It is Day 15 of the #EndSARS protests. One day after the #LekkiMassacre – a day already written in the history of Nigeria when armed security operatives, working on the orders of a yet unknown Nigerian, fired live ammunition directly as peaceful protesters. Even Shakespeare‘s protege cannot rewrite that historical event.
It is also years since President Muhammadu Buhari, the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, and the ‘father of the nation’ (an allusion to the dismantling of the presidential system), addressed the country – the same one that is already on fire.
It is hours since the governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, claimed that the shooting at Lekki had no casualties. He did not even acknowledge the murder of Nigerian citizens – who are human beings too – at different parts of the state. And, as at the time of this article, he is still in denial.
It is more than 24-hours after the Lekki massacre that the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, came out to apologise once again, with a “heart (that) goes out to all the victims of the Lekki shootings“.
It is also more than five days since the vice president said “I fully understand how many young people feel. Many feel that we have been too silent and have simply not done enough. These feelings of frustration are justified.” Taking into cognizance that police brutality has been a widespread phenomenon and absolutely nothing was done about it.
This time though, the vice president, who doubles as a Senior Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), is playing the prayer card saying, “we pray we will never see a repeat of these tragedies in Jesus name. God bless you all.” Read it in the Yoruba language.
As a reminder, #EndSARS began as a protest against police brutality, extra-judicial killings, kidnapping by police, institutional extortion, but has grown into a demand for government accountability and a definite end to bad governance.
However, knowing that Nigeria has turned into an ‘anything goes’ entity – you can call it a nation – police reforms, one of the demands of the #EndSARS protest has refused to begin. And, in the hope that the protest will eventually end, the government started the divide, scatter and dissolve tactic. That is exactly what led to the deployment of armed security operatives to Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, October 20, 2020, to shoot, kill and end the peaceful protests.
It is the resulting massacre that has led the vice president to address the nation on a social media platform saying,
“My heart goes out to all the victims of the Lekki shootings, and also the policemen and all other men and women who lost their lives in the past few days in different parts of Lagos and other states.
“I spoke to some of those in hospital. The pain of these terrible events is palpable in our towns and cities, and some losses are irreplaceable, but we can and will get justice for all of them. I stand with Lagos & all other affected states in these trying times.
“We pray we will never see a repeat of these tragedies in Jesus name. God bless you all. – YO”
Fortunately for the young Nigerian fallen heroes, he acknowledged that casualties have happened in the past few days and justice will be served. But, that is just spoken assurance, and, the next few days will tell stories about the vice president’s genuine – or not – intentions towards Nigerians.
Meanwhile, where is President Muhammadu Buhari?
Omoleye Omoruyi… an apprentice web/game developer, novelist, sensitive to happenings in the world. Meet him @Lord_rickie on Twitter/Instagram