This study was carried out on ENDSARS protest: a call for the eradication of corruption in Nigeria. To achieve this 3 research questions were formulated. The survey design was adopted and the simple random sampling techniques were employed in this study. The population size comprise of the entire youths of Edo state and Delta state. In determining the sample size, the researcher purposively selected 250 respondents while 200 respondents were validated. Self-constructed and validated questionnaire was used for data collection. The collected and validated questionnaires were analyzed using frequency tables and percentage. The result of the findings reveals that; Killing of innocent citizens, Inhumane Treatment, Unlawful Detention, and National Corruption among police security officers are the notable underlined causes that led to ENDSARs protest in Nigeria; The strategies implored by the ENDSARS protesters to express their grievance include; Mass Road Blocks, blackout, Use of Social Media hashtags and Use of Social Media Influencers; The ENDSARS protest to a very high extent heightened the call for corruption eradication in Nigeria. Based on the findings, the researcher recommended that the federal government of Nigeria should look into the reasons behind the protest that caused chaos and uproar in all the 36 states in Nigeria and enact laws and structures that bring to an end the brutality of SARS and corruption in Nigeria.
1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In Nigeria as in most of the developing world, citizens are often confronted with myriad threats and challenges on their well-being and survival. These include poverty, high rates of unemployment, violence, brutality, deprivation of resources, lack of opportunity, marginalization and the denial and suppression of basic rights and freedom. While military dictatorships of the past are today replaced by democratic institutions, marginalized voices were still suppressed; a viable system for these voices to express their grievances is often nonexistent or ineffective. The so-called dividends of democracy have not been realized by those who needed it the most. Under these conditions a protest has become an indispensable alternative for people to voice their opinions, grievances and demand in strong terms, for change in their destiny (Shigetomi, 2009).
Since Nigeria became an independent nation from its former colonial masters Britain in 1960, it has witnessed a series of protest mainly in the forms of general strikes, boycotts and mass demonstration organized and led by labour unions, youth movements and social activist to press home a variety of demands and grievances. The issues that dominate these protests include demands for better wages, better living conditions, end to rampant poverty,insecurity, bad governance, brutality, corruption and freedom from repressive military dictatorship.
Corruption is a symptom of numerous difficulties within contemporary societies. It usually involves more than one party. It takes a form of an organized crime. According to the perception index of Transparency International, Nigeria was ranked 144th out of the 146 countries, beating Bangladesh and Haiti to last position. An analysis of the anti graft/anti-corruption laws in Nigeria shows that corruption will continue in spite of the laws because the perpetrators do not fear any consequences. Corruption is found in the award of contracts, promotion of staff, dispensation of justice misuse of public offices,embezzlement of public funds, brutality of uniformed men on the citizens, insecurity and bad governance.A protest is practically is a demonstration by the public to portray their expression of objection or disapproval towards an idea or action in a polity. This demonstration can take different forms but the apex of it is taking to the street by the populace to publicly express their grievances to the government.
The EndSARS campaign movement dates back to 2017, where Nigerian youths used the hashtag to share their experiences on violence and assault perpetrated by the defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). However, the movement only revived in early October, 2020 after a video emerged of police officers thought to be members of the SARS unit, allegedly killing an unarmed young man. This prompted Nigerian youths to troop to Twitter, calling on the Federal Government for police reform with the hashtag, #EndSARS, #Endpolicebrutality, and many more. The hashtag trended continuously on Twitter as Nigerian youths aired their pain and experiences online.
A viral message broadcast on social media suggested men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad SARS had gunned down a Nigerian youth, snatched his car, and sped off with it. As the video spread on Social media, the hashtag #ENDSARS started to garner momentum as more young people demanded an end to the brutal police unit that has for years brutalized young Nigerians. However the bottom line of this movement is geared towards ending the brutality of uniformed men on the unarmed citizen which is an indicator of corruption.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Nigeria’s poor socio-economic performance, human rights abuses, widespread poverty, insecurity, corruption and lack of trust in the political system have led to disenchantment among the electorate, especially the youth who make up 51% of the population. This matters in a fast-growing population of over 200 million, with more than 60% of people under 25 (NPC 2006).The human cost of bad governance is evident in the low level of basic infrastructure, weak healthcare and educational system, high unemployment and the number of out-of-school children, amongst others. Across the socio-economic class divide, there is a feeling that the effects of bad governance will catch up with everyone someday. However in a wake up call the recent protests by young Nigerians against police brutality, the EndSARS protests, exposed the gross human rights abuses suffered by many Nigerians at the hands of the institution created to protect them. More than about the police itself, the protests demonstrated the youth’s discontentment with governance throughout the country. Nigerians are now demanding that the government tackles the root causes of poverty, insecurity, human rights abuses and socio-economic instability through the levels of good governance. #EndSARS brought young Nigerians from different religious and ethnic backgrounds together. Most protesters were united against police brutality despite their differences and this is largely why the protest gained momentum nationally. Against this backdrop of incessant police brutality and abuse on human rights, that this study seek to reveal the implication of ENDSARS protest: a call for eradication of corruption in Nigeria.
1.3 OBJECTIVE OF THE STUDY
The general objective of this study is examine ENDSARS protest as a call for a eradication of corruption in Nigeria.
- To examine the cause of ENDSARS protest in Nigeria.
- To examine the strategies through which ENDSARS protest was executed.
- To determine what extent ENDSARS protest called for eradication of corruption in Nigeria.
1.4 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The scope of this study in general terms examine the impact of ENDSARS protest, calling for the eradication of corruption in Nigeria. Specifically the study will examine the activity of ENDSARS in Nigeria using Delta and Edo state as a case study.
1.5 RESEARCH QUESTION.
- What are the underlying causes that led to ENDSARS protest in Nigeria?
- What were the strategies implored by the ENDSARS protesters to express their grievance?
- To what extent did ENDSARS protest heightened the call to eradicate corruption in Nigeria?
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This study would be relevance to the general public but specifically it will be significant I n the following ways:
- It will expose the discontentment of the youth on the incesssant abuse of human right as exhibited by authorities meant to protect them
- It will awaken the government on the need to probe the misconduct and activities of the security agencies in Nigeria
- It will draw the attention of policy makers on the urgent need to make viable reforms of law enforcement agencies and spell out their jurisdiction to ensure they do not abuse human right in the process of discharging their duties.
- It will serve as a benchmark for researcher and students for further research on this topic or similar area in the future.
1.7 LIMITATION OF STUDY
The major limitations to this study are:
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint– The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
1.8 DEFINITION OF TERMS
Corruption: Corruption is a form of dishonesty or criminal offense undertaken by a person or organization entrusted with a position of authority, to acquire illicit benefit or abuse power for one’s private gain.
Eradication: eradication is the process of getting rid of something completely or destroying something bad
ENDSARS: End SARS is a decentralized social movement, and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuses
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