Today is a significant day for all Nigerians because today marks 1 year since the Nigerians force decided to kill lots of Nigerians who came to protest against police brutality. Police brutality especially to Nigerian youths has been a great issue to Nigerians. I can’t count how many Nigerian youths I know that hasn’t gotten harassed by the police. I have my own share of experience countless times, this is the reason I find it hard to go outside sometimes.
October last year was my proudest moment of the Nigerian youths. The Nigerian youths showed the world that they are not afraid and are ready to fight for what is right. I lost respect for a lot of elderly friends who were against the protest last year. This is because, being against the protest means you are in support of what the Nigerian police is doing to the youths. Do you know the level of fear the Nigerian police has instilled on Nigerian youths. They see every Nigerian youths as criminals because, even in the absence of employment in the country, Nigerian youths are surviving and living way above average. I know how to drive, but I dare not drive a fancy car around Nigeria, not because am trying to avoid criminals but because am trying to avoid the Nigerian police from extorting me because I drive a fancy car.
It was an unfortunate day between @davideribo and I in 2017, when we got stopped by the Nigerian police in Lagos. We were stopped and thoroughly searched. They went through our phones and started interrogating us on what we did for a living. @davideribo and I were just interns doing our 6 months internship as at then. That harassment was really embarrassing because imagine losing your rights to the police because they are holding guns. We couldn’t do anything, because at that moment and time we were assumed to be criminals. They searched our phones, went through our phones and read through our WhatsApp conversation looking for incriminating things to hold on us.
The worst part of this is that, these police men interrogating the Nigerian youths are illiterates that I doubt know how to read or write. I can remember when a police man stopped me to interrogate on the street and I told him I am an entrepreneur that deals with the trading of cryptocurrency. This man asked me for my trading of cryptocurrency ID card. He was asking for an ID card to prove I traded cryptocurrency. I felt so ashamed for my self, the man and my country.
My latest police harassment was in august when I went to pick a friend up at the airport. Her flight was rescheduled from 6pm to 8pm, so her arrival to Lagos from Abuja was late. When it was time for us to leave the airport, the time was 11 pm, we ordered an Uber, the lady and I sat at the back seat because we had a lot of catching up to do. We got to a place and we saw a police van and lots of police men with AK-47.
This is not a war zone, why would a police man be carrying an AK-47 to intimidate citizens on the streets
The moment the police men saw my friend and I at the back seat they told us to come down. With an authoritative tone like we were bounty criminals that just got caught. They started interrogating us, they searched my wallet and my pouch. Luckily for me, I keep most of my funds on Binance as stable coins. The most embarrassing thing they did was tell my friend to bring her luggage down and open it for proper searching. This was in the midnight, she was extremely tired after an exhausting flight, she tried to retaliate but I begged her to be calm because I have seen videos of how police have killed youths for less. The driver got angry and started shouting at the police officers, asking them to give us a reasonable reason for this harassment and embarrassment. The driver was defending us because at that moment we felt helpless and powerless. What was our crime, we were young youths coming from the airport and they were worried on how we could afford a flight ticket to travel. After so many interrogations and searching our phones, we were allowed to go.
I was silent and speechless throughout our journey back home, because we just had an inhuman experience from another human being that happened to be a Nigerian like us.
This is the oppression Nigerian youths were tired of and wanted change. That was the reason for the protest last year. The Nigerian youths decided to use a decentralized method of organizing the protest where there was no protest leader. The government found it really hard to bribe someone to disorganize the protest. The government decided to freeze their accounts to disable inflow of resources for the protest. Nigerians decided to switch to bitcoin and cryptocurrency.
This spiked the reason for the crypto ban
When the government found out there was nothing they could do, they decided to kill these youths in cold blood. There was a massive massacre as the Nigerian force used intense gun violence on these youths in the Lekki toll gate in Lagos, 20-10-2020. Lots of people lost their brothers, sisters, daughters and sons.
There is a memorial service for those people who lost their lives during the massacre today.
They will never be forgotten as they are in the minds of all Nigerians