On October 11th, 2020, the Nigerian Youths came up with the 5for5 demands a few days into the start of the #EndSars protests. The 5for5 demands arose as a means to narrow down the reasons for the protests and to simplify the demands made so that the protests could cease. However, the government at the time only claimed to have dissolved the Special Anti-Robbery Squad and replaced it with SWAT (Special Weapons and Tactics). This move was obviously not satisfactory enough to the protesters, so the protests went on. The insistence of the fulfilment of the five demands became firmer.
What Led to the 5for5?
Prior to the time any demands were made, EndSars agitations were being made online by concerned Nigerian citizens. The agitations online were, however, made physically too. While people were protesting online, others were physically on the ground to keep the message and mission alive. The 5for5 demands were made when the protests had started to spark and attract attention both nationally and globally. These demands highlighted what the protesters thought needed to be done to put an end to police brutality and to put a stop to the protests.
The five demands are as follows:
The Whats, Whys and Hows of EndSars?
EndSars came about as an agitation to end Police Brutality. It was a mission cheered mostly by the Nigerian youths affected mainly by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad’s brutality (SARS). This was what brought about the EndSars mantra, signifying ending the cruelty of SARS officials. When the protests started, EndSars just meant to represent ending the brutality meted out by SARS officials. It evolved into ending the brutality and unfairness by police officers generally before it then became totally scrapping the SARS unit and ending police brutality in Nigeria generally.
Before this spiralled into a violent action with infiltrations and hijacking by groups with ulterior motives and sponsored hoodlums, the EndSars protesters came clear about their demands. They proved determined to make sure these demands were met even with the possibility of being unlawfully arrested or detained for going on with the protests. However, the turn of events that came afterwards was terrible. From attacking the protests to wreaking havoc and causing mayhem, the EndSars protest was defeated by the whims and caprices of the Nigerian deep state.
Now, why #OccuplyLekkiTollgate again? The essence of the EndSars protests was to put an end to police brutality. Still, on the 20th of October, 2020, the Nigerian army (who were caught on camera) were ordered to go to the Lekki tollgate, where thousands of protesters were gathered at about 8 pm. A curfew had been announced earlier for 4 pm but was shifted to 7 pm to allow time for more people to go to their various houses and disperse form protest grounds. This was, however, a mission impossible as gridlocks had held the city of Lagos tightly, people were stuck, and some of the protesters were adamant. Shootings suspected to be from the Nigerian army took place. Several people were reported injured and killed. This act in itself evidently proved the brutality and injustice of the security officials. This act amplified yet defeated the purpose of the EndSars protests. There are still controversies and ambiguity surrounding what happened at the tollgate that night. The 5for5 demands are yet to be made, the judicial panel is taking forever to do something about the issues raised, the government is yet to say anything about what happened on the night of 20|10|20 at the Lekki Tollgate, yet plans are being made to reopen the tollgate.
What’s been done? What’s left to be done?
The demands were made on the 11th day of October. It’s March 2021; what has been done so far?
The protesters have been released with the help of numerous lawyers and people of influence.No records have been made of the justice for victims or compensation of families of victims. A panel has been created to oversee issues of misconduct of security forces. (No conclusions have, however, been made, especially with regards to the happenings at the Lekki tollgate). No psychological evaluation of disbanded SARS members has been recorded. An announcement of a new police salary structure was made.