Wednesday, October 21, 2020 1:05 pm
As the #EndSARS protests have turned violent, resulting in loss of lives, Professor Wole Soyinka has suggested ways to end the crisis.
In a piece he wrote today, he advised: “It is absolutely essential to let this government know that the Army has now replaced SARS in the demonic album of the protesters. My enquiry so far indicates that the Lagos governor did not invite in the Army, did not complain of a ‘breakdown in law and order’. Nevertheless the Centre has chosen to act in an authoritarian manner and has inflicted a near incurable wound on the community psyche
He added: “To the affected governors all over the nation, there is one immediate step to take: demand the withdrawal of those soldiers. Convoke Town Hall meetings as a matter of urgency. 24-hr Curfews are not the solution. Take over the security of your people with whatever resources you can rummage. Substitute community self-policing based on Local Councils, to curb hooligan infiltration and extortionist and destructive opportunism. We commiserate with the bereaved and urge state governments to compensate material losses, wherever. To commence any process of healing at all – dare one assume that this is the ultimate destination of desire? – the Army must apologize, not merely to the nation but to the global community – the facts are indisputable – you, the military, opened fire on unarmed civilians. There has to be structured restitution and assurance that such aberrations will not again be recorded.
Then both governance and its security arms can commence a meaningful, lamentably overdue dialogue with society. Do not attempt to dictate –Dialogue!”
Read Professor Soyinka’s piece, entitled DÉJÀ VU – In Tragic Vein, here