The #EndSARS protest was really about bad governance and endemic poverty [Topnewstv Editorial]

The #EndSARS protest was really about bad governance and endemic poverty [Topnewstv Editorial]

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The nationwide protest presents an opportunity for sober reflection from the political class.

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The recent protests against police brutality in Nigeria under the #EndSARS banner, and the looting of warehouses and stores that followed across the country, are a sad commentary on how poor Nigerians have become as the years have rolled by.

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According to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), 82.9 million Nigerians now live in abject poverty.

 

According to the World Poverty Clock, which based its findings on the World Data Lab’s global poverty model, over 105 million Nigerians (51% of an estimated population of 205.3 million people) live in extreme poverty.

Nigeria has since overtaken India as the poverty capital of the world, according to the World Poverty Clock.

 

A food vendor in Nigeria (Guardian)
A food vendor in Nigeria (Guardian)

Anyone who didn’t expect the kind of looting that has gone on in our country in the wake of the #EndSARS protests, must have been living under a rock or in cuckoo land. The rising inequality in our nation is at the root of all of the unrest.

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The political class has failed to provide the kind of governance and leadership that would have taken millions of Nigerians out of poverty since independence in 1960. Promises are made during elections but quickly forgotten by political actors once they assume office. There have been tons of policies, committees and white papers that haven’t translated into action on the ground.

Which is why the #EndSARS protests should be seen by federal, state and local governments as a wake up call that goes beyond demands to end police brutality or scrapping notorious, brutal police units. The protests were a culmination of decades of bad governance and inept leadership.

We have been living on kegs of gunpowder for years as more and more people are thrown into poverty by failed government policies and thieving politicians. We are surprised that a lot of politicians were surprised by the looting that transpired across the states. Leadership has failed its people and there is no other way to put this

 

 

A Nigerian market (Punch)
A

Nigerian market (Punch)

via Google Images

The solution is to begin to govern properly, to keep promises made during electioneering campaigns and to curb the corruption that has become the hallmark of our leadership cadre. #EndSARS was very much the tipping point for a nation whose people have become so frustrated and disenchanted with the land of their birth. The bad news is that it could get worse.

It is time for our political class to begin governing with a human face, to strive to take millions out of poverty, fix decrepit infrastructure, provide quality education, fix decaying hospitals, provide shelter for the homeless and fashion out workable policies that provide jobs for millions of unemployed people.

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*Topnewstv Editorial is the view of the editorial team at Topnewstv. It does not reflect the views of the Organisation Topnewstv.

 

 

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