeria, Africa's Largest Nation, Backs Trump Despite Black Lives Matter Hostility .
While Trump wanted to stop immigrants coming to the U.S. from countries like Nigeria in a "clearly racist" move, his support hasn't gone anywhere, despite Black Lives Matter and the "End SARS" crisis.The African Union made up of 55 nations said the remarks were "clearly racist." The restrictions, arriving just before COVID-19 took the world's attention, were widely criticized. It followed a concerted campaign to limit Nigerian entry into the U.S., with visa price-hikes and bans.

usr: 0
This is interesting!