If the president accepts the army’s offer to step in, it means the government hasn’t learnt from past mistakes – it would be trying to solve new problems with old solutions that never worked before.
Nigeria’s army has a bloody history quelling civil disobedience.
The army coming in could make everything that has happened in the last week – with the deaths of at least 10 people caused by the protests, and the notoriety of the now disbanded Sars – look like child’s play.
The generation leading the protests has no experience of military rule – which ended in 1999 – and its brutal repressions of civil disobedience, so it’s hard to know how they will react.
But if there’s anything the last week has shown, it is that this group doesn’t give up easily.
By Chris Ewokor, BBC News, Abuja
The Minister of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Administration says protesters have violated the public safety protocols on Covid-19 and so are endangering the lives of residents.
His spokesman, Abubakar Sani, told the BBC that the minister was concerned for public health and safety of the population.
He said that the authorities expected the protesters to comply with the ban, failing which security agents would be expected enforce their compliance.
One of the organisers of the protests in Abuja, Olumide Otitoju, said this kind of threat would not deter them from their peaceful protest to make their lawful demands as citizens.
On Wednesday, protesters against police violence in Abuja were attacked by a group of unidentified men with machetes.
Witnesses said several hundred demonstrators were gathered in the city centre when the attack took place.
One protester said some of the assailants had later been detained and handed over to the authorities.
There are also reports of men with machetes turning up at a protest in Lagos on Thursday.
The protests started following the alleged killing of a young man by officers from the Sars unit at the beginning of October.
Protesters called for the unit to be disbanded.