EndSARS Protest And Political Awareness Of Student (A Case Study Of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma)

Project and Seminar Material for Political Science

EndSARS Protest And Political Awareness Of Student (A Case Study Of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma)


Abstract


The project on the impact of endsars protest on political awareness of Nigerian students. Specifically, the project aimed at investigating the influence of endsars protest on political awareness of Nigerian students, determining the relationship between endsars protest and political awareness of students and finding out if the political awareness of student sis gender-based. A total of 134 respondents were selected from the population figure out of which the sample size was determined. Data was collected by means of structured questionnaires administered randomly to some selected students in Ambrose Alli University, Edo state, Nigeria. Findings from the study revealed that majority of the respondents were of the opinion that there is a significant influence of endsars protest on political awareness of Nigerian students, there is a significant relationship between endsars protest and the political awareness of students is gender-based. The study thereby recommends that the students in Nigeria should endeavor to have one voice and speak for change in the country. Also, they should step up and get involved in the politics of the country by joining political parties, contesting for political offices etc. This will help making their voices and interests to be borne and achieved in the country.


Table of Content


Chapter One:

Introduction

  • 1.1 Background of the Study
  • 1.2 Statement of the Problem
  • 1.3 Objective of the Study
  • 1.4 Research Questions
  • 1.5 Research Hypothesis
  • 1.6 Significance of the Study
  • 1.7 Scope of the Study
  • 1.8 Limitation of the Study
  • 1.9 Definition of Terms
  • 1.10 Organization of the Study

Chapter Two:

Review of Literature

  • 2.1 Conceptual Framework
  • 2.2 Theoretical Framework
  • 2.3 Empirical Review

Chapter Three:

Research Methodology

  • 3.1 Research Design
  • 3.2 Population of the Study
  • 3.3 Sample Size Determination
  • 3.4 Sample Size Selection Technique and Procedure
  • 3.5 Research Instrument and Administration
  • 3.6 Method of Data Collection
  • 3.7 Method of Data Analysis
  • 3.8 Validity of the Study
  • 3.9 Reliability of the Study
  • 3.10 Ethical Consideration

Chapter Four:

Data Presentation and Analysis

  • 4.1 Data Presentation
  • 4.2 Analysis of Data
  • 4.3 Answering Research Questions
  • 4.4 Test of Hypotheses

Chapter Five:

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

  • 5.1 Summary
  • 5.2 Conclusion
  • 5.3 Recommendation
  • References
  • APPENDIX
  • QUESTIONNAIRE

Chapter One


Introduction

1.1 Background of the Study

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad, often known as SARS, is a special police force that was founded in 1992 to combat the rising number of armed robberies and kidnappings for ransom committed by criminal groups operating throughout Nigeria (Vanguard, 23 December 2017). The success of the unit was dependent on its ability to remain anonymous and on the way in which it carried out its missions in order to target criminal organizations when it was first established. SARS agents responded to community distress calls about armed robberies and other violent crimes by conducting covert operations while dressed in ordinary clothes and driving unmarked cars. These operations were performed to complement police operations. However, during the course of its existence, SARS has been linked to a broad range of human rights abuses and has developed a notoriety for arbitrary arrests, torture, rape, extortion, wrongful imprisonment, and extrajudicial murders.

Nigeria is one of the nations in Africa that has a large population overall, a high population density, and a significant amount of social variety. There are more Nigerian students than there are people living in several other African nations combined. Over the course of its history, Nigeria’s students have made significant contributions to the nation’s progress in a variety of areas, including democracy, government, politics, the economy, community development, and safety and security (Yusuf, 2019). Also, studentss have been heavily active in self-help programs in Nigeria. students’ social and psychological dispositions, as well as their level of production, are able to evolve as a progressive force for development when they are supplied with the information and opportunity they need to flourish. This is dependent on the desire of society to empower students in social, economic, political, and legal dimensions as some of the issues faced by students. Omoju and Abraham, (2014) further identified students challenges in Nigeria, including the problems of unemployment and underemployment among students, limited access to education and a lack of economic opportunities, a lack of access to basic education, a high HIV prevalence rate, and a high poverty rate, amongst other problems. More than one hundred students organizations in Nigeria, known by their hashtag #Not-Too-Young-To-Run, mobilized in 2016 for a constitutional reform in the country to lower the eligibility age to run for political office from 35 to 18 years old. This was done in an effort to promote students leadership and more inclusive politics. It is the goal of this proposal to lower the minimum age required to run for political office in order to encourage responsible administration and more political engagement from students (Krook and Nugent, 2018). Although the students Organization in Nigeria has been around for a very long time, the first organized version of the movement was established in 1934 under the name Nigerian students Movement (NYM), and it had its headquarters in Lagos. Its principal goals were to create a unified Nigeria out of the aggregation of people who already inhabited Nigeria and to encourage perfect understanding coupled with a feeling of shared nationality among the many parts that make up the country. Politically speaking, however, it worked toward the objective of increasing the number of indigenous Nigerians serving in government and public service, with the end goal of achieving self-governance. In addition, in an effort to facilitate communication and collaboration between different tribes, the movement set up local chapters in several metropolitan centers around the nation (Kamarudeen, 2020).

Students movements might be either good or bad; but, insofar as the government is concerned, any form of students movement, regardless of whether it was positive or negative, would influence the awareness of the government of the day. Because it brings to the attention of the government the fact that some policies were not adequately implemented or carried out, such as the EndSARS students movement, the government is reminded of this fact. Protesters calling for the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit as well as other reforms in the Nigerian Police Force are members of the New Nigerian students Movement (NNYM), which is an organization that represents Nigerian students. EndSARS protesters are part of this larger organization (NPF). In the beginning of the EndSARS movement, their demands were extremely plain and crystal obvious. They urged the government to do away with SARS, provide justice to victims of police brutality, and reform the police. The video footage showing police officers, who are believed to be part of the SARS squad, reportedly shooting an unarmed young man was the spark that ignited the demonstration (Ukpe, 2020). When hoodlums took over the demonstrations, they turned what had been a peaceful rally by thousands of students in a few of Nigeria’s states and turned it into a chaotic situation. A group of unpatriotic students seized control of the demonstration and distorted the narrative of the movement in order to further their own self-centered awarenesss in defiance of the law. The rights of students were violated, and, among other things, lives were lost, property worth billions of naira was taken and destroyed, and other things like that. Other grounds for the protest against EndSARS include the political and economic systems in Nigeria, which did not incorporate the requirements of students as well as they should have. Because of this, Kamorudeen was able to conclude that:

“The manipulation of the political and economic structure by political elites have endangered high rates of students unemployment and underemployment, poverty, poor access to quality education, and poor access to political opportunities, thereby influencing Nigerian students to indulge in a series of agitations and violent acts reflected in political thuggery, armed robbery, ethno-religious crises, kidnapping, etc.” (The high rate of students unemployment and underemployment, poverty, poor (Kamarudeen, 2020).

As a consequence of this, the prevalence of students’ violence in modern-day Nigeria is on the rise, and it has caused widespread concern among the general public. This is because violence is seen as being incompatible with both individual and national development. students are at the center of most of the country’s violent incidents, which has led to Nigeria’s deterioration into a nation prone to violence. There is no region in Nigeria that is safe from one type of violence or another. These forms of violence include the Boko Haram insurgency, the herdsmen-issue, farmer’s ethno-religious crises, abduction, armed robbery, terrorism, and the protest against SARS. In light of this context, the purpose of this study is to investigate the students’ movement, namely the EndSARS protest, as well as the issues that are now being faced by students in the nation. As a direct result of this, the paper is broken up into seven parts. In the first portion, a general introduction is given, and in the second section, the conceptual framework is discussed. The third component is devoted to the empirical review, and the fourth section investigates students and the Nigerian police in relation to the EndSARS demonstration. The deterioration of the connection between Nigerian students and the NPF may be explained by this fact. The difficulties that Nigerian students are now experiencing are discussed in Section five of this report. Section six contains suggestions, and Section seven provides a conclusion.


1.2 Statement of the Problem

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad was created in 1992 as a response to violent crime, particularly armed robbery (Uwazuruike 2020). One of the basic responsibilities of the government in all societies is to ensure the safety of life and property of its students. Section 14(2)(b) of the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (Constitution), states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government. Therefore, it is by establishing and maintaining an efficient police force that the government provides a feeling of security to its students. As a result, the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) is an agency established by law to ensure the preservation of public order and law enforcement as well as prevention and detection of crime (section 214(3) and 4 of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria). The police play a vital role in the administration of justice in any society and present the entry point into the criminal justice system either through reports from the public or its investigation and surveillance (Benjamin, 2007). Special Anti-Robbery Squad popularly known as SARS was a segment of NPF saddled with responsibilities of curtailing armed robbery and other related crimes in Nigeria. However, the police unit has come to be known for its high-handed tactics and gross violations of human rights. SARS evolved from a special outfit created by different state Commands to address specific violent crimes such as armed robbery, kidnapping, communal violence and religious violence. In each state, SARS is under the Criminal Investigation Department of the Police Command. However, the group (SARS) quickly became controversial for its links to extra-judicial killings, torture and illegal activities (Samuel, 2020; 135). On the other hand, SARS was a special police unit set up decades ago as Nigeria, the most populous African country, battled with rising levels of crime and kidnappings. Initially, it was successful in reducing cases of violent crime but more recently the unit had been “turned into banditry”, according to Fulani Kwajafa, the man who set up SARS. In June 2020, Amnesty International released a report that documented at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment and extrajudicial execution by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020. Torture, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment and other forms of cruelty by SARS officials against Nigerian students are prohibited in all circumstances under the Nigerian law (Sections 4, 8, 10 and 11 of Anti-Torture Law 2017). No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether in a state of war or, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture. It is not enough for states to simply prohibit and criminalise torture under national law; it is suggested that there is no range of further measures to protect the studentss and prevent these forms of violation hence the agitation by protest. International and national human rights law safeguards, not properly implemented, resulting in abuses of human rights. Despite the human rights and constitutional provisions, however, ill-treatment remains routine practices by SARS officials.

What began as a protest against the hated police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) later became a conduit for the students to vent their anger with the people who have been in charge of Nigeria for decades, and demand change.
Former President Olusegun Obasanjo warned in 2017 that “we are all sitting on a keg of gunpowder” when it comes to the young.

His comments were about the continent in general but they apply to Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation with 200 million people, more than 60% of whom are under the age of 24.

The majority of those of working age do not have formal employment and there are few opportunities to get a good education. Earlier this year, government statistics showed that 40% of Nigerians lived in poverty. The enormous brutality of the Police and SARS and the corrupt practices of the leaders in and outside power triggered the hunger for change in students and led to them having awareness in the politics of Nigeria. students all over Nigeria through the use of social media were able to come together with one mind, voice, and goal to disband SARS and reform Police force as well as end corrupt practices of leaders in the country. Hence, this study seeks to investigate the influence of EndSARS protest on political awareness of students.


1.3 Objectives of the Study

The primary objective of this study is to examine the impact of endsars protest on political awareness of students. Specifically, the study seeks to:

  1. Investigate the influence of ENDSARS protest on political awareness of students,
  2. Determine the relationship between ENDSARS protest and political awareness of students
  3. Find out if the political awareness of students is gender-based

1.4 Research Questions

The following research questions guide this study:

  1. What is the influence of ENDSARS proteston political awareness of students?
  2. Is there any relationship between ENDSARS protest and political awareness of students?
  3. Is the political awareness of students gender-based?

1.5 Research Hypotheses

The study will test the validity of the following hypothesis:

H0: There is no relationship between ENDSARS protest and political awareness of students

HA: There is a relationship between ENDSARS protest and political awareness of students.


1.6 Significance of the Study

This study on the the influence of EndSARS protest on political awareness of students will be extremely beneficial to the government of Nigeria and the world at large, in recognizing the kind of influence the EndSARS protest had on Nigerian students by giving them one voice and making them demand for better administration in the country.

This study will also benefit students of Nigeria to know that their with one voice and mind as they did during the students protest that led to the eradication of SARS and brought about the reformation of the Police Force, they can stand up for anything in the country and have it achieved.

Furthermore, this study will add to existing literature on this topic and will serve as a reference material for further research on this topic or related domain.


1.7 Scope of the Study

This study focuses on investigating the influence of ENDSARS protest on political awareness of students. This study will also determine the relationship between ENDSARS protest and political awareness of students. This study will further Find out if the political awareness of students is gender-based. This study is delimited to students in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma


1.8 Limitation of the Study

The major factors that posed a challenge to the researcher while carrying out this study was insufficient fund, limited time frame and inadequate material on this study domain.


1.9 Definition of Terms

EndSARS:

End SARS is a decentralised social movement, and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuses.

Protest:

A protest is a public expression of objection, disapproval or dissent towards an idea or action, typically a political one.

Politics:

The activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power.

Awareness:

The feeling of wanting to know or learn about something or someone.


1.10 Organization of the Study

The study is categorized into five chapters. The first chapter presents the background of the study, statement of the problem, objective of the study, research questions and hypothesis, the significance of the study, scope/limitations of the study, and definition of terms. The chapter two covers the review of literature with emphasis on conceptual framework, theoretical framework, and empirical review. Likewise, the chapter three which is the research methodology, specifically covers the research design, population of the study, sample size determination, sample size, and selection technique and procedure, research instrument and administration, method of data collection, method of data analysis, validity and reliability of the study, and ethical consideration. The second to last chapter being the chapter four presents the data presentation and analysis, while the last chapter(chapter five) contains the summary, conclusion and recommendation.


Chapter Five


Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Summary

In this study, our focus was to examine the impact of Endsars protest on political awareness of Nigerian students using students in Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, Edo state, as a case study. The study specifically was aimed at investigating the influence of ENDSARS protest on political awareness of Nigerian students, determine the relationship between ENDSARS protest and political awareness of students, and find out if the political awareness of students is gender-based. The study adopted the survey research design and randomly enrolled participants in the study. A total of 134 responses were validated from the enrolled participants where all respondent are drawn from students of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma.


5.2 Conclusion

Based on the finding of this study, the following conclusions were made:

  1. EndSARS protest has a positive influence on the political awareness of Nigerian students
  2. There is a significant positive relationship between ENDSARS protest and political awareness of students.
  3. Political awareness of students in Nigeria is not gender-based.

5.3 Recommendation

Based on the responses obtained, the researcher proffers the following recommendations:

The students of Nigeria should endeavor to have one voice and speak for change in the country. Also, they should step up and get involved in the politics of the country by joining political parties, contesting for political offices etc.

This will help making their voices and awareness to be borne and achieved in the country.


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