The EndSars protest that started in Nigeria late last year is back again. And just like always, technology has played major role in keeping the EndSars protest under control. To be fair, technology has helped both the Government and the protesters. We did our own research and this is what we found out.
While the Nigerian government might be quick to say technology is the reason why the EndSars protest is growing out of hand, they should also be thankful to technology. Actually, the Government could use the technology to their own advantage and keep things under control. We’ll discuss why in a bit.
So how has technology helped put things under control during the EndSars protest? Well, let’s talk about its effect on the EndSars movement and also how it has helped first the EndSars protesters and then the Nigerian government. But, first things first, what is EndSars?
What is EndSars Protest?
EndSars is a movement by the Nigerian youth against police brutality. The police unit known as SARS (Special Anti Robbery Squad) was very popular for its unlawful arrests, extortion and killings. Just like every other things, there comes a time when the people has had enough.
So, the EndSars protest was the way the Nigerian youths came out all over the country to say enough is enough. This protest lasted for weeks with popular Lekki Toll Gate closed, popular Onitsha-Asaba bridge closed and other parts of the country closed.
From the onset, the EndSars protesters made it clear that it’s not politically motivated. That is why they sideline the likes of Omoyele Sowore who was a politician trying to use the protest for his political interests.
And we must add that this is the most cordinated protest in the country’s history. This briefing brings us to the fun parts. How technology had actually helped keep things calm during the EndSars protest.
The use of Technology Helped keeping EndSars protest under control
For the protesters, technology has helped them take records of events happening and posted these things online. Throw back to October 10 2020 shows just how technology actually helped protesters to make their case.
Videos of the Nigerian army shooting in Lekki Toll gate was filmed and livestream by a popular DJ Switch in Nigeria. This was enough to try and hold the Government to come out and explain what actually happened.
Assuming there was no camera technology and no internet, anything could have been said about what happened at the Lekki Toll Gate. It’s important to note that the Nigerian Army initially denied sending any soldiers to the toll gate except untill after the footage started rolling up (denial post was later deleted by the Nigerian Army).
We must also add that some persons with bad intention also photoshopped images online to blow up what actually happened. Which is where technology actually helped the Government to keep the EndSars protest under control.
For the Nigerian Government, technology helped them pin point that most persons are blowing up what happened in the toll gate. It was easy for the Nigerian government to point out pictures that were not from scene and this helped calm things down. Although social media did little to help the Nigerian government keep things down.
But it seems the Nigerian government is not ready to maximize the use of technology during this EndSars protest – at least not like the EndSars protesters. You see, the EndSars protesters come out with various tech gadgets like drones, camera and even livestream events as it happens.
However, it seems the Nigerian government only come with security personnel holding guns. Actually the Nigerian government can level the playing field by bringing their own tech gadgets and filming the event as it happens.
This way it won’t be a one way story. So long as we know, only the EndSars Protesters provide footage of what happens everytime. It also seems like a one sided story.
Well, with tech gadgets, the Nigerian government can easily spot those who are not ready to follow the law of protesters and those who are out to destroy. And should they make any arrest, they’ll be able to defend why they make such arrest.
Here is the take home from this article. Without technology, the EndSars protest in Nigeria could have gone be sideways. Protesters would have been unruly and protesting police brutality would have been met with more brutality.
So, knowing the eyes of the world is a watching them, the EndSars protesters are playing it smart by going about their civil rights why the Nigerian government is yet to actually utilize technology.
When next you see a piece of technology been introduced, you should be grateful as it serves some purpose. EndSars protesters and the Nigerian government have technology to be thankful for as it has helped keep the EndSars protest under control.