ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE HISTORY OF NIGERIA- UZOIGWE HENRY EJIKE
Amidst a pandemic that ravaged the world to utter economic nudity and security porosity, the people mourned as they watch their leaders feeding fat like the cows of Bashan while the led with flattened stomach wake up everyday to see hopelessness resting in the damp of abundance. They wept, in boohoo they screamed “what will save the harmless chicks in the den of the ever-hungry vultures?’’ Echieteka walked to the forefront of the villagers of Amiyi, she sighed and with her two hands holding her grit by sticking to the waist. Then she sat upon the molehill and continued.
It was a time and season when the leaders thought their recklessness in the polity of the country cannot be questioned, and they never saw the sign that the raging sea of contempt is crossing the shores and is persistently forward and ready to drown anyone whose feet is found. The brutality of the agents of the unscrupulous government confidently carried out crimes and vices, they perpetuated mayhem and became a threat to the lives and properties of the people who they swore to protect and keep safe. The tyrants (supposed leaders) occupying the political sphere then fold their arms and watched as the citizenry were butchered and merchandised by the acclaimed agents of peace and orderliness, while the led complained in tears the dictators remained mute and blind—that was the pinch that sparked off the doggedity of the led, especially the youths. They maintained a slogan “ OUR MUMU DON DO. OUR PRESIDENT IS A BAD BOY. ‘’
Our Mumu don do. Our President is a bad boy.Nigerian youths , October 2020.
Spontaneously the youths took off to the streets in different communities and states across the country in their numbers to protest against the sheer brutality and ruthlessness of the agents of the government who were armed to slay the harmony of the people, they took the name “SARS“. Now all the villagers that were standing took their seats on the rocks that were sparsely placed in the village square while others fold their arms in awe. Some maintained a keen look with unbridled attention.
Yes! It happened, at the beginning of their unswerving moves, the political power holders ignored them all, little did they know that it was an unusual business. It continued —the protest. As days turn to weeks, celebrities all over the country began to lead the movement in different locations, even beyond the shores of the country Nigeria. The social media became a community where the youths got informed and galvanized. To the chagrin of the tyrants, as the day went by, the youths turned out in mass , “#End SARS!” they screamed and demanded. Earlier on this revolutionary stride, they were only asking the government of the day to scrap out the supposed agent of peace that has turned blood-sucking. Then on a good morning, the government declared the institution “disbanded”. But the supposed leaders were insensitive. Were they that unfortunate? You may be tempted to ask —immediately they pronounced the institution of another armed agent and called them “SWAT”. “you can laugh a bit” Echieteka added. What a mockery!
Now comes the following phase of agitations, it was no longer a matter of scraping out miscreants in the cover of legality with a chameleon shade. It became a demand and quest for reforms and an overhaul check in the entire system of governance. “End SARS” became an acronym which stands for the distinctive demands of the populace of the country. The swell toppled and the echoes shrilled “End bad Government” they wailed. Then in different parts of the country, they organized themselves without any identified leader, just like the ants—they walked in unison with placards and banners, registering their demands to the government and the world as they puffed in number.
“My people!” Echieteka sighed again in dismay as she wiped sweat off her brows, she continued.
Then came the shame: In cowardice, the people’s ambassadors resolved to take off the protesters from the streets with an iron fist. One may be moved to ask, why not address the people and back it up with immediate actions? Instead, the military force were armed and ordered to mow down the citizens who elected the supposed leaders. The international community were actively inactive and the country’s president was supposedly dead in quietness amidst the uproar of the grievances of the people. You should be quick to ask , “was there a sitting president”? the protesters maintained their ground in the streets “#End SARS . #OurPresident is a bad boy” they yelled —an open vote of no confidence.
And now the sacrilege: On the 20th day of October, 2020, in the late hours of the night while the protesters persisted on a patriotic procession in a major city in Nigeria. Not to mention other significant cities where the protest prevailed. “EndSars” they reiterated, holding up the Nigeria flag as they stamp their feet to the earth marching to the toll gate in lekki, Lagos, Nigeria. Then suddenly, there was a blackout, ku-ku’kuku-kuku, the white man’s machine cracked, indiscriminately spreading the machines’ seeds amidst the innocent and harmless citizens of the country who were just out to register their contempt and displeasure on the caretakers of their commonwealth —Yes! A blood bath. The Nigeria flag was soaked with the bloods of patriotic citizens who only asked and fought for the good of their mother land.
Once upon a time, the land was desecrated in utter recklessness and without a blink, the citizens were mowed like grass in a fresh dispensation of a supposed democratic society.
Who are the leaders: ambassadors of goodwill or representatives of shame?
Echieteka stood from the molehill beholding the discontentment in the faces of her listeners, she dust her butt and declared sarcastically
“let God be the judge”.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Uzoigwe Henry Ejike hails from Awgu, Enugu State. An NCE holder and a 300l Student in Unizik, Awka Anambra State.
He is the Director of Spotlight magazine ,A spoken word artiste , Public speaker and a Writer. He is also an Essayist and has contested in many international essay competitions .
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