It has been weeks since the nation-wide protest against police brutality and the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) began. SARS is a unit under the Nigerian Police Force. The protest started as a trend on Twitter in 2017. The movement however reignited when a video surfaced online of police allegedly killing an unarmed young man in Ughelli, Delta state. However, the police denied the incident. Now, it is getting global attention from international celebrities like; Kanye West, John Boyega, Cardi B, Trey Song and so many others.
Unlike some other protests, the “EndSARS” protest is a peaceful one. It calls for the total ban of SARS and an end to police oppression. Despite the tranquility maintained by Nigerian youths, the protest was allegedly disrupted by paid hoodlums masquerading as Pro SARS protesters. This caused casualties and gave more credence to the grievances of the demonstrators. SARS disbandment was announced on October 11, 2020 whereas SWAT- Special Weapon and Tactical Team, was set up in its stead. SARS officers were redeployed to other units of the police force. This attempt didn’t go down well with the protesters. It seemed similar to what was done in the past, so it wasn’t accepted and spurred more nation wide protests. On Tuesday, October 20, Live ammunition was also reportedly used at the Lekki Toll gate Lagos on the unarmed protesters, who defied the government curfew to continue the protests.
However, there are various lessons from the incident which can help foster better relationships in our daily lives. We would be sharing five of them in this article
Five key lessons to learn from the ongoing protest against SARS
The youths came together under a common positive thought for the benefit of every citizen and intending citizens. For a multiethnic country like Nigeria, division is likely to occur. This is could be as a result of diverse culture and religious differences. Those are the major factors that can lead to dissimilar opinions. Thus, this time, it is a different ball game. A large number of Nigerians are rooting for permanent change. An organization cannot function properly if there is any form of disunity. This applies to other kinds of relationships too. Disunity breeds chaos, dishonesty, secrecy, distrust, a decline in growth and so many other negativities. These negativities are unhealthy for a successful organization and relationship. In unity, the youths have decided not to back off until they see positive actions by the government. Unity helps in achieving set goals.
The youths keep displaying a high level of endurance to the violence caused by the police and thugs during the protest. The ability to remain calm when an opposing party comes with provoking actions is golden. In our everyday routine, we come in contact with different people. This could be at the bus park, in our workplaces, religious institutions etc. At some point, the random people you meet are likely to show some displeasing attitudes. How do you deal with them, do you give negativity for negativity? Being calm and positive can never go wrong.
There were no protest leaders, no committees or governing body yet they stuck to their peaceful ethics. There was transparency and accountability. This gave room for the proper allocation of funds. This depicts that, you must not be under a defined government or body for you to adhere to orders. The protesters have been able to maintain discipline without any seeming authority over them. An institution with disciplined individuals is likely to experience rapid growth. They do better than institutions where people lack such quality.
You may want to give up on something due to some adversities. Why don’t you check out the struggles faced by the youths. All through the protest- they have tackled numerous challenges. Nevertheless, reports have it that they are not willing to give up soon. They keep coming out en mass to protest with every possible means (online and offline). Life is full of challenges but giving room for those challenges to limit you should never cross your mind.
Research shows that being considerate, kind and helpful to others improves your mental health. The peaceful protesters have shown great care and concern for one another without any form of payment or compensation. They showed this in the thoughtful action of cleaning up the protest ground. This is also seen as different individuals take up non-obligatory responsibilities such as; legal, welfare, security and many others. Applying this to the regular lifestyle will not only be helpful to your mental health. It will also make the world a better place. People have a lot going on, so the best you can do is to help out in every way possible. Assist people without expecting anything in return. Let altruistic behavior become a lifestyle for you.
Why they need reassurance and visible actions by the government
If you are still wondering why the youths did not retreat easily, it is because they want this to be the last protest against SARS. There have been previous attempts to reform the unit in 2017, 2018 and 2019 respectively. According to campaigners, there has been no difference and they don’t want this to remain a struggle in future.
In case you haven’t gotten any life-changing message from the “EndSARS” protest. These few lessons would be useful for your daily interaction with people. They can also pass for leadership qualities. In what way has the protest inspired you? Let’s interact in the comment section.