20-10-2020 – A day Nigeria witnessed yet another act of massacre allegedly carried out by members of the Nigeria military. A day where vibrant, patriotic Nigerian youths peacefully protesting for an end to police brutality were shot dead by these security operatives charged with the responsibility of protecting them. Same security operatives who for so many years have been unable to capture Sambisa forest from the force of bloody bandits. A day where the lives of young promising Nigerians were cut short and their flags stained with blood. A day that can never be forgotten in the history of Nigeria.
For more than 2 weeks across Nigeria, tens of thousands of young people have taken to the streets every day to demand an end to police brutality, human rights violations and bad governance in Nigeria. These protests were met with same viciousness, as security forces in Lagos Nigeria opened fire on protesters who had no guns, who were not violent, but only exercised their constitutional and human rights in accordance with Section 40 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended). The deployment of military personnel to mete out homicidal attacks on peaceful protesters under the leadership of President Muhhamadu Buhari and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is condemnable, unacceptable, barbaric and uncalled for. The use of police and militarized abuse as well as excessive use of force during peaceful protests does not silence protesters but rather reaffirms the urgency of the struggle for good governance and accountability. This government should be reminded that the power given to them by the people should not be used to murder same people, and that perpetrators of this dastardly act be brought to book.
Our leaders who we expected to first uphold the laws of the land have failed us as a nation. How long will our government continue to do this? Just when young people are now speaking up and demanding for the change they want, some had to pay a price for it with their lives? The world must see what the government is doing to its citizens. We won’t sit back and fold our arms. The lack of courage by Nigerian citizens to stare at the ones who have given us bad governance is now over. The power of the people is stronger than the people in power. We will continue to speak against police brutality, we will continue to speak against human right abuses, we will continue to speak against corruption and extra – judicial killings….
Tracy Keshi is a good governance, social justice and gender equality advocate. She can be reached via [email protected] and tweets at @tracykeshi