It's still #EndSars
There was point this year when writing was all I could think about - be it poetry, journalling, workshops or whatever - I would write. Life has happened so that I haven't found the will to write, but I've learnt that there are somethings that are a must.
The past two weeks have been extremely intense for me - as a Nigerian. I've felt pride in seeing my peers protest, I've felt heartache in seeing my fellow citizens shot at and murdered, and I've felt shame at seeing my leaders scramble on national and international news outlets. It's been an emotional rollercoaster but one thing that has remained constant throughout it is the need to #EndSARS.
What started as a social movement to end a rouge policing unit in Nigeria, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, has blown into a whole global awareness campaign in which Nigerian youths are not only begging to not be killed. The cause has spiralled on to include a campaign to #EndPoliceBrutality and #EndBadGovernance in Nigeria. The Nigerian Government initially responded with an announcement of the disbandment of SARS, but it was an all too familiar response. One in which citizens had heard repeatedly every year since 2016. This time, we weren't taking it.
Nigerians in Nigeria, and the diaspora community in other countries took to the streets to protest, and as things got heated and the pressure fell upon the leaders, the unthinkable happened. Where history textbooks would tell us and we'd be unable to imagine, we found ourselves living it in 2020. Nigeria set it's National Army on it's citizens that were protesting at the Lekki Toll Gate. The soldiers set fire , live rounds on peaceful protesters who sat and stood waving the nation's flag and singing the national anthem.
THERE ARE VIDEOS! PEOPLE DIED.
This isn't a fundraising post - i miss the period for that and the Feminist Coalition did a great job at that. Neither is it a call for aid. It's the documentation of history. It's what we witnessed, what we experienced. What we watched and more importantly how we felt. The disheartenment, the rage, the anguish, the anger... there was nothing good to feel for Nigeria. Nigeria had failed its citizens and was doing all it could to ensure it could go Scott free.
A part of me still has hope, but the more the leaders of that country open their mouths, the more I realise it's not that Nigeria doesn't work, or that we have incompetent leaders. Our leaders are inherently and intentionally wicked. Nigeria works, but only to their own benefit. But those aren't the leaders we deserve, need or want. We have from now till 2023 for the next elections, and I hope to God, that Nigerians not only wake up - but push for a new life, new governance and new Nigeria.
To our leaders,
You may have silenced us now, but we will come back louder, stronger and we WILL win.
I've never had hope in Nigeria like I currently do. Evil will not prevail.
I chose not to share pictures because I personally cannot hack them. Also, you can find them all online.
It's still #EndSARS