This piece is dedicated to all those who died in the course of the EndSars protest. Love and light to you all.
This year has presented multifaceted challenges across the globe. The outbreak of COVID-19 being the major challenge. But within the circle of global challenges, Nigeria projected diverse crises along a unique trajectory. Over the past few months, the country has had nothing to show while poverty in the country keeps climbing unprecedented heights. Newspapers are filled with sad news – economic uncertainties, strife and terrorism, poverty, etc. Many Nigerians, especially youths, are pessimistic not only about the nation’s future, but their own as well.
Amidst the gradual victory against the pandemic, October came specially for Nigerians. On 20 October, about dinner time, shattered hope and battered emotions visited homes across the country. Members of the Nigerian Armed Forces opened fire on our brothers and sisters, peaceful EndSARS protesters, at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos. Inconsolable is too mild a word to describe I felt. There was a concrete aggregation of layers of unpacked sadness of the past few days. Tears found the lane of least resistance and flowed through it. Emotions came in floods. Trepidation. Bolts of hopelessness. Electric fear. If there was a way to have harnessed the shock flowing through my nerves that evening, I think the electricity crisis in Nigeria would have been solved. Echoes of lingering trauma from various injustice visited. The Nigerian government weaved wonder, a dreadful one.
However, through the teary eyes and scary faces, Sorosoke generation stayed united. And this might just be the most important takeaway about everything that happened. We might now have to see ourselves as one species, one group, as opposed to regions, or races, with different opinions, or spatial locations. The future of Nigeria is one without borders of tribes or opinions. Through the lenses of COVID-19 and the EndSARS movement, we are seeing the incredible efforts youths from all spheres of life can achieve when united against a challenge.
The pages of history is fulfilled with changes that started when people came together to voice their dissatisfaction against an action that goes against the common man. Despite the protest lasting two weeks, the ripples from it are still making waves within and outside the country. It makes one wonders the incredible power embedded in unity. Protest has been part of the democratic tapestry. It has achieved victories in history. It has demonstrated its power in saving the common man. There are examples, in fact several of them, of how protests led to change. Democracy has fought many battles in history and unsurprisingly has won countless. The power in it is embedded in the voice of the people. The power of the Nigerian Sorosoke generation is unity.
This article was written by Aderinto Nicholas; connect with him on Instagram via here