Dele Farotimi Lawyer and Human Rights Activist declared that protests are for reactionaries and it is a waste of time.
Farotimi made this know in as a guest on CityTalks with Reuben Abati on City 105.1.
It's been a year since Nigeria was rocked by the historic #ENDSARS protest, a youth-led anti-police brutality action.
The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a now-disbanded police tactical unit infamous for cruelty against criminal suspects, sparked the protest, which developed from social media campaigns into street rallies in October 2020.
The protest became a platform for demanding government action against insecurity, corruption, economic woes, and general maladministration blamed for the suffering of the majority of Nigerians and lack of opportunities for the youth. Although SARS activities and general issues of police brutality, including unlawful arrests, torture, and extrajudicial killings, were at its core, the protest became a platform for demanding government action against insecurity, corruption, economic woes, and general maladministration blamed for the suffering of the majority of Nigerians.
The Lagos based lawyer stated that the Nigerian state is deaf to change.
He further stated that he cannot go out protesting to a deaf entity.
When fielded with questions why there was a stacked division in terms of the response to the #ENDSARS protest in the northern region except the Federal Capital Territory: because the protest was more significant in south, rather than a national affair; Mr Farotimi was of the opinion that the northern region will not come out because most of them don’t understand what is going on and moreso they the issue of banditry, kidnapping to deal with.
In retrospect: according to the human right activist, “nothing has changed, every Nigerian is a victim of Nigerian.
“Each of us has become victimized by the abominable insanities that we have normalized
“Nobody can discount the humanity of the policeman.
“I have friends, family members who are police men and I know the deplorable conditions they live.
“When you demand that the humanity of a man be recognized and the man denies the humanity of the person from whom is demanding recognition, it doesn’t work like that.
“Is not about people not remembering that policemen who died, but we should ask ourselves; in what circumstances?
“Were the policemen killed by peaceful protesters for whom the likes of me will speak for?
“Or by miscreants they brought to disrupt the peaceful protest?”
He said, “I believe we have learnt several lessons, when you speak in relation to the Nigerian State and the rulers of Nigeria, it is either we conclude that they either learnt nothing at all or they are very deliberate in responding to what they did learnt by merely reinforcing the extent of their readiness to cow the citizenry.
“In so far as it relates to learning lessons, the enthusiasm of the Nigerian youth that felt the #Endsars movement has not being dampened, but they have learnt that they are not protesting to a benign moral force to whom appeals would elicit anything other than bullets.
“The events that terminated the protest have sufficiently advertised the nature of the country in which we leave.
“The state has done a fantastic job of reinforcing just exactly how little it has either learnt or how little it is prepared to change
“Because the same brutality that led to the end of the protest was on open display.”
Minister Lai Mohammed, Information Minister and Culture has said that were false and misleading as most of those who made the claims of losing people were yet to show up and give evidence a year after such allegations.
In a rebuttal concerning Mr Mohammed’s comment, Farotimi said; “In the first place there was a live Instagram feed, nobody has argued about that.
“In the second place, before the panel in Lekki the Nigerian Army was busy a probating and reprobating but eventually a fact was established in that place, that bullets were fired; fact established forensically.
“Secondly, there were hospitals who have brought their testimony before the panel, establishing clearly that they received gunshot injuries victims from the tollgate, established beyond reasonable doubt.
“I witness what happened on 20 October, 2020 and I listened to the testimony of DJ Switch.”
He added, “What will make an intelligent person like Raji Fashola, Honourable Federal Minister of works and Housing going to the toll gate to discover a camcorder that was not missing, if it is not a furtherance of a fraud to cover up what they did in that place.
“What else explains that level of iodophilia stupidity.
“Where is that camcorder today?
“Enough lies have been told that day to stitch together a very picture of the truth.”