CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Sociologists considered protest as an undemocratic invasion of politics and power more than fifty years ago. After the 1970s, protest is increasingly regarded as a critical component in the establishment of democratic political systems and the shift from authoritarian to democratic governments. Protest and social movement research has evolved from a marginalized and nearly extinct subspecies of social psychology in the 1960s to a highly specialized field of sociology in its own right, with significant connections to political, organizational, and cultural sociology as well as social psychology. Protest is viewed as “politics by other methods” by social movement theorists, and it is now widely recognized that non-institutional and institutional politics are interdependent and interrelated. Protests are undoubtedly the most visible manifestation of societal unrest. “An expression or expression of resistance, disagreement, or disagreement, frequently in contrast to what cannot or cannot be prevented or prevented,” according to the definition. (Random House Dictionary, 1967). The protest law contains the following elements: the action expresses a grievance, a conviction of wrongdoing or injustice; the protesters are unable to directly correct the situation through their own efforts; the action is intended to draw attention to the grievances; the action is also meant to provoke ameliorative steps by some target group; and the protesters rely on a combination of sympathy and fear to move the target group in their favor. According to Bailey (1962), the protest can range from the most persuasive to the most persuasive combination, but it always includes both.  According to the findings of sociological research, there are unique motivations for protest. People are more likely to protest if they are not fearful of government retaliation, according to Ritter and Conrad (2016). if they are connected to civil society networks that support the organization (Boulding 2014); if there are structures of political possibilities that respond to people’ will (Tilly 1978); and if the protest is thought to be effective (Boulding 2014). (van Stekelenburg and Klandermans, 2013). People are more likely to participate in a protest if they understand and believe in the protest movement’s specific goals, according to Thomas and Louis (2013). All of this has a theoretical meaning: when the cost of participation decreases, people protest. Do you feel that everyone has the right to voice an opinion and peacefully gather more than 60 years after the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed? Surprisingly, many people do not believe these rights are important, if they exist at all. Azerbaijan, Egypt, Jordan, Kenya, South Korea, and Thailand accounted for more than 25% of the total in 2008. Respondents said their governments had the authority to prohibit peaceful protests. In Russia and Egypt, less than half of those polled felt that freedom of expression is highly important. Even in rising democracies like Germany and the United States, about a quarter of people polled do not believe freedom of expression is necessary (WorldPublicOpinion.org, 2008). The right to freedom of expression is inextricably tied to the right to free assembly and protest. Assemblies, which are defined as “a intentional and temporary assembly of a group of people in a private or public location for a specified purpose” (UNHRCR, 2012), are important in organizing the public and shaping concerns and aspirations. (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2011) At the same time, one of the purposes of all protests is the expression of individual and communal opinion. (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, 2012). Human rights activities, such as the recognition, protection, and exercise of rights, are inextricably tied to the right to protest. Protests are staged in many countries around the area in response to individual acts of violence, evictions, labor disputes, and other human rights violations.

Human rights breaches during demonstrations and gatherings can still be monitored and reported via the Internet.

The Internet can be seen and evaluated as a protest organizing tool or platform (UNHRCR, 2013). In practice, it is used to disseminate, convene, and publicize physical events and gatherings in a public space (for example, via social networks, blogs, or forums), so broadening the scope of participation. The Internet allows for the organization of an online protest, the creation of a common area for talks, the reduction of distance and time, and the simplification of formalities and agendas (INDH, 2013). To the extent that they contribute to the full achievement of human rights, both attitudes should be maintained and fostered (INDH, 2013).

STATEMENT OF PROBLEM

The Nigeria Police Force (NPF) has a bad reputation in Nigeria and has lost a lot of goodwill over the years. This is due to a few members of the force’s open and direct support for bribery, truth distortion, abuse, public assault, and other forms of forcible corruption. This apron of negativity had become so accepted in the force that it was difficult to hear the word police without immediately equating it with the biblical devil, prompting the investigation to recollect the institution’s vision. Since 2015, there has been an increase in brutality, assaults, and killings of young Nigerian residents by members of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), particularly from the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). The Nigeria Police Force’s SARS unit was created in reaction to armed robberies, kidnappings, and other serious armed crimes in Nigeria. The unit was put to good use until 2015, when reports of their dereliction of duty (irresponsible behavior such as mass arrest, unlawful individual arrest, kidnapping of private persons, scamming civilians, participation in arm robberies, and public assault of individuals) skyrocketed. Their misdeeds have caused grief to families as they continue to maim innocent lives based on a presumption of wrongdoing rather than a thorough examination. SARS evolved into a terror instrument, with the Force’s aim of defending lives and property being replaced by a vision of destroying lives and property. This case, on the other hand, is unique.

A condition that the south area misinterprets as a political and regional agenda. As a result, the SARS operatives lost public trust, and Nigerian youngsters flocked to the streets in October 2020 to protest the SARS’ violence and injustice. Nigerian youths in all of the country’s main cities (Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Illorin, Aba, and others) have demanded that the SARS unit be disbanded and the police force reformed.

The purpose of this research is to describe the events of the 2020 ENDSARS protest and to show how the ENDSARS protest resulted in the SARS unit being disbanded and the Nigerian police force being reformed in 2020.

OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The major goal of this research is to evaluate the benefits of police reform in terms of increasing national security. The study’s objectives are as follows:

i. Explain why reforming the Nigerian police force is so important.

ii. Determine how the ENDSARS demonstration resulted in police reform in the year 2020.

iii. Explain why the ENDSARS protest is a reflection of Nigeria’s poor governance.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

i. What are the benefits of reforming the police force?

ii. What role did the ENDSARS demonstration play in the movement for police reform?

 

iii. How might the ENDSARS protest tactic be used to promote good governance in Nigeria?

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY

This research is an academic contribution and documentation of the Nigerian youths’ one-voice system in their fight against the Nigeria Police Force’s unfairness and brutality. First, security organizations such as the Nigeria Police Force, the Nigeria Army, the Nigeria Air Force, the Nigeria Navy, and other paramilitary organisations will benefit from this research. These organizations will be able to completely realize that their primary objective is to serve the people rather than to oppose them. It will also serve as a reminder to these bodies that their activities, whether good or terrible, are fully acknowledged by the public. Second, the government will benefit from this research, both at the federal, state, and local levels. Government officials will be able to see the results of their activities.

SCOPE AND LIMITATION OF THE STUDY

This research focuses on the Nigerian 2020 ENDSARS protest, which took place in October. The research focused on how the 2020 ENDSARS protest led to the dissolution of SARS and the rehabilitation of the police force. This research is based on protest social psychology. However, the existing literature on protest and human rights activism limits our research.

REFERENCE

UN Human Rights Council, Maina Kiai, Report of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, UN Doc. A/HRC/20/27 (21 May 2012), para. 51 4

UN Human Rights Council, Maina Kiai, Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association, UN Doc. A/HRC/20/27 (21 May 2012), para. 51.

A/HRC/17/28, para. 31; Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, 23 May 2011, A/HRC/17/28, para. 31; Human Rights Council, Report of the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, 23 May 2011, A/HRC/ Assemblies “have a key role in preserving and promoting a broad spectrum of human rights,” according to the statement.

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