by Perez N. Tigidam
It was day 5 of the #OccupyNigeria protests at the Gani Fawehinmi freedom park Ojota, Lagos. I had gone out early with the hope of shooting a short documentary film on the #Occupy movement. The crowd at Ojota blew my mind away, I had not expected over a million people to show up and while I wondered how I would find a good piece to document, I spotted a “Super- Human.” It was both shocking and unbelievable that he just happened to be close by. I spotted him early; he was dark, slim and tall, he looked so frail I doubted he was capable of walking for 5minutes without dropping to the ground. I was wrong.
Suddenly, I heard a tiny female voice screaming; Ole! Ole! Ole! a few meters away, apparently her little non-designer bag with a Nokia phone inside had been snatched. There he was, I saw the super human taking off, daring the rest of us. And then it occurred to me, this was the reason I had come here: “Gosh! This is my story!”
At first only a few dared to run after him but after I raised my camera and joined the race, it seemed like I motivated an already angry crowd that’s been raining curses on the government for the past four days and seeking a place to channel their anger, this seemed like a worthy cause at the time. It took about 20 minutes of hard pursuit towards the Ketu/Alapere tipper bus stop, jumping off bridges, meandering through bushes and parked busses, sooner than he expected, the true state of his humanity was revealed, he wasnt super human after all!
He condescended so low as an angry mob hurled blows, rocks and rods on his head, after almost 10 minutes of receiving rocks from hundreds of angry citizens, I couldn’t recognize him again, his eyes were gone, his shirt turned red in thick blood. At this stage, I was certain I would be photographing my first murder case so didn’t mind sharing some of the rocks hurled at him while I kept clicking my camera. Even now as I write, my head still aches from rocks that hit me as though I was trying to be super human too.
A motor tyre was placed around his waist as it is with most ‘jungle justice’ cases and he would have been set on fire save for the fact that the mob did not have fuel, what an irony, I guess right now the young man is still thanking God for the strike action as there was no fuel to make his journey to the world of super humans fluid. He was eventually pushed off a cliff and left there in the pool of his own blood. Even when the police came around and saw his physical state, they spared themselves the stress of an arrest.
Come to think of it, he just might be super human still, after all not even I could have survived 2 minutes of such battery.