Buhari’s Cryptic Riot Act

By Ikenga Chronicles October 25, 2020

Buhari’s Cryptic Riot Act

— Vitus Ozoke

I hope Nigerians don’t make the mistake of dismissing Buhari’s speech last night as empty, because it was anything but empty. It lacked empathy; it lacked tact; it was devoid of diplomacy; and Buhari was as boorish as he was boring. But there was something buried in the putrid miasma of that bland speech.

That speech was Buhari’s riot act. He reminded the protesters that there is still a government in place and that he heads that government. He indicated that he had sized up the resolve of the protesters, but also warned them, in cryptic language, not to test his own resolve. That was the message of the speech, and I hope the protesters got it.

It is time to vacate the streets. The real END SARS protesters have already achieved the goal of the campaign. SARS has been scrapped, and a wide range of reform has been promised, some of which with immediate effect. So, the real and original END SARS protesters have already won. What you have left in the streets now are copycats who are cashing in on a temporary vacuum of law and order to commit despicable acts of looting, robbery, and vandalism. Sadly for them, they will never win.

Enough of the looters and vandals! It’s time to clean the streets and restore normalcy. Law enforcement must now move in to do their job and rescue the success of the END SARS campaign from the mindless grip of both paid and self-acting hoodlums. Parents and relatives must now call their loved ones to order and to get off the streets as it is about to get rough.

The one irony Nigerians don’t want to see is robbers, looters, and vandals taking over their streets pretending to protest anti-robbery police excesses. The one embarrassment the real END SARS protesters do not want to suffer is to remind Nigerians and the world why SARS was formed in the first place. Unfortunately, that’s the show these street remnants are staging. And their savagery is as distasteful as it is stomach churning. What manner of persons set city statues and landmarks on fire? What has Otigba in Enugu got to do with SARS and police brutality?


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