It’s a day after the #EndSARS anniversary and while this piece is not encouraging us to wallow in the natural despondency that comes with the brutal reality that our government is only democratic in name, it is a call to action, to see that we all are drivers of change.
Truth be told, #EndSARS gave us hope, of a unity whose proportion we had not imagined, a unity that our parents were proud of, a unity that brought a form of fear and consciousness in the hearts of not just the leaders, but every one of us. The eternally sad twist is that the hope that the unity brought was shattered on 20.10.2020, a day that will forever be in our hearts.
Yesterday, a number of people went on a memorial drive at the Lekki tollgate – the venue of the massacre that the Federal government, the Nigerian army, the Lagos State government, and even some hitherto respected individuals have publicly denied despite overwhelming evidence from forensic evidence and human witnesses. We remember the fallen comrades, whose lives were abruptly terminated by the bullets of assassins in uniform, and our only consolation is that they have joined the heroes whose blood and sweat united us as a country. One can only pray that their deaths will not be in vain.
Today is a day after, and while some of us might still be mending from the incidence of that day and its constant reminder, there is a need to act. Remember that like a little child learning to walk, such must fall repeatedly, with bruises no doubt. But as time progresses, such a child will fall and rise up, because the child knows it’s time to walk.
Truth be told, the Nigerian government (or the faces behind those in power) think they have got us backed in a corner, which is the truth, but like the proverbial ram who strikes back when pushed to the wall, we need to strike back.
This is not a call to pick up arms against the federal government, this instead is a desperate call to (a) pick ourselves up and restart while on how to make our voices heard, (b) pick up our politically weary selves to get a permanent voters card (for those who do not have and who need to renew theirs), (c) critically weigh our options for representatives at the coming polls, (d) get ourselves up and vote at the polls, from the councillorship to the presidency and (e) hold elected officials accountable.
It is undeniable that the current structure of Nigeria does not permit for change, and that this structure even invests power in the hands of a few, who run the country as they wish, but the truth is there is a need to get into these places of authority to bring about the change.
To Jimoh Isiaq an innocent bystander who was shot dead, to everyone who was lost before and on 20.10.2020, may you live forever in our hearts, and your memory push us to create a better Nigeria.