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The month of October 2020 will forever be a memorable month in the socio-political history of Nigeria. A month in which Nigerians from all extractions came together, defying our evident differences, simply to conquer a common ache. Nigeria, as a nation, witnessed a carnival as young Nigerians brought their strength, fervour, youth, and voice t bear. The foundations of the Nigerian system shook vigorously that is affected the fabrics of Nigerians in the diaspora and the international community. The agitation was very simple and succinct; #EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutality. This angled movement metamorphosed into a full-blown agitation for good governance. Sadly, before the tragic event of 20-10-20, I felt so passionately that we were on the cusp of something extraordinary. The signs were there, The youths were ready, however, detractors were keen on their agelong game of intimidation, which they actually employed at the Lekki Toll Gate. It is one year of the October 2020 national protests, and one year of the gruesome attack at the Lekki Toll Gate. What has changed? Really, it all seems like we have been dreaming. It seems like the 2020 October protests never happened. It feels like the massacre was all fiction. One may ask, ‘why does it feel this way?’ It is very simple. The demands have not been met. Not one. Also, the fundamental human right of peaceful protest is still a crime in the Federal Republic of Nigeria. How about the various judicial sessions held throughout the federation? No reasonable outcome has been witnessed, and most importantly, no one has been held accountable for the dastardly acts at the Lekki Toll Gate. Rather, our principals have all suggested, one way the other, that it is all in our heads. We won’t Forget!
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To forge a better Nigeria, we, as a people, both the leaders and followers, must recognise that there are injuries to the federation; recognise that there are problems. It is only by spotting the issue that it can be rectified. One can’t be chasing rats while one’s house is on fire. There are agitations. Listen and fix them. Our principals should come to equity with both clean hands and legs. The Nigerian government needs to be empathetic and understanding enough to the plights of Nigerians because it is important to note that Nigeria can only be as successful as its youthful population. No man is safe until his neighbour is safe. This is also true about the Nigerian system. Nigeria can never progress unless the progress of its people is a priority and sacrosanct. Instructively, after a momentum and morale boost, the Lekki Massacre quenched something in the minds of Nigerians. Whether we like it or not, something died in Nigeria on the 20th of October 2020. Thus, the process of healing with sincerity and justice ‘should begin last year’. A new Nigeria with workable ideologies that benefit all should be built. Nigeria should desist from declaring war on and vilifying Nigerians, but instead, harness the bountiful potentials possessed by Nigerians towards crafting a Nigerian dream. Lastly, Nigerians should always have at the back of their minds that elections have consequences. You get what you vote for. Thus, we should be informed in our decision making, come 2023. Finally, we won’t forget the souls that sat firmly as bullets went off sporadically and killed them while they sang the national anthem. Like I said last year, ‘In the same vein, the Lekki Toll Gate will remain symbolic of the struggle for a new and better Nigeria. It will forever be the venue of the fallen heroes.’ We will continue to fight for the soul of Nigeria and our efforts will never be in vain until we Make Nigeria Great Again! Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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