For the past two weeks, young people like me have been protesting in Lagos and other parts of the country. We have been asking the government for the one thing that should be ours without stress; the freedom to live.
We want the freedom to move about without fear of being bait for a power-crazy policeman. We have been asking that our monies are left in our pockets and not taken away forcefully from us by a gun-carrying fellow. Further, we have asked for listening ears and action. What have we gotten? Nothing.
I’m sorry. We did get something; we got photoshoot sessions and more promises. In fact, we were given materials from an old playbook, the very one that we asked not to see; old tricks that we resolved not to fall for again. We thought it would be like in the case of a rigid parent and a free-spirited youth; that we would remain stubborn until we got our way.
We were determined to lock hands and not move till our 5-for-5 demands were met. Instead, we got to see a new side to the Lagos State Government.
At first, they sent thugs to rough us up, but we stood gidigba. Then they vandalised and burnt our cars and properties. But is it not man-made? Money will replace it. But you see what happened on the 20th of October 2020 in Lagos. Nobody could have imagined it.
The Lagos State Government looked at unhappy yet peaceful youths and ordered that we be executed. They looked at young men and women sitting on the ground; waving the Nigerian flag and chanting the National Anthem and thought it was okay to open fire! On what planet would that ever be acceptable?
My brothers and sisters were killed like animals. And as if to make it worse, Mr Governor came out the next morning to say it was all a lie. See, I wished he was right, and it really was just a Stephen King novel adaptation. I wished I could blink and have that group of peaceful protesters back on those grounds; seated and waving their flags.
Also, I wished I could make people suffer pain for the sorrow they cause others. I wished I had the power to avenge injustice and reset Lagos State.
Mr Governor called us monsters but went ahead and watched as we were shot at mercilessly. If this is not a man in the mirror moment, I don’t know what is.
If there is any justice in the world, I hope it finds us here in Lagos and Nigeria.