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Nigeria after the Lekki Massacre of 20.10.20

The time they say heals all wounds. But I doubt the wounds of the Lekki Massacre of 20.10.20 left in the hearts of well-meaning Nigerian’s are healed, talk less of being scarless.

On this day, young and old Nigerians who were hungry for justice and a simple police reform had their human rights trampled upon. The demand for a police reform had been trending with the hashtag #EndSars. The mementos of the day ended up being amputated arms and legs, and amputated dreams. Quite a number of the protesters were sent to their graves. Leaving families and friends to forever miss their beloved.

It was supposed to be a simple protest, which had been happening for about 2 weeks. But it ended up being a massacre. This event has garnered an unimaginable number of tweets on the hashtag #LekkiMassacre on Twitter. I believe this massacre was one of the reasons the government banned the usage of the platform in the country. Leaving the citizens to hide and use the media.

No day passes since the start of the ‘ember’ months without the youths talking about the massacre. Memorials and candlelight sessions are being planned for the fallen soldiers. The protest was at the Lekki Toll-gate, on the island in Lagos state. Some people pass through the protest ground after the massacre with shivers and cold palms. Some do not even want to have anything to do on that spot.

The government had it planned out. At about 3 pm on 20.10.20, they announced a curfew. It was reported that before the event took a bloody turn, the CCTV cameras at the Lekki Toll-gate were taken down and the street lights were also turned off as well as the billboards. And network coverage of some network providers was also down at that time. Leaving most of the people with the inability to make calls or connect on social media.

Around past 6, the Nigerian Army invaded the area and started shooting at the peaceful protesters. It was reported that at least 12 protesters lost their lives. The following day, the governor of the state denied that no life was lost and that the soldiers were not the ones who shot at peaceful protesters. He later admitted in an interview that only 2 people were killed.

Luckily enough, a popular DJ in the country who was present at the protest ground was able to make a live stream of the event via her Instagram page. And her page turned into a national television in minutes, as the citizens who were back home watched the live event on her page.

Before the shoot-out, the youths were seated at the protest ground, the clouds closing in on them, flags in hands, and the country’s anthem on their lips. Hoping that the dawn will shine some light on their hopes. Instead of these happening, the morning sun only came up to shine some rays on the bloodstains.

It still feels like a mirage that the government of a country can attack its people like a marauder in the night. And no one took responsibility for what happened. We only get to read in the newspapers that investigations are still ongoing. For almost a year!

This and several other reasons are why the youths of Nigeria are leaving the country in numbers. It has become a thing that requires so much celebration, that when they leave, you see tweets from the emigrants, saying ‘Goodbye Nigeria, the evil you’ve done is enough’. Leaving the country is a dream and the utmost goal of Nigerians.

We shouldn’t forget about the detrimental effect of this migration on the economy of the nation. When the youths are all looking for an escape route, who do we leave the developmental process of the country for? I bet it can’t be me, cause as I write this, I also nurse the ambition of finding my way out.

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Rufai Lateefah

Rufai Lateefah is a sociology graduate from the prestigious University of Ilorin, Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. She has a national diploma in Business Administration. And has a keen knowledge of social media management and content writing. She is also starting out as a UI/UX designer, and enjoys reading a lot. You can connect with Rufai on LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and via email at