Picture by @_thegramboii (twitter)
Nigeria Youth began a movement spotlighting the killing and wrongful detainment of innocent individuals at the hands of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. Popularly known as SARS; a unit under the Nigerian police known for their abusive power, corruption, extortion, and wrongful arrests.
The ongoing protest in Nigeria is to demand an immediate police reform and the absolute dismantle of SARS. As simple as this request is from Nigerian youth who have had enough of SARS and their abuse of power, the Nigerian government have been uncooperative to the demands thus far. This is not the first time Nigerian youth have asked for this particular unit to be dissolved completely. However, the Nigerian government continues to input the minimum efforts towards this matter.
The rhetoric question is what does this mean to the future of politics in Africa? The actions of the Nigerian youth have sparked a camaraderie rage amongst nations, demanding in one accord the end of SARS and police brutality. Also, the movement prompted the reexamination of the criminal justice system in other African countries such as Ghana. The hashtag #ENDSARS trends on Ghana-twitter with comments based on the relationship between the Ghana police and the citizens.
The future of our politics stands firm on the refusal to repeat the actions of our current leaders. The silence, bigotry, lies, & miscommunication sums up to the frustration of African youth who expects more from their elected leaders. African youth are no longer interested in politics or politicians who cannot epitomize their struggle, they want leaders that they can identify themselves with. They seek political leaders who are willing to break through the inveterate protocols, they want politicians who will not hesitate to speak up for the people.
As a Ghanaian youth, I have recognized the protocols followed by our current leaders are not uplifting but oppressing the voice of the people and their leaders. Therefore, future political leaders must understand that there are new protocols set by the movement and the voices of the youth today. To lead them, you must be capable of so much more than our political leaders in power.
There is one goal and it is not to repeat or continue our current leaders’ method of governance. To become a political leader in a Gen Z / Millennial generation; One must be courageous, willing to stand by the people without hesitation. You must speak the “language” of the people, understand the “ways” of the people, and most importantly, be for the simultaneous progress of the nation and the people. The future of African politics is full of powerful changes proven by what we have witness around the continent throughout 2020. I fully believe that we will lead our generation and the generations after us into a better tomorrow.