It’s been weeks since the viral #EndSars protest came to an unannounced end and everyone went their separate ways. But a festering matter remains unresolved long after the dust settled and the protest fever completely dissipated.
There remains a small contingent of arrested protesters still incarcerated in prisons everywhere and for the most part forgotten.
This article is dedicated to them; the remnants.
Special mention must be made to the tireless efforts of a few legal volunteers, spurred by the Feminist Coalition collective who is constantly on clean up duty, dashing into obscure police station units and seeking out arrested protesters who have been languishing in jail for the past few weeks.
Their only crime? Standing up for a better Nigeria.
Twitter Nigeria recently paid homage to user and lawyer, @Ridwanullahii aka ‘Lawyer Awon Hooligans’ when he recounted his continuous work to help free the yet incarcerated remnants of the long forgotten #EndSars protesters, powered unsurprisingly by the audacious feminine coalition.
From the lack of a functional system to identify which prison houses which inmates, to a lack of a formal indictment, against them, there has been a series of hurdles that has slowed the process of releasing those still incarcerated.
But @Ridwanullahii like many other selfless volunteers across the nation, forge tirelessly on, in a bid to make things right knowing that their failing to show up at a particular police station to search for one or two members of the remnants, might just be the deciding factor of whether they spend the rest of the year behind bars or not.
And seeking out these people is back-breaking, hardwork, because things have changed a bit since the peaceful protest was taken over by looters. The fact that a protester (peaceful in this case) was reported arrested around the Orile area doesn’t mean that he or she was automatically taken to the Orile police station. That would have been the station of choice, pre-protest but the last time we looked, that particular station was lying in ruins; like many others.
So, gut feeling, some interview of residents of the area and more than a little mental tinkering is needed to locate a remnant. Then, having found a likely police station where the person might be held, you would need to go from prison cell to prison cell shouting their names and pray to God that they can hear you and have not been slapped deaf by the ‘Presido’ of that cell unit.
It is mindless work and is a reflection of a system due for an overhaul. But our concern today is the remnants and whether by some unacceptable error, some of them are not left unreported and unattended to.
This article was written by Henri ‘Yire; connect on Instagram with him here