Vision 2020, What happens next? by Mercy Awazi

Many people had assume 2020 to be a very exceptional year, the vision 2020 was looking pretty good and it certainly didn’t take long for strange occurrences to start which bounced many of us to reality. What seemed as a year with many plans took a turn and mocked us in the face, No matter what might happen before the calendar turns to a New Year, 2020 is going down in the history books as the “Year of all Kinds of Things.” With 2months left, the emergence of the pandemic which destructed human activities kicked off, to incessant rape and sexual violence’s cases in which Nigeria finally declares a state of emergency on rape. Social media proved once again to be a powerful tool as physical contacts took a break, the real power was found on the internet then to the need to finally protest on police brutality and bad governance.

The quest for good governance is the aspiration of many Nigerian youths, a country which citizens finds humor in critical issues and sometimes is more affected by what happens outside the country rather than face its reality, it is good to say “Nigerians use jokes to hide their pain”.

Nigeria is a country which practices various forms of human violation on its citizens, the lives of civilians have often been neglected by those in power, The history of police brutality in Nigeria can be dated back to years of killing innocent civilians and outcry on social media, one would think that police brutality is a racial affair which concerns black Americans alone but over the years the narrative has changed in Nigeria, a country which represents itself as the giant of Africa.

Over the years, social media was used as an opinion tool for Nigerians instead of taking the streets like other nations to fight for their civic rights, what started as a mere opinion by celebrities in the country to lead a protest became a new era as Nigerians in their many numbers, in all parts of the country started a revolution to protest on police brutality and the dreadful police unit SARS rather than just rendering it on social media.

The question on the minds of many citizens is when brutality on civilians will end as Fear grips the heart of citizens if they should be protected by the police or killed by people who are paid to safeguard their lives. harassment by the police seem to be one of the most distasteful form of human violation especially when youths who are seen as the future leaders are the main target as it involves the use of guns to intimidate them, false arrests, severe beatings, unjustified shootings, rape and assault, brutality can be said to be a habitual practice in the police force in Nigeria. With SARs as a special unit of the police force which fuel and poses a threat to the livelihood of youths in the country.

Youths in Nigeria are said to make 65% of the population, with many youths struggling and fighting their way through for a better life in the country while the police force and bad governance cutting the lives of many short. What started as a protest to end SARs and police brutality, transcended to the need to end bad governance and leadership in the country, this woke many citizens up to reality and what the future could be for Nigeria. The different occurrence for 60years has made citizens question “What is wrong with Nigeria and what has denied us good governance all these while?” There are, probably, as many answers to this question as there are Nigerians. 

This has angered many youths in the country to protest on the need to end police brutality, end SARs and thereby fight for good governance, Could this be a new era, when the youths are upright, united and choose what happens in Nigeria? Could it be that we have woken up from our slumber party to fix a broken Nigeria or is this mere formality? The past few weeks have seen the unity of Nigerian youths and the power they could bring to the country and it is also sad to say we have witness the death of many who may be forgotten in some months.
Governance should reflect a state’s ability to serve and protect its citizens but reverse is the case as Nigerian leaders have never taken accountability for the wrongs and mistakes of situations in the country, will the lives lost in the current war for good governance be worth it, will it be for a good cause rather than just knowing their names and lighting candles on social media, we are therefore faced with many questions.
For a new Nigeria which the youths fight for, Nigeria should be seen as a real democratic society without police brutality, People should not feel unsafe in their own communities, or endangered by law enforcement because they look good or they are successful. Resources should be managed, and power should be exercised to benefit everyone in the country. Transformation should provide a basis for measuring the performance of those in government and so on.

With many clamoring for a youth political party, will it be a solution to help dismantle bad governance and leadership or will things return to normal? What happens next in Nigeria, Silence or more actions?

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Vision 2020, What happens next? by Mercy Awazi

About The Author
- Studied Mass Communication from the University of Jos. He is a Journalist, a blogger, a public relations practitioner and an advocate for social justice.

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