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The legislature as target and mediator of ensuing outcomes during social emergencies: revisiting Nigeria’s #EndSARS protest

Ajibola, Boluwatife Solomon and Odeyemi, Temitayo Isaac (2022) The legislature as target and mediator of ensuing outcomes during social emergencies: revisiting Nigeria’s #EndSARS protest. Theory and Practice of Legislation, 10 (2). 117 - 146. ISSN 2050-8840

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Identification Number: 10.1080/20508840.2022.2093496


In recent times, discontented populations have increasingly leveraged public demonstrations and protests in expressing grievances and in making claims on political regimes. These demonstrations are sometimes not devoid of violence and destructions–incidences against which institutions of the state are arguably not immunised. At the inception of the 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality in Nigeria, legislative institutions, as linkers between government and governed, functioned as arguably the protests' primary conduit of communication to state actors, as protesters held sit-ins in front of legislatures and sought audiences with legislators. Paradoxically, at the climax of the protest, platforms of political representation, including constituency offices of legislators, were violently targeted by protesters. Between both endpoints–inception and climax–were exchanges between the legislature, executive and protest leaders in steering the direction of the protests. Hence, the legislative institution was at the centrepiece of the protests–a target by protesters and an admissible mediator of outcomes. Focusing on Nigeria's national and subnational legislatures, and drawing on documented reports, we answer the key questions: what explains protesters' targeting of legislative institutions during demonstrations and in what ways do legislative institutions mediate protest prospects and progression? Our analysis of the dynamics of legislature experiences during social emergencies induced by social movements leads us to a political neighbours hypothesis which underscores the targeting of legislative institutions based on their close proximities–by location and responsibility–to the people they represent.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
Divisions: International Development
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
J Political Science > JX International law
Date Deposited: 20 Jul 2022 09:36
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 03:48

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