The End SARS protests that took part in some states in Nigeria may have come and gone, but the aftermath of the protest, which is believed to have been sponsored by some political elements, who are hell-bent on destabilising and demeaning the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, will remain with us for a long time.
The so-called protest no doubt, achieved a result that almost every Nigerian is happy about. The protesters made five demands, and President Buhari, in his magnanimity, granted the five demands without any hesitation.
Ordinarily, one would have expected the protesters to honour the president by bringing an end to the protest after their demands were met but some political elements, who would rather see Nigeria witness what recently happened in Mali, hijacked the protests for selfish reasons.
After hijacking the End SARS protest, these set of wicked and unpopular politicians set most parts of the nation on fire with some of their hoodlums looting and torching individuals and government owned property.
Most nations in Africa today that have witnessed military coup, did not witness half of what recently happened in Nigeria and the next thing is for the army to take over.
Larger percentage of Nigerians have been calling for the sack of our service chiefs and each time I hear this, I just marveled.
Many may disagree but I believe Nigerians owe a lot of appreciation to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who in the face of temptation has continued to remain faithful and committed to the tenets of democratic rule.
We need to remind ourselves of what happened in Mali recently, August to be precise, in which the military overthrown the government of Ibrahim Boubacar Keita.
It all started with a protest started on the 5th of June, 2020 when protesters gathered in the streets of Bamako, Mali, calling for the resignation of Keita.
On the 18th of August, gunfire was heard on the streets of Kati. Though there have been warnings of a possible mutiny and eventually, the warnings led to a coup d’état.
I would not want to dwell much on the Mali story because the rest is history today, but as I have pointed out earlier, Nigerians should continue to appreciate the chief of army staff.
In some other African countries, what happened weeks ago was enough for the military to take over the nation, but for Buratai, who has continued to show loyalty and professionalism in the course of discharging his constitutional duties.
What those who hijacked the End SARS wanted was what happened in Mali, Sudan and Egypt to happen in Nigeria, but carefully, the military leadership did not compromise their loyalty to democratic institution.
I am not surprised at denigration of the military that has been from within and outside the country, what the undemocratic people wanted was to hear martial music but fortunately for us and unfortunately for them, they didn’t hear it.
You would recall that the chief of army staff himself came to say that there is no alternative to democratic government. Even while the military leadership was being threatened with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and visa ban, Buratai told his men to forget about the ICC and visa ban and that they should engage any subversive element squarely.
The Chief of Army Staff has continued to restate the loyalty of officers and men of the Nigerian Army to President Buhari’s administration.
It is clear as crystal that the recent End SARS protests were hijacked by people seeking to change President Buhari’s government outside the ballot box.
No one is against a peaceful protest because it is an integral part of democracy and that was why the Federal Government treated the protesters in a much civilised manner.
But looking at some of the incidents that followed suit, one would agree that some elements were out to destabilise and topple the administration of President Buhari.
Time without number, the Nigerian Army had continue to reassure law-abiding citizens that it is highly committed to the sustenance of peace, security and defence of democracy in Nigeria.
Under the leadership of Buratai, the military, as a responsible and law-abiding organisation, has continued to reaffirm its unalloyed loyalty and commitment to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Constitution of the Country.
Once again, every Nigeria who supports and believes that democracy is the best form of government, should appreciate and applaud, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who did not take advantage of the End SARS protest to hijack democracy. He is a loyal military officer and should be appreciated.
His Royal Majesty,
Oba Hameed Adekunle Makama Oyelude,
Olowu of Owu Kuta.
Chairman supreme Council of owu Obas and Chiefs.