Message From Reno Omokri to The #EndSARS Movement
In the American Civil Right Movement, the great Martin Luther King Jr once said “In spite of temporary victories, violence never brings permanent peace.”
Our Nigerian movement is on a different continent fighting a different form of injustice, but the principle remains. To achieve lasting change, lasting peace, lasting justice for all, we cannot resort to acts of violence.
Letting our movement boil over into violence will sink ourselves to the same corrupt values and shortsighted vision as this government. It would also be a tremendous strategic mistake.
In an exchange of violence, our fists and torches will never compete with the might of our government’s tanks and guns.
But we have something far more powerful: a growing, popular movement that will not rest until we have justice. We can sit out their threats. We can stay in the streets. We can boycott those who do not stand for justice. We can extend this march from the streets of Abuja to the feeds of Facebook and Twitter. We can win the hearts and minds of leaders, journalists, organizers, and students. We can register more voters, and show up in numbers never seen before.
That is a war we can win. It may take longer than we want. It will require patience and discipline. But we will prevail.
Let me be clear: the government wants our movement to turn to violence. They can beat us at that game. They can take that opening to bring in the tanks. To quell what we have built. To justify their excessive force and free-wielding expression of it. They want to not only defeat us in the streets now but to delegitimize what we stand for when they do it.
Non-violence is how we stop that outcome. It is how we achieve justice.
I know this is hard. I know how angry you are because I am angry too. But let’s stay united. Stay focused. And win this through the right — but hard — means of non-violence.
Gospeller. Deep Thinker. #1 Bestselling author of Facts Versus Fiction: The True Story of the Jonathan Years. Avid traveller. Hollywood Magazine Film Festival Humanitarian of the Year, 2019.