A federal lawmaker, representing the Lagos Mainland Constituency in the House of Representatives, Hon. Jide Jimoh, and a renowned Public Commentator, Comrade Razaq Olokoba, have unanimously opposed the planned #EndSARS anniversary commemoration, believing the proposed anniversary would end up in chaos.
The duo were guests of a Lagos based Eko 89.7FM Radio Monday, October 18, during a morning discussion over some national issues that included the planned first anniversary of the #EndSARS protest of last year that led to mayhem of an un-imaginary proportion.
While admitting that protest is legal, legitimate, constitutional and an integral part of democracy, Jimoh and Olokoba however reminded that, such protests must be peaceful, insisting that, anything contrary should not be condoned in any civilised society like Nigeria.
They attributed the chaotic situation witnessed last year in Lagos to the leaderless arrangement of the planners believing that, any organisation that has no identified leader to be held responsible for any misconduct during a protest is bound to cause crisis as there would not be any form of control or check and balance machinery.
It is against this backdrop that the two discussant are apprehensive that, if the Wednesday, October 20, this year is allowed to take place, what happened last year might be a child’s play compared to what would be experiences, insisting that, the Police, the authority and other security agencies should prevent it from taking place.
Hon. Jimoh narrated his experience in the United Kingdom (UK), when foot soldiers were controlling the traffic during a protest and directing people to pass unmolested by the protesters, condemning the last year’s #EndSARS protesters for attacking innocent people and destroying properties just as they cause untimely death of some Nigerians.
Besides that the concerned federal legislator frowned at a situation where the protesters denied the people access to their places of work where they made livelihood and thereby ruined their economy, reminding that, protests are meant to ensure that fundamental human rights of the people are guaranteed and injustice sought for whoever rights are trampled upon.
On his part, Olokoba, who said he has spent 32 years of his life in the struggle for good governance and upholding the fundamental rights of the citizenry, recalled that, activism led to his suspension from school in Kwara State for two years, declaring that, he is not against any protest that is legitimate and conducted peacefully.
The vibrant Political analyst and social commentator expressed dissatisfaction with the mode of the #EndSARS protest that was said to be endless and indefinite reminding that, even this life would end one day and so, nothing should be planned to run for eternity.
He wondered why a sad occurrence like the #EndSARS protest should be commemorated when sad parts of the country’s experiences like the civil war and the global carnage like the Word War are not celebrated, stating that, such unfortunate events are better forgotten and not commemorated.
Olokoba, who is also the National President of the Campaign for Dignity, warned that, no government and Police authorities should take the kind of risk inadvertently taken last year to forestall repetition of the unfortunate incident of October 2020, asserting that, to be forewarned is to before armed as a switch in time saves nine.
Concluding, he vowed that he would never support any exercise whereby the people would oppress the government as he would not be part of any arrangement where the government would oppress the people, asserting that, what happened last year was a situation where some misguided element of the society oppressed the government which should not be allow to repeat itself.
On his own part, Hon. Jimoh, who was at one time a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly and later the executive chairman of Yaba Local Council Development Area (LCDA), before going to the House of Representative in Abuja, supported suspension of the planned anniversary, cautioning that, protests usually start on a peaceful note but when later gather momentum, may go out of hands when hijacked by hoodlums from the organizers and things would go out of control.
On the final analysis, Hon. Jimoh, the grassroots politician and Olokoba, the renowned pro-democracy crusader and human right advocate unanimously declared that, the proposed Wednesday, October 2020, should not take place, calling on the proponents of the event to abandon the project.