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‘They learnt from you’ — Shehu Sani asks Tinubu to pardon imprisoned #EndSARS protesters

#EndSARS protesters #EndSARS protesters

Shehu Sani, a former senator representing Kaduna central, has asked President Bola Tinubu to pardon #EndSARS protesters who are still in detention.

In October 2020, many Nigerian youths protested across the country against the excesses of the now-disbanded special anti-robbery squad (SARS) unit of the police.

At the peak of the protests, some state governments declared a curfew in some states to prevent a breakdown of law and order, while many protesters were arrested in cities such as Lagos, Rivers, and Ibadan.

Some of those arrested have remained in custody for various categories of offences linked to the protests.

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Speaking on Wednesday night at a dinner organised to mark 2024 Democracy Day, Sani said the Nigerian youths who protested against the SARS took after Tinubu, who, according to him, was at the forefront of the struggle for the return of civilian rule in the country.

“Mr. President, there are some people who are still in detention as a result of EndSars’ protest. They were young people who were protesting for justice, freedom, and democracy,” Sani said at the event attended by Tinubu.

“Any young protester in Nigeria today should learn from you because you were the father of protest in Nigeria. Do something about it. Give them the freedom; give them the pardon.”

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“You taught us; you funded us to stand up and fight. So, they are your children and grandchildren; give them pardon.”

The former senator also urged Tinubu on the need to foster freedom, equity, and justice in the country.

“Mr. President, I would like to draw your attention. A national anthem cannot unite a nation. A national pledge or a constitution cannot unite a nation,” he said.

“A nation is united by the ideals of freedom; a nation is united by equity and justice. Many younger generations of today have not and couldn’t know the sacrifice we have made to restore democracy to this country.

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“It is important that we bring attention to those who were not here in those days of struggle.

“Democracy wasn’t a gift given to us by the military. It wasn’t a lottery that we won. It was a product of struggle and sacrifice. There were people forced into exile, like the president and commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the likes of Wole Soyinka.

“There were people who were sent to prison like us. We are supposed to spend the first 15 years of our lives in prison, but by the magnanimity of God, we were out. There were many who were dead. This democracy is a product of struggle.

“The Academic Staff Union of Universities made sacrifices, and the media made sacrifices. The NUPENG, headed by the likes of Frank Kokori, made sacrifices, and the National Association of Nigerian Students made sacrifices.

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“This democracy was a product of that struggle, a product of determination, and a product of sacrifices.

“Mr. President, you have a duty to succeed. If you succeed, we will share your glory because you came from the trenches, that period of struggle. Mr. President, if you fail, they would say those of you who fought for democracy have nothing new to offer to Nigeria.”

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