You may ask yourself, should I protest?
In the words of Thomas Jefferson, when the government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.
Up until the End SARS protest, we were taken for granted. The government would just wake up and do whatever because they knew they would not be held accountable. The End SAR protest in 2020 was an eye-opener for them. They underestimated us so they were not expecting us to follow through on the protest. Yes, it seems like we didn’t achieve much but in reality, we shook tables. We were able to call the attention of the international communities to the happenings in Nigeria. We went as far as being recognized by Jack on Twitter with our very own End SARS emoji. They never expected it.
Even when they threatened us with violence, we didn’t back down. Sadly, the Lekki shooting happened and some of us lost our friends and loved ones in the process. But I have seen youths die for far less. The blood will serve as the fountain to water the seed we have already planted. If we stop now, it would be a dishonor to the memory of their name. It would mean that they died for nothing.
Yes, the Lekki shooting did weaken us because we underestimated how far the government could go. They even went as far as allegedly shooting at and killing the very citizens they swore to protect. But the shooting has not stopped us. It won’t stop us. When we are tired, we will take the much-needed rest and start over again until we get it right.
You may be among those trying to discourage the protest with words like “it is too dangerous”, “are you sure you want to lose your life for Nigeria?” and so on. I understand that you are too much of a coward to demand your right but you would be doing more harm than good if you go around discouraging others trying to make the country a better place. Besides, look around, ask yourself; how are you sure that herdsmen will not invade your home and slaughter you in cold blood? Or do you think you are untouchable because you stay in Lagos? Well, guess what? There are reports of the Fulani attack in Ogijo just close to Ikorudu, Lagos state. Even if you believe that you are safe, isolated, or covered with the blood of Jesus as some Christians would say, note that if one of us is in chains then none of us are free because when they are done with us, best believe they will come for you.
Sometimes I reflect on the Black Lives Matter (BLM) protest that took place in The United States when George Floyd was killed. The whole black race came out to protest and they were heard. So why can’t we achieve the same? It is not possible to kill all of us.
As you prepare to hold the government accountable, I want you to reflect on the words of Tremaine Aldon Neverson and ask yourself:
How many mothers have to cry?
How many brothers got to die?
How many more times?
How many more lives?
Don’t be color-blind, because when they’re killing mine
they’ll try to justify it each and every time…
Tell me, how can you be quiet when you know the language of the unheard is a riot?
You know you are no better if you are silent.
You are talking about the city on fire, Where was your rage when my people died?
We are not slaves, let my people fly. Now it’s time, watch my people rise…
So come the D-Day we will rise and ask for accountability, good governance, a referendum, or whatsoever needed to move the country forward.
Together our voice will be heard
In the words of Mark Twain “Because patriotism is supporting your country all the time, but your government only when it deserves it…”
So be patriotic and come out let us support our country, not the government