By Ayo DADA
Our government is confronted by the bitter reality of coming to terms with the fact that 20.10.20 cannot be rubbed off the pages of our national history. The youths have a lifetime ahead to reminisce over and over again. We need to be pacified and not castigated.
Yesterday, October 20,2021, a year on from the carnage caused the the Nigerian police and the Nigerian army, the brutality of the Nigerian police resurfaced once again for the world to see. There are many videos making the rounds on social media platforms that caught the disgraced police force arresting and manhandling peaceful commemorators of 20:10:20 #EndSARSMemorial.
How long shall Nigerian Security agencies continue to brutalize our youths? I grew up to know about police/soldiers brutalizing Nigerian citizens, especially from the eras of Murtala Mohammed and Obasanjo in the 1970s, and the only thing that has changed since is that it has got worse. There is no trust whatsoever between the people and the police charged with their protection and paid from those pepole’s taxes.
Weren’t those arrested peacefully commemorating their deceased compatriots of a movement that means everything to them, one that not only shook the Nigerian federal government, but also the world. The behaviors of these illegality enforcers, not law enforcers, that the great Fela Kuti termed zombies, are some of the reasons many Nigerians feel little compassion for them when they retire and the same government they foolishly served their illegality refuses to pay them their pensions and gratuity.
The injustices in Nigeria is so bad that an innocent Nigerian can no longer grant a press interview without being harassed, manhandled, beaten and arrested just like the man in the video was treated. Wo would have thought that granting an interview to a news reporter has now become a crime in Nigeria.
Say what you like about Yele Sowore, of all the former presidential candidates, pressmen, the so-called journalists, he is the only one who has remains bold in challenging the overbearing, unwarranted and the criminal behavior of the government. Others go underground, for fear of reprisal attacks from the ruling class, but Sowore, who losts family members, remains selfless.
If the country becomes better, won’t the armed forces benefit from it? In Nigeria, protesting against police brutality, bad governance, injustices, corruption for better life and commemorating lost compatriots are crimes punishable by, from bodily harm to grievous bodily harm to death.
Nigerian Youths came out to commemorate the one year anniversary of their compatriots that were brutally halted by the guns of ‘UNKNOWN SOLDIERS’, and still the government responded by beating and forcefully arresting those that weren’t even resisting arrests.
Clearly, the judicial panel in every state needs to extend their session/time because effective justice needs to he served, the victims should come out to ensure that justice is served, and let any police officer found wanting face the wrath of the law.
The voices the youths have, and are using are not for them alone, they are also for millions of others who have been rendered voiceless, they are even for the officers that were brutalizing them. For this reason, they cannot afford to look the other way, they will always remember the massacre of October 20, 2020 by the Nigerian government.
No matter how long it takes, the perpetrators of the murderous acts of those fateful days will all surely one day be called upon to explain their role(s) in the killings of innocent Nigerians.
Power ultimately belongs to the people, these government officials have to remember.
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