THE POSSIBLE EFFECT OF THE #ENDSARS PROTEST ON THE 2023 ELECTIONS

When you talk of a failed system, the noun ‘Nigeria’ sweeps across your dear heart, when the mention of a land that sucks innocent blood is raised, your memory clicks on to one particular nation – Nigeria

When you discuss on a set-up that runs a theoretical democracy in a veil of autocracy and dictatorship, your mind picks the answer – Nigeria. In the giant of Africa’s territory, the expression of democracy being the government of the people has only existed within the context of pen and paper thereby creating an absence of a practicalize democracy. With the #EndSARS peaceful protest demonstration fight, it looks green that Nigeria is set for a new dawn come 2023 General Elections.

Its been more than 14 days since the people of the country, especially youths, took to streets to exercise their democratic right in staging a peaceful protest to express their heart against all forms of police brutality, an end to SARS operations and request for a better Nigeria that guarantees a realistic and promising future. Its actually of no argument or debate that this sudden heroic move, which signifies a wake up call will surely have effect on the 2023 Elections.

Youth make up the majority age group in Africa’s most populous country and frustration among them will definetly run high. The large #EndSARS crowds that gathered in recent days showed young Nigerians they have the power to turn things around. According to Awosanya, who started the first online campaign years ago, he made mention that a post-protest is needed and policies must follow. Awosanya says back when he started his first campaign, promises made by the government were never kept which gave birth to the ongoing protest.

We’ve witnessed some protesters calling for a new “Youth Democratic Party” to channel their demands ahead of elections in 2023. Such move is a two edged sword which can breed political selfishness. One of the protesters, Ada Beke, speaking says, “The protest was never about politics. The Youth Democratic Party is a journey in progress”. “There should be a party if we can overcome the hurdles of power tussles among different interest groups and avoid adopting the political cultures of the old guard, ” she said. It can be actualised that the ongoing #EndSARS campaign has awoken some realisation in oneness among youths.

In spite of the ongoing development in the country, its high time political figures realise that the active age group of the nation – the youth, are very much awake to create for themselves a system that yield to their needs and make them prince and princess in their own palace. Overtime, we’ve been witnessing a drama whereby elections are being staged and youths showing an act of ‘I don’t care’ attitude, not because they don’t want to be involved but because it is a failed system to them. Nigerians at large are not also left out in this negligence act towards elections when you compare the number of accredited voters to the population of over age-18 citizens of the country.

The show of inhuman and animal-like displayed by the entire police unit overtime was the medication needed to heal the disease/illness that had lived within Nigerians for long. The act of solidarity, oneness and unity expressed during the peaceful protest clearly send messages of how well Nigerians have woken up to demand for an excellent life. Also, with the sudden turn of events on how the protests had been hijacked by hoodlums which had caused a whole lot in recent days, the only possible instrument to turn things around, speak out and change turns from being business as usual will be by taking actions to speak with votes come 2023 Elections which obviously youths and Nigerians are waiting and ready for.

As per the manner matters had played out in recent weeks, the end result of such to make impact in the 2023 Elections will be a massive political participation where we will experience a huge turnaround of response from eligible voters to exercise their right. A situation has come of age where people see their franchise as the only major power they possess to partake in the political system. To the ones that have lost their lives during the current struggle for a better Nigeria, Nigerians will see the forth coming election as a medium to repay their heroic fall and reward them. Politicians should tighten hard their belts as its not going to be same old story anymore. 2023 General Elections will surely spring forth a great turn of events.

Josmat Jerry.

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