Today, let’s talk about Nigerians who would not love to be associated with their country; not because their love for their place of origin fades, but for the stinging rain of wickedness poured on them by the wicked people called ‘the government,’ calling them Nigerians is like adding salt to their sourly sore. In death, their face shed bloody tears of lost; discarded, their forlorn soul aimlessly roam the street. They wanted change—for good—but their only offense was asking those who would rather murder them and cut their lives short. On October 20, these sets of people were killed at Lekki Toll gate, and buried in shallow grave without leaving their traces.
We are not here to discuss those who denounce appearance of army, or those who said their appearance was to protect the protesters and not to shoot at them, or those who said ‘those who died are not as much as portrayed.’ Like Philips Umeh’s Ambassador of Poverty, these people are ambassador of murderer, ‘patriots in reverse order.’
Twenty days ago, we celebrated our 61st independence. Save the camaraderie limited to the Eagle Square in Abuja, how many Nigerians really believe 61 year of independence is something worth celebrating? That same day, if you go to the market, the trading place was full of protruding faces of hapless Nigerians whose squeezing faces were borne out of the inflated prices of rice or tomato. Whose only hope was her not-more-than five thousand goods she called market, whose thoughts were not in profits but getting something for her child to eat. How will someone who wakes up unemployed, jobless—who, like a stray bullet, is found at every junction he is not wanted—relate to our idea of Nigeria at sixty-one. To him, the only idea is Nigeria at sin till sixties.
The truth, Nigeria has sinned many innocent citizens, majority of whom guilt was to have their birthing head landed in their father land. This people suffer both government negligence and wickedness. They are hunted by those whose politicians empower to rig votes and win election; they are at the favour of the leaders who would prefer marking attendance at political meetings, political rallies, and political weddings to paying condolences to the people suffering their negligence. At first, threading some part of Northern Nigeria is forbidden, but at sixty-one, traveling anywhere in the country is a 50/50 chance of a flip of coin: go out and return safely or preemptively inform your family to prepare either your ransom or your funeral. How will insurgency ends when every year almost half of our borrow-to-service budgets go for security while we still need to answer the question: how many of these funds really extinguish for security sake?
No wonder, they continue appearing in Pandora papers. They personify Nigeria as the epicenter of corruption in the international hemisphere. They put blame on ‘cyber scammers’ who have found a way to survive the ever effects of our plummeting currency with fraud. Cyber scammers commit offence but what greater offence for those who appear at the end of the long rope; not like an architecture who design his own house who just collapsed, but an architecture who designed for others a house who now cracked down in the presence of the owner.
As they see election coming forth, they push forward an idea of paying students bursary. As if they know, students who have since been familiar with the tone of no-job-for-graduate would hurriedly embrace the opportunity of cutting their share from the national cake. Meanwhile, it was the teachers remembering their sacrifice, the government said it plans is to reward the students. Even if one is forced to deduce innocence in this generosity, or sense of the nonsensical display, you will remember how our teachers have cried in the past months for the payment of their salaries. They also cry for good infrastructure in the school environments. You will be forced to think what was boiling inside our politicians head; of course not their brain.
It was all these atrocities that have become the leave-eating grubs or part of our unwanting self, like an inscrutable leech, that the Lekki protesters wanted to change. But our leaders, in their inverting mercy could not let the stubborn grass grow. Our youths were shot at; they held nothing but the uncultivated green-white-green flag and they were murdered in cold blood.
Today, we remember their gallantry and bravery.