EndSARS and Capitol Hill invasion: Anatomy of double standard

By Ademola Adeniran

 

SIR: The recent protests of January 6 in Washington DC USA, which led to the invasion of the Capitol Hill (US equivalent of Nigeria’s National Assembly), by supporters of the outgoing US President, Donald Trump, during the legislative certification exercise of President-elect, Joe Biden and the reactions from global institutions and global leaders puts last October’s EndSARS protests in Nigeria, into the dissection crucible of critical thinkers.

Let me make this clear early in time, that unlike the extreme position of many who say EndSARS protests was a premeditated hatching to upstage Nigeria’s current democracy, I, believe that there was a certain nobility in the spontaneous reactions to force government into acting against the police brutality which had lived amongst Nigerians for a while. This though, does not exonerate the fact that the excesses of the EndSARS protesters facilitated a hijack which ultimately turned the protests into an ugliness similar to what we witnessed in Capitol Hill, if not worse.

While I think the unequivocal agreement by most people to strongly put the blame of the Capitol Hill invasion on the doorsteps of President Donald Trump and his puppets is right; the adjoining narratives to distinctively situate the protest as an, “insurrection”, “riots” or “coup” pales completely off from how the breakdown of law and order in Nigeria during the EndSARS protest was globally portrayed. In other words, while EndSARS protests and all its ensuing destruction was couched under a big banner of “democratic freedom of expression and human right,” that of the Capitol Hill have so far been tagged an abuse on democracy. The argument that both protests were two parallels which shouldn’t be compared and contrasted shouldn’t fly, if we consider the fact that, both were entitlement of a group of people within the framework of democracy. The tenet of democracy which made lawful, the association of Donald Trump’s supporters all over America is also what validated association to protest EndSARS in Nigeria.  Both are legitimate causes until they veered off course and off cause into breaking laws in the United States and in Nigeria.

The big hanging question therefore is, “Why is one protest termed an “insurgence” while the other one isn’t, despite the violence associated with both?” In fact, the violence associated with EndSARS protest in Nigeria had more casualties than that of Capitol Hill. More policemen were killed and both public and private properties were destroyed in Nigeria while the demands of the protesters morphed from, an end to police brutality, to illegally changing the government, which ultimately was the aim of the Trump supporters.

Despite all of these glaring anarchical situation of the EndSARS situation in Nigeria, international and local organisations shamelessly backed the continuation by blacking out the damaging aspect of the EndSARS protests from their narrations, while local and international celebrities went on overdrive.  The owner of Twitter, Jack Dorsey created an avatar and bitcoin funding for Nigeria’s protest while CNN gleefully fabricated a laboratory media cook up which celebrated phantom deaths to the detriment of the real victims of the protests in Nigeria. For months Twitter allowed the desecration of Nigerian flags on its platform but it immediately yanked off anyone who did same to the US flags on Twitter. Again, while those who instigated the invasion of Capitol Hill, including Donald Trump are being banned from social media left, right and centre, those of Nigeria have been raised to high stardom by the same social media platforms.

As we speak, Amnesty Nigeria is still pushing an EndSARS agenda on its many platforms. Not once have they visited any of the centres where a democratic panel of inquiry against police brutality is taking place in the country. This is where we need to start asking this folks, “To what end?”

It is time for Nigeria to start resisting those who blackmail her into not protecting herself.

  • Ademola Adeniran,  Abuja.

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Source: The Nation

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