#EndSARS: Feminist Coalition Accounts for N148 Million, as Nigerians Wonder If It’s All Over
Some Nigerians think this remains a possibility given that the #EndSARS protest awoken Nigerian youth to their potential for collective action while others think the movement has lost morale and mystique by not negotiating with the government to achieve concrete gains and stretching the protests to the point where it was forcefully put down by the government.
Following President Muhammadu Buhari’s address on Thursday, during which he called for an end to the peaceful protests embarked on by the youth nationwide, the Feminist Coalition has announced that it would no longer receive donations to fund the protests and further encouraged fellow Nigerians to steer clear of the streets.
The nonprofit, co-founded by fourteen young Nigerian women, made this known via a statement released on its Twitter page. Citing what is described as a massacre by federal security agents and the imposition of curfews, it called for young Nigerians to prioritize their lives.
Also Read: #EndSARS: The SoroSoke Revolution and its Afterlife. Dr. Abimbola Adelakun, University of Texas
“The Feminist Coalition condemns every form of violence and believes that no Nigerian life is worth losing to senseless violence,” the statement read. “We are young Nigerians with hopes, dreams and aspirations for our country. This means we need to stay alive to pursue our dreams to build the future.
“Our priority is always the welfare and safety of the Nigerian youth. Following the President’s address, we hereby encourage all young Nigerians to stay safe, stay home, and observe the mandated curfew in your state.”
It also announced that it was cutting off its funding by ceasing to accept donations and other forms of support which have poured in from all over the world from figures like Jack Dorsey, Beyoncé and DJ Cuppy.
Within fourteen days, the organization received N147,855,788 in funding from various sources. Paying for numerous necessities like security, medical emergencies, legal defense, feeding for protesters and other supplies used during the protests, the Feminist Coalition spent a total of N60,403,235. It has a total of N87,452,553 left.
It has committed to disbursing the remaining funds through five channels that would ensure the protection of youth who have been victimized by the police. The breakdown goes thus:
- #EndSARSResponse [Medical] – N20,114,087
- The Legal Aid Network – N15,741,459
- Relief for victims of police brutality and families of the deceased – N40,228,174
- Memorial for the Fallen – N5,247,153
- #EndSARSMentalHealthSupport – N6,121,678
Throughout the protests, the organization posted regular updates on Twitter about any new donations received and every new expense, garnering praise online for its accountability and transparency.
Also Read: #EndSARS: The Youth Are Rekindling Hope in Nigeria – Israel W. Abam
Opinion is divided about whether the Feminist Coalition and other youth groups behind the #EndSARS protests will be able to build on its achievement in mobilizing young Nigerians to engage with the nation’s political process. Some Nigerians think this remains a possibility given that the #EndSARS protest awoken Nigerian youth to their potential for collective action while others think the movement has lost morale and mystique by not negotiating with the government to achieve concrete gains and stretching the protests to the point where it was forcefully put down by the government.
The protests have also been tainted by infiltration by hoodlums who caused widespread damage to property and the belief that its claims of fatalities from gunshots from soldiers sent to disperse the protests is wholly invented or grossly exaggerated.
As a result of a decision not to work through leaders, “what next” questions over the legacy and achievements of the #EndSARs movement remain unaddressed as Nigerians wonder, some ruefully, if it’s now all over.