#SARSMustEnd: Ten reasons why protests persist

 

By John Eche

 

The #SARSMustEnd protests have continued despite some pledges by government to fix the problems. Here are ten reasons why this is the case.

 

  1. The rot had gone on for too long without being checked in any tangible way. There is therefore some high measure of distrust in the overall system in the ranks of the protesters.
  2. The brutalisation of protesters by police personnel gave the impression that the Buhari administration was taking sides with the Police system that the protesters want to be comprehensively restructured and this has led to a hardening of positions.
  3. The absence of clear, formal leadership among the protesters means that it is difficult to sign agreements that would be binding on all. After each stream of negotiations, another unit of the protesters raises new protest calls that are heeded.
  4. A widespread feeling that the current top ranks of the police system cannot really be trusted to carry out the meaningful restructuring that is required to right-size the police on the path of accountability, professionalism and probity.
  5. Obvious resistance from within the police system to the imperative of a complete overhaul of the system.
  6. A perception that the leadership of the police across board has lost control of the unit that is in the eye of the storm
  7. A feeling that the problem is more deep-seated and that it even percolates the broader police system in wats that still need to be comprehensively assessed and responded to.
  8. The dire economic straits that the nation is enmeshed in at the moment which has deepened other social pressures like inflation, unemployment and corruption.
  9. The Buhari administration’s penchant for rebuffing those who hold contrary positions on how to fix many of the nation’s problems, including the opposition to calls for the restructuring of the federation and the introduction of state police.
  10. Widespread popular support from the population and the international community for the protesters.

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