Read more about #EndSARS
But never has the heart of the fascinating Nigerian campaign slogan, ‘Good People, Great Nation,’ been truer than during the #EndSARS protests. We have heard of amazing things Nigerians have done that defy the image proscribed by the those who have shed a bad light on us. Here are some of the stories that made us proud to be Nigerians at this point in history.
DonationsWithin the first three days of the protests nationwide, N30 million naira was raised to support the movement. Well over a hundred million naira was raised, adequately disbursed, and accounted for transparently. Funds collected were both in naira and foreign currencies, and Bitcoin. Also, there were donations in support of people in need. An example was the fundraising of about N500,000 in support of a woman hawking groundnut at Lekki Tollgate. She was told to rest and stop selling because her bills will be taken care of.
Collective ResponsibilityDuring the Lagos protests, protesters cleared up the littered streets and kept the high ways along the route for protests clean. Nigerian youths provided mobile toilets for the protesters to use at the Lekki Tollgate area. Bills of protesters were also being settled. E.g. those whose cars were vandalised had their repairs paid for by the movement and volunteer mechanics. That was before the October 19th deliberate burning down of vehicles by forces against the protests. Also, the medical bills of wounded protesters were also paid for.
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Emergency lines were set up for coordination and efficient monitoring and disbursement of funds to meet needs.
Brothers’ KeepersA protester in Abuja lost his phone during the protests last week. Someone found the phone, charged the battery to full capacity, recharged it with airtime credit, and contacted the owner of the phone. They set a meet up at an agreed location and he delivered the phone without accepting any compensation or reward. Lawyers volunteered their services all over the country pro bono to help get arrested protesters out of prison. Some even travelled to other states to help release strangers with just a name from Twitter.
Medical AssistanceTherapists were also available to help relatives of SARS victims and actual survivors of SARS brutality deal with their pain and trauma. Someone tweeted that his mother was diabetic and in need of medical assistance at a blocked road in Abuja; protesters swung into action and aided her. In Ikeja Lagos, the way was cleared for a woman who had a partial stroke to get to the clinic. Another lady was in labour and protesters cleared the way for her to get to the hospital despite the traffic.
Food SecuritySince people cannot protest for long on an empty stomach, food vendors volunteered their services to ensure people were fed. From cakes and small chops to rice and drinks, food was not lacking. Some even hosted communal cooking with stoves to get as many hands involved in the process of preparing the meals.
Religious UnityThere are very few countries where different religions coexist together without clashes. During the protests, we have seen prayer walks all over the country by believers and Muslims holding jumat on protest grounds. Everyone is united in this cause, neither tribal nor religious division, but all for One Nigeria. Though hoodlums and hired thugs disguising as protesters caused chaos, it doesn’t take away from the fact that this was a peaceful protest by the resourceful Nigerian youth. May their resilience and good nature encourage you to stand with them in the struggle for accountability and a better Nigeria for all. Featured Image Source: The Guardian NG
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