Connect with us

society

The Hidden Costs of Violent Protests: The Long-Term Repercussions and Who takes responsibility? David Offor

Published

on

The Hidden Costs of Violent Protests: The Long-Term Repercussions and Who takes responsibility?
David Offor

 

Violent protests have become a powerful form of political expression in recent years, but their long-term social and economic impacts are often overlooked. The recent tax protests in Kenya are a striking example of how public dissent can escalate into widespread chaos, leaving lasting wounds on society and the economy.

 

 

The Kenyan Tax Protests: From Protest to Carnage

The recently proposed tax hike in Kenya has sparked widespread protests that quickly turned violent. What started as peaceful demonstrations and a call to recall the parliamentary bill resulted in widespread chaos, including looting, damage to infrastructure, and loss of life. The economic impact was immediate and significant, with Nairobi’s Central Business District becoming deserted as businesses closed and were looted and destroyed in response to the violence. The destruction of property caused substantial financial losses, compounding the challenges faced by an already fragile economy. Moreover, the disruption led to a decline in investor confidence and a downturn in the vital tourism sector. The long-term effects remain unclear, but the immediate aftermath highlights the stark consequences of violent protests on Kenya’s economy.

 

 

Parallels in Another country,

NIGERIA: The End SARS Protests
Nigeria’s End SARS protests in 2020 echo the events in Kenya, highlighting similar socio-economic consequences. Initially a movement against police brutality which denied other non-protesting citizens the use of social and transport infrastructure, the protests later escalated into violent clashes with security forces, resulting in widespread destruction. Government buildings, private businesses, and public infrastructure were not spared. For instance, public transportation infrastructure and buses were burnt leading to a transportation crisis in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, when Nigeria finally removed expensive fuel subsidies four years later.
The negative economic impact was substantial. According to estimates, the Nigerian economy lost about $1.5 billion in the first two weeks of the protests alone. The destruction of property led to job losses, further compounding the economic hardships faced by many Nigerians and worsening whatever social situations existed before the protests. Moreover, the violence and instability deterred foreign investment for years, with businesses reconsidering their plans in a country perceived as unstable.

 

 

 

 

The Western Experience: Ruin in USA, France, Canada and Spain… Lives lost; Billions of Dollars in destruction
Advanced democracies and Western countries are not immune, either, to the socio-economic fallout of when protests turn violent. The United States, for example, experienced significant unrest following the death of George Floyd in 2020. Protests across major cities often turned violent, resulting in extensive property damage and, tragically, loss of life. Multiple deaths were recorded, both among protesters and law enforcement officers, underscoring the deadly potential of such unrest. The costs of rebuilding were immense, with insurance claims exceeding $2 billion, making it the most expensive civil unrest in U.S. history.
Similarly, protests in France, notably the Yellow Vest movement, led to widespread damage to public and private property. The economic disruption was felt across various sectors, from retail to tourism, with the government facing billions in reconstruction costs. The protests also resulted in several deaths, highlighting the severe human cost of violent dissent. In Spain, the 2017 Catalonia independence referendum sparked widespread protests that often turned violent. The clashes between protesters and police not only resulted in physical injuries and damage to property but also caused significant economic disruptions. The uncertainty surrounding the region’s political future led to a flight of businesses, with many companies relocating their headquarters out of Catalonia to avoid instability.
The tourism sector, a major contributor to Catalonia’s economy is still suffering. The images of violent confrontations broadcast worldwide led to a decline in tourist arrivals, affecting hotels, restaurants, and other businesses reliant on tourism. The broader Spanish economy felt the ripple effects, highlighting how regional unrest can have national implications.
In early 2022, Canada’s “Freedom Convoy” protests against COVID-19 vaccine mandates culminated in a blockade of critical border crossings, including the Ambassador Bridge, a vital trade artery between the U.S. and Canada. The blockade caused significant economic disruption, halting the flow of goods and costing millions of dollars in trade losses each day.

 

 

 

Manufacturing industries on both sides of the border suffered, with auto plants forced to shut down due to parts shortages. The economic impact was swift and severe, highlighting the vulnerability of supply chains to such disruptions. The blockade underscored the broader risks to economic stability when protests target critical infrastructure and the government had to employ the use of force to quell the protests leading to several arrests, and blocking of accounts of many who took part in, or funded – actively and passively, the protests even months after. Fortunately, no deaths were recorded during the Canadian protests, but the economic and social strain was considerable.

 

 

 

The Hong Kong Protests: A City in Turmoil and loss of regional economic status
Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protests in 2019-2020 present another vivid example. Initially sparked by an extradition bill, the protests escalated into a broader movement against perceived erosion of freedoms. The protests frequently turned violent, with clashes between protesters and police causing widespread disruption.
Hong Kong’s economy, already under pressure from global trade tensions, took a significant hit. Retail sales plummeted, with major shopping districts seeing sharp declines in foot traffic. The tourism sector, a cornerstone of Hong Kong’s economy, faced a steep drop in visitors. Airlines reported reduced flight bookings, and hotels saw occupancy rates fall dramatically.
The long-term damage to Hong Kong’s reputation as a stable financial hub cannot be overstated. Businesses and investors grew wary of the continued unrest, leading to capital flight and a reconsideration of Hong Kong as a base for regional operations.

The Trump Coup Attempt: Democracy Under Siege reminiscent of similar protests
The January 6th, 2021, storming of the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump marked a dark day for American democracy. No one believes such could happen in theUnited States of America of all places. The violent attempt to overturn the results of a democratic election not only led to loss of life and extensive property damage but also struck at the very heart of democratic principles. Five deaths were directly linked to the events of that day, including both protesters and law enforcement personnel. The economic impact, though secondary to the political crisis, included millions in damages and heightened security costs – all still borne by the American people.
This incident highlights the dangers of using protests to attempt a change in government through unconstitutional means. The attempt to force a change in a democratically elected government undermines the rule of law and the tenets of democracy, setting a dangerous precedent for future unrest.

Protests gone Wrong: The Hidden Costs
The economic damage and loss of lives from violent protests is just the tip of the iceberg. The deeper, more insidious costs lie in the erosion of social cohesion and trust. In Kenya, Nigeria, and other affected countries, the aftermath of such protests has left communities divided, with deep-seated grievances often leading to further instability.

Moreover, the focus on rebuilding physical infrastructure after the protests often overshadows the need to address the underlying issues that led to the protests. Governments end up having to divert funds from critical social programs to repair damaged property and infrastructure, putting further stress on the people and exacerbating socio-economic inequalities and perpetuating a cycle of unrest.

The Need for Government Intervention
While the right to protest is a fundamental democratic principle, the manner in which dissent is expressed can have profound implications. In cases where protests devolve into violence, it becomes necessary for governments to step in with force to restore order. The use of force, though often controversial, is sometimes crucial to prevent further destruction and to protect lives and property.
No responsible government can stand by while nefarious elements exploit legitimate protests to destabilise a country. Such elements often aim to force a change in government through unconstitutional means, undermining the very fabric of democracy. Governments must act decisively to ensure that the rule of law is upheld, and that the democratic process is protected. Allowing violent protests to go unchecked risks setting a dangerous precedent where force becomes a means to achieve political ends.

What is the way forward?
While the right to protest is essential, citizens must also bear the responsibility of ensuring that their actions do not lead to violence and destruction. Protests that are increasingly more often hijacked by nefarious elements seeking to destabilise governments through unconstitutional means only serve to undermine the legitimate grievances of the populace.
On the other hand, constructive dialogue between governments and citizens remains crucial. Addressing the root causes of discontent through reform and engagement can prevent the escalation of tensions but citizens must also know when to rein in their protests. A government elected by the entire population should not be removed through the back door by elements who choose not to use the polls to exercise their rights. Governments must however be proactive in responding to the needs of their people, and citizens must engage in peaceful and responsible advocacy.
As we reflect on the lessons from recent history, it is clear that the true cost of violent protests extends far beyond the immediate scenes of destruction. It is a cost borne by society as a whole, with repercussions that can last for generations – a one step forward, many steps backwards scenario. Through responsible protest and effective governance, the socio-economic fabric of society can be preserved and strengthened, ensuring a stable and prosperous future for all.

David Offor is a student of Political science and public policy with a key interest in citizen rights, public affairs and global diplomacy

Continue Reading
Advertisement

society

Couple arrested for trying to sell two-year-old son to fund Canada trip

Published

on

Couple arrested for trying to sell two-year-old son to fund Canada trip

Couple arrested for trying to sell two-year-old son to fund Canada trip

 

Operatives of the Lagos State Police Command have arrested a couple (name withheld) attempting to sell their two-year-old son to travel to Canada.

The command’s spokesperson, SP Benjamin Hundeyin, confirmed this to the News Agency of Nigeria on Thursday in Lagos.

Hundeyin said that the couple, aged 28 and 22, were apprehended on Tuesday while trying to sell their child off.

He stated that around 2.45 p.m. on Tuesday, the Isolo Divisional Police Officer received information that the couple went to Isolo General Hospital and expressed their intention to sell their baby boy.

 

 

“Upon receipt of the information, operatives from the station moved swiftly to the hospital where they were about to sell their child.

“The baby’s age is two and he has been rescued. Upon interrogation, the couple confessed that they decided to sell the baby to enable the man to travel to Canada for a greener pasture.

“However, the investigation is ongoing,” he said.

 

 

 

Continue Reading

society

Lagos Lawmakers Invite Attorney-General Over Supreme Court Judgement On LGs

Published

on

Lagos Lawmakers Invite Attorney-General Over Supreme Court Judgement On LGs

 

commend Police for successful operation against kidnappers

– applaud First Lady Remi Tinubu for encouraging gardens

 

 

The Lagos State House of Assembly has invited the Attorney-General of the State, Mr. Lawal Pedro, to appear before it to explain the Supreme Court judgement on local governments in the country.

 

Lagos Lawmakers Invite Attorney-General Over Supreme Court Judgement On LGs

The lawmakers said there was a need for better understanding of the decision of the apex court in relation to some provisions in the Constitution of the country.

A seven-man panel of the Supreme Court had declared on Thursday that the 774 local government councils in the country should receive their funds directly from the Federal Government as well as manage such funds themselves being a tier of government.

The court further declared that allocations to local government councils run by caretaker committees were illegal.

Ruling after a voice vote by lawmakers at plenary on Thursday, the Speaker of the Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, ruled: “There is a need for us to seek clarification and understanding of this judgement. It will be good to invite the Attorney-General to brief us and give his understanding so that we do not run foul of the judgement.”

Meanwhile, the Lagos State House of Assembly has resolved to write a letter of commendation to the Inspector-General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, over the successful operation by men of the force that led to the elimination of nine kidnappers in the state recently.

A letter of commendation is also to be sent to the Commissioner of Police in Lagos State, Adegoke Mustapha Fayoade, for the efforts of the policemen which led to the fruitful operation.

Speaker Mudashiru Obasa, who presided over the plenary, said the police and men of the force who took part in the operation needed to be commended.

Dr. Obasa agreed with members of the House that letters be sent to Egbetokun and Fayoade further charging them not to relent in keeping the State safe for residents.

He stressed the need for stakeholders to fast-track considerations for the creation of state police to support the federal police system.

The Majority Leader of the House, Hon. Noheem Adams, had earlier recalled how the police launched the operation against some kidnappers in the Ladipo area of the state and eliminated nine of them.

According to him, there has been calm in the area since the operation was carried out.

Noheem added that the Ikorodu area of the state which hitherto had issues of kidnapping now enjoys relative peace.

In another development, the House of Assembly has applauded the First Lady of Nigeria, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, for seeking to encourage subsistence agriculture.

The Speaker said it was a beautiful idea to encourage Nigerians to have gardens in their houses arguing that this would help to create food sufficiency.

He recalled that schools had farms in the past adding that current situations call for a return to that period.

Eromosele Ebhomele
Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly.

Continue Reading

society

3 ST, Discover Badagry Tours Roll Out Vacation Tour to 3 Countries

Published

on

3 ST, Discover Badagry Tours Roll Out Vacation Tour to 3 Countries

 

3 ST and Discover Badagry Tours have rolled out amazing tour of the countries with mouth watering packages.

The vacation tour is centred on Benin, Togo and Ghana. Slated for six nights and 7 days from August 25th till 31st, 2024.

Here is the details of the amazing tour package:

 

 

3 ST, Discover Badagry Tours Roll Out Vacation Tour to 3 Countries

6 nights/7 days
25th—-31st August,2024

3 countries
Benin 🇧🇯 Togo 🇹🇬 and Ghana 🇬🇭

2 nights in each countries.

Package includes
-Transportation
-Border Logistics
-Accommodation
-Visitation to historical sites in all the countries
-White pool party
-Games
-Labadi beach groove .

Fee:
Single—#850,000
Couple—#1,350,000
Family of 4/5–#2,500,000.

Traveling documents:
International passport
Yellow card
Covid vaccination cards.

It’s going to be educating and entertaining.

Powered by: 3 ST and Discover Badagry Tours.

☎️ +234 803 422 5622
+234 907 109 0060

Olayinka HUNSU

Continue Reading

Cover Of The Week

Trending