The nationwide EndSars protests initiated by Nigerian youths took a new dimension after the soldiers allegedly opened fire on a group of unsuspecting and unarmed Nigerian youths, claiming an unconfirmed number of lives during their peaceful protest at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State.
Immediately after that, criminals and miscreants capitalized on the chaos that followed to loot, destroy structures all over the state and terrorize innocent citizens going about their daily business. They claimed that they were expressing their anger over the killings.
As it stands, billions of Naira have been lost in the country since hoodlums took over the protests. Police stations, banks, the Nigerian Ports Authority building, homes of some politicians; and even the statue of frontline Nationalist, Nnamdi Azikiwe, were burnt down. Shoprite was looted, the popular SPAR was also looted, and so many other business offices. These are colossal wastes of resources in the country and will definitely go a long way to heighten the suffering of Nigerians.
Apart from the innocent protesters that were killed by the government during their peaceful rally, so many other lives were lost when hoodlums hijacked the protest.
It is important at this point for Nigerians to come together and help put the looting, carnage and killings to rest and find a common way to rebuild some of the things that have been lost.
The youths have spoken and their message has been heard and clearly understood. It is sad that things had to get to the stage where they got to before hoodlums took over, but there is no better time than now to fix what has been damaged.
The federal government should do everything it can to bring this insane situation to an end. It is a duty it owes Nigerians. It is time for the government to address all the concerns of the Nigerian youths which actually triggered these fatal protests. Hopefully, lessons have been learnt by the government because if it had handled the entire matter maturely and differently, things would not have gotten out of hand.
Much as the hoodlums are to be blamed for the escalation of violence in the country during the protests, the government shares the blame for their insensitivity when the concerns by the protesting youths were made available to them.
It is important that Nigerians all over the country maintain peace and order at this time that the country is thrown into deep mourning, regardless of our religion, ethnicity or political affiliations. If nothing, for the sake of those innocent youths who shed their blood for the Nigerian Nation.
May their souls rest in peace. Amen.