BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In recent decades, Nigeria has experienced a rise in conflicts and acts of terrorism, which some scholars have attributed to grievances over the unequal distribution of resources, corruption, injustice, and widespread alienation (Mamokhere, 2020; Power, 2018; Pu & Scanlan, 2012). However, the inadequate handling of these protests has often resulted in their escalation into detrimental social vices that have a negative impact on the country (Alao, Atere, & Alao, 2012; Aro, 2013; Aytaç, Schiumerini, & Stokes, 2018).
It is the fundamental right of every citizen in any country to demand good governance. It is crucial to recognize that the main obstacle to development in nations like Nigeria is governance and effective leadership, as these factors greatly influence the overall progress of a country (Ogundiya, 2010). This is directly linked to the mobilization and allocation of resources towards national growth. In the pursuit of good governance and an end to police brutality, Nigerian youth were compelled to participate in the EndSARS protest, which served as a platform to advocate for improved governance, enhance the political and economic landscape of the nation, and revitalize the declining revenue from crude oil (Orizu, 2021).
National security is a premise for national economic growth and development of nations. This is because peaceful nations attract foreign investors while the domestic investors freely operate the economy with little or no tensions and apprehensions. The deteriorating security situation in Nigeria is worrisome. Recently, Nigeria has witnessed unprecedented level of insecurity ranging from intra-communal, inter-communal and interethnic clashes; religious violence; armed robbery; assassination, kidnapping and “boko haram” insurgency (Mutiullah cited in Abubakar, 2011). Insecurity in Nigeria is causing developmental challenges such as endemic penury, high rate of unemployment, inured corruption, low industrial output, unstable and deteriorating exchange rate, high inflation rate, inadequate physical and social infrastructure, large domestic debt, and rising external debt profile (Ewetan, 2013). These problems have posed severe threats to socio-economic development in the country in that it stifles business and economic activities and discourages local and foreign investors (Ewetan & Urhie, 2014).
The EndSARS movement began in 2017 when there was a hashtag on several social media platforms, to end police brutality and bad governance. The EndSARS protest was an avenue to share experiences of assault and violence perpetrated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The gross abuse of human rights and extra-judicial killings by the police were escalated on Twitter and Instagram. A tweet on the 3rd of October, 2020 on the death of a young Nigerian who was killed by SARS officials and his body left on the roadside provoked a movement that started on social media. This singular act was widely Tanyi et al. shared online on various social media platforms which later metamorphosed into a live protest all over the street of the country (Kabiru, 2020). The actions of the police violate article 3 of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights; which provides the right to life, liberty, and security of a person.
It also contravened the provisions of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria which stipulates the function of the government is to protect the lives and properties of the citizens.
Furthermore, the protest was propelled by the activities of SARS and the
brutality of the police, however, that was only an immediate cause as the protest was also the effect of years of bottled-up anger and frustration over the dehumanizing face of government policies and programs, absence of rule of law, poverty in the land as well as high energy costs (BBC, 2020). One of the factors associated with the protest was the need to end bad governance in
Nigeria; the protest provided an opportunity to express grievances accumulated over the years. The spread of the protest cut across over 97 countries around the world with the support of developed countries like the UK, the USA, and Canada. The protest was a phenomenal one because it sent major signals to other countries especially in the African region to be conscious of good governance. There was an outstanding performance in five major states in the country which are Lagos, Federal Capital Territory (Abuja), Rivers, Oyo and Ogun. Lagos witnessed a large number of protests and has been described as the epicenter of all protests (CNN, 2020).
The structure and implementation of the protest could be described as well coordinated, and with excellent organization, food and water were provided as well as music to keep people from being distracted. Other provisions include medical equipment and medical personnel who volunteered and were on the ground to provide emergency services to injured protesters. Amnesty International, (2021) estimated that over 70% of the Nigerian population are below the age of 30 and are mostly affected by the harsh policies of government with the absence of public infrastructure and absence of a meaningful source of livelihood. This report makes it easier to understand why the EndSARS protest was organized and executed by youth below the age of 30 years. Also important to the causative factors of the protest was the unwholesome lifestyle of the political class in the country as several of the public resources move on into the hands of politicians through corrupt practices (Amnesty International, 2021).
The social work profession upholds the ethical principles as espoused in the definition of the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW) as amended in 2018 which serves as a framework for ensuring the highest possible standard of professional practice. Social work is a practice-based profession and academic discipline that facilitates change and development, empowerment, and liberation of people, it upholds and promotes people’s rights, dignity, and worth in all professional practice. (IFSW, 2018). Historically, with the example of the settlement movement in the United Kingdom, social workers have a
significant role to play in promoting social movement and good governance.
Social workers perform major roles in serving frontline practitioners and social
policy activists, standing in solidarity to address all forms of oppression and injustice (Noble, 2007; Dominelli, 2012; Mollaly, 2010). The anti-oppressive social work practice allows for freedom of expression and peaceful protest to bring about positive change in government policies and governance that meets the needs and aspirations of the people that the EndSARS protest represents.
The EndSARS protest was aimed to bring about significant social change that would culminate in good governance, respect for human rights, peaceful co- existence, and a sense of unity among citizens in the country. Protests all over the world have been an avenue through which the populace expresses their grievances over political and economic hardship as well as draconic government policie
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
The level of security challenges facing our nation is immeasurable. Nigeria, blessed with abundant human and natural resources, is experiencing severe hunger and suffering among its citizens. This unfortunate situation has driven many young people to engage in dangerous and criminal activities such as armed robbery, kidnapping, and child abduction. The neglect of our youth, who are meant to be the leaders of tomorrow, exacerbates this problem. As a result, many youths are compelled to migrate to other countries in search of better opportunities, often risking their lives in the process. It is evident that the state of insecurity in Nigeria primarily stems from government failures and an apathetic attitude towards the plight of the impoverished masses.
However, the EndSARS protest, which spanned two weeks, provided an outlet for thousands of young people to express their frustrations, concerns, and proposed solutions regarding the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit within the Nigerian police force. During the protest, it was evident that some individuals took advantage of the situation to engage in theft and destruction of property, undermining the hard work of others. This raises the question: was the EndSARS protest truly an avenue for the youth to voice their grievances against the activities of SARS, or did it inadvertently contribute to further insecurity in Nigeria?
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The primary objective of the study is as follows
- To investigate the underlying causes that led to the EndSARS protest in Nigeria.
- To assess the implications of the EndSARS protest on the safety and protection of individuals and their belongings in Nigeria.
- To analyze whether the protest inadvertently contributed to the promotion of insecurity in Nigeria.
- To propose potential solutions to address the prevailing insecurity challenges in Nigeria.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
The following questions have been prepared for the study
- What were the causes behind the EndSARS protest in Nigeria?
- What impact did the EndSARS protest have on the lives and property of Nigerian citizens?
- Was the EndSARS protest inadvertently utilized to foster insecurity in Nigeria?
- What are potential solutions to address the issue of insecurity in Nigeria?
1.5 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study will examine EndSars protest: a means of promoting insecurity in Nigeria
This study will be of significant to the Nigerian government as it will see the need to attends to situations that bothers the people before it leads to a protest .
The study will be of benefit to the academic community as it will contribute to the existing literature.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
This study focuses on EndSars protest: a means of promoting insecurity in Nigeria. The study will also, examine the cause of the EndSars protest in Nigeria. The study will further examine the impact of the EndSars protest on the security of lives and property in Nigeria. More so the study will find out if the protest was used to promote insecurity in Nigeria. Lastly the study will proffer a probable solution to the insecurity in Nigeria.
1.7 LIMITATION OF THE STUDY
This study was constrained by a number of factors which are as follows:
Just like any other research, ranging from unavailability of needed accurate materials on the topic under study, inability to get data
Financial constraint , was faced by the researcher ,in getting relevant materials and in printing and collation of questionnaires
Time factor: time factor pose another constraint since having to shuttle between writing of the research and also engaging in other academic work making it uneasy for the researcher.
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