This post is unedited and backdated. It originally appeared on my medium page. Please forgive me in advance for whatever solecism would be found under because, trust me, they are in abundance.
I am much too lazy to edit it and I am also kind of sleepy. Enjoy today’s rant! Today, I rant about the Government’s participation in quelling and disparaging the honest efforts of Nigerians during the END SARS protests.
Today a popular Twitter user fell under fire and brimstone because he replied to a comment on one of his posts. The Nigerian political climate has been pretty heated for some time. The #ENDSARS protests, which initially started as peaceful and coordinated rallies in different parts of the country, quickly went out of hand when the protest grounds were hijacked by hoodlums, allegedly mobilized by government officials for nefarious reasons. Soon enough, the military was called in to “handle’ the situation- and boy did they handle it.
The 20/10/20 massacre, as it is called, was carried out by the military personnel in the guise of darkness at the Lekki Tollgate. Dozens of lives were lost but apparently, that’s none of the government’s business- theirs has been to quell the “riots” and successfully quench whatever fire is still burning. To quench and remove the remnants of the anger and desperation of the Nigerian youths, they have taken to either completely gaslighting the youth, setting paid hound dogs on them, laying false accusations on them, attempting to regulate social media, and even going as far as seizing passports to prevent international travel.
The Twitter user that fell under the anger that had been brewing was quite unfortunate really. He is largely adored in the Twittersphere because of his numerous good acts but really, he threw himself under the bus here. Mr. J [Let’s call him that] had a hard time believing that the military had been involved in killing those innocent people at the toll gate. Despite the inconsistencies in the statements and press releases by the involved agencies, Mr. J thought that the killings which “allegedly” happened, to quote him directly, had to have been carried out by thugs who had been sent to hijack the protest. His staunch loyalty to the government was then questioned when the question of who did the sending arose. Of course, Mr. J blubbered and blubbered himself to confusion. A deeper pit for a completely bedazzled and hypnotized fellow.
It’s horrible that such a thing had to happen at such a time. it’s telling as well. Today is the 25th anniversary of the death of Ken Saro-Wiwa and the others. These individuals were killed in cold blood simply because they refused to continue being manipulated and cheated of their resources. Not only were the south’s resources being plundered, but members of the affected communities could also hardly feel the effect of the very resources that had made many individuals around the world billionaire three times over.
It was quite literally pillaged. The oil exploration and poorly located oil refineries led to pollution of the communities’ basic source of life- the water. In less than two years after the first exploration, hundreds were jobless as a result of the contamination of the water which ruined the majority’s mainstay- fishing- and several were made homeless, as they had to move so the exploration could continue. Besides, who cares about having a roof over your head when there’s oil beneath your feet.
If a fraction of the monies gained from the exportation of this liquid gold had been used for infrastructural development in the south, I reckon it would not have gotten as bad as it did. The truth is that after the plundering, the money and resource were moved elsewhere. From that elusive “elsewhere”, it was then exported to other countries, and the money collected back would come back to the chosen ones.
The ‘chosen ones’ of course refer to the ones lucky enough to either roll in the same circles or those who knew firsthand of the goings-on in that side of the country. Summarily, while the greater population of the oil owners languished in abject poverty, with an environment that was quickly falling apart due to the lack of care and poor environmental policies of the local industries and miners, the big-wigs, the movers and the shakers got fatter and soon enough their bellies got so big they had to have trousers custom made for them.
The revolutionaries, led by Ken Saro-Wiwa were then killed because they dared to say “we see what you’re doing. We have got eyes on our heads and we see clearly that this is not a profitable relationship. We are no longer interested in being exploited. If you had any mercy at all, you would listen to us”. They were killed and declared treasonous fellows. Till today they have not been pardoned.
With all this, one has to wonder if it’s a cycle. It started that way and the end is pretty much what we see today. Innocent lives are wasted because rather than the government wear their big boy/girl panties and tackle issues, they should do away with the complainant all at once. Two beds with one stone.
Pretty fucking awesome.
When the protest had just begun, we had a lot of elders foretelling the end. In their words- they had seen it all before, and the end was anything other than pretty. Dozens were killed by a negligent government all for nothing. Not only has he implemented some of the worst economic policies in the world, but he is also bent on fully frustrating every single person that’s left.
It almost feels like the government is out to remind you in as many creative ways as possible that it would always be against you- today it’s a laced threat to end our lives because we refuse to be lulled into a false sense of security, tomorrow it’s a lady being ostracized by a hypocritic religious community because of her outfit. The less than the ideal rate of brain drain in the country is of no importance to our dear president.
If I had a visa, I would leave this country immediately. Underappreciated, insulted, unemployed, hungry. The cycle repeats itself. When people speak out, the government makes an effort to control their volume and the things being said. The fear of being chastised and criticized led them to disable the CCTV and kill dozens of people.
That word haunts me- Allegedly. If there was ever a case of gaslighting, this is it. At the end of the day, all the complaints and queries put forward by the protesters and the youths sounded to them like the tantrums of a petulant child. Allegedly means whatever happened was purely a figment of the imagination, almost like Nigerians had simply been overreacting.
Just poverty and illegal killings should not have caused such an uproar. It has happened before but for some reason, this particular generation is pissed. What a bunch of lames.
The worst are the gatekeepers. The ones who claim to support the movement but do not hesitate to charge fully in with obvious conspiracies to protect the beloved government. Nothing works here. Education, entrepreneurship, and even cooperate places of work. The nepotism and blatant sexism are sure to keep any high-dreamer in check. Every single step of the treacherous journey to the top in Nigeria, you will be reminded that they do not care for your success. Never did. Never will. Nobody wants an outsider in the in-group. Politics and politicians have formed a cult-like group.
Only members are admitted to the choice seats of power. To get into this coalition, you need to sell your soul and values. Hope to make a change when you get in? watch them throw the sturdiest leash on your neck.
Some person might look at this overblown essay and think- overreact much? But this is the reality of our lives. As a university student right now, I cannot reconcile the present happenings with the rosy dreams I had for my future as a child. The plan right now is to excel but I am even scared of doing that because the backlash could even lead to my death.
This is just a quick reminder that nobody cares about you- pastor, teacher, governor, politician, and colleagues. It’s a full-blown war.