Three months after Nigerians showed nationwide demonstrations against police brutality with the #ENDSARS movement, leading to the government freezing bank accounts of some protesters via the Central Bank, those accounts have remained frozen. In a recent video by Punch, affected protesters for the first time are sharing their experiences since coming to the knowledge that their accounts were arbitrarily restricted by the government, in their efforts organising against an oppressive police.
Mosepefoluwa Odeseye, a chef based in Lagos, lost opportunities because her frozen account put a dent on her business. Mosepefoluwa catered to protesters in Alausa, bringing them meals to support the movement. Port Harcourt-based pharmacist Isreal Victor has a similar experience with his account restricted by the Central Bank.
These specific actions by the government, along with the lack of transparency and accountability on their part towards listening to the citizens they swore to protect reinforces the fact that we are in an oppressive regime.
More shameful is that this happening in a democracy, where peaceful protests are lawful and constitutional. That nothing has been done to lift restrictions on the account of protesters further makes citizens mistrustful about the government. And when there’s no trust, there’s no progress.
When Bernard Dayo isn’t writing about pop culture, he’s watching horror movies and reading comics and trying to pretend his addiction to Netflix isn’t a serious condition.