by Adewale Alabi
The #EndSARS nationwide protest has shown that Nigerian youth are not the docile bunch some of the older generation have accused them to be. A lot of young people have been very vocal about the movement including celebrities and influencers.
One thing that has stood out about this protest though is that it is very much organic and protesters are making it clear that the #EndSARS movement has no leader. In fact many organisations and individuals have been called out social media for making any inference to leadership with regards to the protest.
Another key factor that has stood out about the whole event is the role Nigerian women have played in the protest. From Rinu, the young lady who led a protest at Alausa in Lagos on Thursday, October 11, 2020; to the 70-year-old woman who was slapped by the police while seeking the release of her nephew who was unduly arrested. Women have definitely played a pivotal role in the events of the past few days.
One of the major fears, however, is that all of the effort put in by women in this protests may just be forgotten in the near future due to Nigeria’s unhealthy inclination to patriarchy.
You might want to ask if women will finally be regarded as fellow human beings. Will Nigerian men learn to respect women? Will women be left alone to make choices that affects their lives? Will Nigerian men stop seeing women as a second fiddle and people who are nothing but supporters that should not be involved in decision making?
These here are the questions because the Nigerian woman has to hurdle one step or the other with relation to this on the daily.
An example of this is the fact that recently, a group of celebrities who have been speaking up on the #EndSARS protest were invited in for questioning. Davido, Ubi Franklin, Korede Bello and a couple of others.
One thing that was noticeable, however, was that not one single woman was invited to the meeting which took place in Abuja. Not even Aisha Yesufu who has been at the fore front of protests in the area.
That’s why it is quite scary to think all the efforts made by women and the dreaded ‘feminist cult’ might just be forgotten after the youth have achieved their aim.
So will this protest be the end of the patriarchy? Probably not. However, one hopes that the nation both now and in the future do not forget the role Nigerian women have played in making sure the voice of the people is heard.