Reaction of the Nigerian State Towards Social Movements: A Study of Endsars Protest.
The study examined the reactions of the Nigerian state towards social movements with a focus on the #EndSARS protest. Nigeria is a post colonial state and exhibit elements of repressive character towards social movements as it occurred in the colonial era.Although myriads of social movements have been birthed to bring about social change at various stages of Nigeria’s political history, they have been met with the use of brutal force by the Nigerian government. The problem is that, although Nigeria has experienced transition from one democratic government to another, it still exhibits autocratic and repressive tendencies towards social movements. This is mainly for the reason that the government perceives social movements as enemies of the state instead of necessary impetus for social change.The study relied on secondary data and adopted the Political process theory. It discovered that the repressive nature of the Nigerian state was deployed against the #EndSARS protesters, which led to shooting, maiming and killing of unarmed civilians. The study also found that the recommendation of the panel of inquiry on Lekki Toll Gate shooting is yet to be implemented. The study recommends the sanctioning of officers of the Nigerian Army and Nigeria Police culpable in the shooting and killing of protesters, training and retraining of officers of the Nigerian Army and Police Force, enhanced welfare package for them and regular interface between governments and social movements and closing the gap of distrust between government and its citizens by improving their general welfare and development. Key Words: Social Movements, Protest, Nigerian state, #EndSARS, Contentious politics.