Northern governors and #EndSARS protests 

By Erasmus Ikhide

SIR: It’s mind-numbing that Middle Belt governor, Simon Lalong – whose part of the country is baying for restructuring is the one leading a pack designated as axis of terror. It was his lot to pass on the rejection of the Special Anti-robbery Squad SARS disbandment by President Muhammadu Buhari.

How well has the SARS been providing security in the northern region in the midst of virtual bloodbath that’s almost consuming the entire region daily? Bandits and herdsmen have routed and razed Plateau State cities and villages over a dozen times under Lalong’s governorship; killing innocent citizens in their thousands without resistance from SARS and the military!

Why is the North still entrapped at the ocean of bloodbath if the lose-lose strategy of the security apparatus has yielded positive results? What strides have the current northern governors made toward eradicating poverty, reducing childhood mortality, increasing life expectancy, infant marriages, or expanding literacy at all levels in the North?

By the way, how do we expect a Governor Simon Lalong with such an outdated worldview and the other northern governors to know that the only acceptable response to #EndSARS protests is to pursue a “Great Reset” of the nation’s economy, politics, all-inclusive education and job creation?

It’s obvious with the on-going protests tagged #EndSARS that we have placed too much premium of our democratic functionality on the presidency, neglecting the power of the people ‘freely’ given to the legislators to exercise on their behalf. nNow, Nigerian youths are determined to take that power back from legislators through protests for their rights, since it is useless to the legislators.

Now, this is the moment of truth. Our legislators must be made accountable to people. We’re obliged to educate the legislators that they’re more empowered by the constitution than the president to restructure, if the nation’s democracy must yield fruit.

The weakness of the legislative governance is the reason the proponents of restructuring have been dancing on the same spot for years without any significant achievement. The nation’s legislative majority on the basis of geopolitics are not working on the same page with the aspiration of the people they are representing. Rather, they have been operating on the basis of parochial party affiliations.

How can the Southwest, Southeast, South-south and Middle Belts been clamouring for restructuring over the years for two geopolitical zones to hold them down to chasm?

People like Governor Lalong can’t learn to be right-handed at old age. That was evident in his timid press briefing at the presidential villa last Thursday evening, on behalf of his northern governors’ colleagues. It’s clear they can’t learn new things. You can’t do away with the basic engine of growth and expect results.

The answer to the collapse of the present national government, both at the states and local governments levels is either auto restructuring or referendum. It’s only a retarded generation of leadership that does the same thing over and over again and expects different results.

The ‘Great Reset’ is here and it is being driven by the unexpected voices – the youths – those who have been abandoned and left to waste away. They have found escape route and have been misusing technology for criminal purposes. They’re set to “co-shape” the future of their own country, after clashing with criminal minded police authorities.

The reset is about pragmatic step toward a more resilient, cohesive, and sustainable Nigeria where the government of the day would be responsive to its social contract with the citizens. In the process, some of the pillars of the state architecture have to be replaced, and others repaired or strengthened. To achieve these, modern statecraft is required. Nothing more – or less.

  • Erasmus Ikhide, 

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