A Nigerian professor and former executive secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme Usman Yusuf says the #EndSARS demonstrations were a veiled attempt by selfish politicians to effect a regime change and rattle the cage for the presidential ticket in 2023.
“Failing that, they planned to make the country ungovernable to make room for an undemocratic regime change or cause total anarchy in the land leading to the breakup of the country,” Prof Yusuf said when he appeared on ARISE News.
A Professor of Haematology-Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation, Yusuf was reacting to his latest article titled #ENDSARS: More Questions than Answers.
He questioned the well-organized structure and funding of the #EndSARS protests, saying their sponsors had a pool of ready recruits in impressionable, internet-savvy youths who have been sitting bored at home out of universities for months due to the ASUU strike.
“We’ve seen the sponsorship they got, they got sumptuous meal well cooked with drinks some with the logo of a national bank, we’ve seen ambulances following them, we’ve seen drones, we’ve seen international funding by Twitter and we’ve seen them outreach to foreign government and organization. So all these kids who did these are leaderless?
“You don’t keep a child at home for 10 months without a job, without food and you expect them to keep quiet. The planners, instigators, and sponsors of these protests had a pool of ready recruits in impressionable, internet-savvy youths who have been sitting bored at home out of universities for months due to ASUU strike and also the closure of NYSC Camps due to COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.
Prof. Yusuf accused the Buhari administration of not being swift in tackling insecurity in the north as it has been in attending to the demand of the #EndSARS protesters and banning SARS within three days of the protest.
According to him, the #EndSARS demonstrators “have stronger advocates in the corridor of power than the thousands of victims that have been killed by Boko Haram and bandits in Nigeria.
He added that “Nigerians will attest to the fact that the rapid sequence of events is the fastest that this government has responded to any pressing national issue bedeviling this country. The explanation for this rapid-fire coordinated response by the executive and legislative arms of government may not be unconnected with the fact that #ENDSARS protesters have powerful advocates in the corridors of power of this government that thousands of victims of the ongoing carnage of banditry and Boko Haram insurgency in Northern Nigeria do not.”
In his paper, he said the protests should serve as a wake-up call for the 36 Nigeria state governors and begin to invest the citizens.
“To all governors, this should serve as a wake-up call because the youths have awoken and will not accept business as usual. You must start investing in the people by addressing corruption, unemployment, poverty, the deplorable state of schools and hospitals, out of school children, Almajirai, drug abuse, banditry, insurgency, religious extremism, hate speech, fake news, and many other societal evils,” he said.
He is of the view that “government must reach out and make peace with the Police Force as they are aggrieved with very low morale with some of their comrades gruesomely killed. The entire Police Force has been vilified for the mistakes of a few.
“No nation can afford to alienate its Police and expect to live in peace and security. These protests have clearly shown us the distinction between no policing and poor policing. Police reforms should be holistic and strategic not cosmetic like just renaming SARS to SWAT.”
By Abel Ejikeme