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I Still Remember

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Written by   73
4 months ago

I still remember that incident like it happened yesterday. There was one of the times in my life that I saw Nigerians in their millions put the nation first. Interestingly, it was also one of our collective darkest times in the country. The story I'm about to tell you is one of prey that refused to be slaughtered dishonourably and of a hunter who will go to any lengths to see his will forced on his prey.

There was a time in Nigeria when it was a crime to have a laptop and/or a good phone. When it was a crime to be able to afford good clothes and look good. In a country where more than those of employable age are unemployed, with zero support for innovation, ideas and entrepreneurship, and in the face of exploding inflation, people are left to find their way. The thing is the last set of people you want to seek to frustrate in finding their way, are Nigerians, cos they will.

Due to the economic situation described above, Nigerian youths dought to find ways to earn money online. This period saw an explosion in the adoption of cryptocurrency and forex trading in Nigeria, which like every other thing Nigerian, had a spillover effect on the whole African continent.

With all of the ways we could earn money online, it usually required a device with internet capability; laptops and good phones. But with the adoption of online money, Nigerian youths were able to live fairly better than most people of other age groups. This didn't sit well with certain people, but only one group sort to do something about it; a federal police unit called the special anti-robbery squad, popularly known as SARS**

They went on a rampage, with all forms of impunity; illegal arrest, illegal searches, kidnapping, torture, and extrajudicial killings. Nigerian youths were dying in droves daily. As usual, the police brass and government officials let these guys continue with their impunity, even covering their tracks. The future and soul of our nation were being destroyed and scorched.

The youths would have enough and they were tired of being murdered by animals by those who ought to protect them. It all started as a Twitter hashtag #EndSARS. Before long, it became protests in the streets. The crowds grew bigger and bigger with each day. Soon, they left the streets and shit down the highways and expressways. Never before has such crowds gathered across geopolitical, religious and tribal lines.

The Nigerian government and the police brass were in panic mode. The government saw what was easily shaping to be an uprising, a revolution against the power structure of the day. The youths were ready to take back power from the cabal of old vultures killing their futures. The government was waiting and hoping the enthusiasm and momentum will die down, but it didn't. It kept on increasing. People were cooking and sleeping on federal highways. Organisations we're supporting the protesters with money, food, drinks, entertainment etc. Donations were made via crypto to make it impossible for the federal government to freeze the funds. The world wa standing still and watching Nigeria with awe. There was an outpouring of support for the protesters from all over the world.

When the government saw that indeed these youths would have enough, fearing that this might end with them being forced out of power, they yielded and disbanded the police unit in question. But they were too late. The protest had morphed into a revolution cry. Their greatest fear was happening before their eyes. They were back against a wall and they responded the only way they know how to; with force, with guns, with bullets and with violence.

This response of violence and death is what culminated in the events that took place on October 20th 2020, at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos, where armless and harmless youths, sitting on the floor, chanting the nation's national anthem, were fired indiscriminately upon by soldiers of the Nigerian Army. Innocent youths were mauled and ripped by bullets as they sat, cried and were slaughtered for their country by those who took an oath to serve and protect.

While all of these were happening, I kept living my routine life. I participated online, but I couldn't leave work to join the protest, except for the one time my boss asked us why we were still working, and that we should get out of his office and g protest. It was hilarious. I loved that man.

That day has and will always go down as one of the darkest days in Nigeria's history. The organisers decided to stop the gatherings for the sake of the innocent lives that these evil forces were going to keep taking. In the eyes of the government, it was a win. They had succeeded in crushing the revolution. What they don't know is that one who retreats, live to fight another day. That day will come.

This article was first published by me on Hive.

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Written by   73
4 months ago
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Comments

We will never forget those who gave their life for what we are enjoying today. Bless their souls

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4 months ago

Bless their soul brother

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4 months ago