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#EndSARS Protests: A Post Campaign Assessment (Part II)

In Part 1 of this work, I had said that an extended searchlight beyond the visible perspective of the executors of a crime unto the comfort zone of beneficiaries after a crime can actually reveal the motive for a crime. But that was just one lead to unraveling the reasons and motives for the #Lekkimassacre. There could be other leads.

I read a report that the military high command said the photographs and the viral video clips on the Lekki massacre is Photoshop (a computer-assisted software that simulate real life events), hence it issued a statement that the Nigerian military was not responsible for the Lekki shooting. Well, that refutal makes both the issuer and Nigerians look stupid in the view of the international community who is watching the face-off between Nigerian government and the youths.

In my own assessment, I think the very conception of that very idea is bunkum. Number one, there is only one military High Command in Nigeria and the President who is the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces of Nigeria is deemed to be both in charged and the final authority on whose table the buck stops, as it proceeds downwards through the subordinated chains of command structure from the Chiefs of Staff of the Navy, Airforce, the Army, etc., to the commonest details who may have been authorized through a transmitted and recorded command procedure, to discharge a military assignment.

The command structure in the military is such that any higher authority takes responsibility for whatever the immediate authority below it does, and this makes it mandatory for a consistent evaluation of orders from the highest to the lowest rung of the command chain. Insubordinate officers who disobey wrong orders from their superiors know that this process favors them during military court-martial. For every authorized and legal military assignment, there must be a recorded originating instruction which must be evaluated, appraised and consistently updated through a Sitrep (Situation Report) and like in the retirement of expenditure authorized in an accounting book which is kept ready for auditors, all military missions are ‘retired’ as either successful (mission accomplished) or unsuccessful as in botched operation in the Sitrep and this information is logged in an operation log book that is kept in military record for the perusal, if need be, of the Commander-in-Chief.

The President can actually ask the Chief of Army staff to extract this information and the chief of Army Staff who is conversant with his officers and their military responsibilities know who to ask and how to obtain these records. Let the Nigerian government find the information on what happened at the Lekki toll gate involving the Nigerian Military at about 20:00 hours of October 20, 2020. The record exists.

It is wrong to ask the Lagos State government to investigate the Lekki shooting and the government knows this. Besides, though the governor of Lagos state is recorded in law as the Chief Security Officer of the State where he presides over, yet, all the military barracks in Lagos from where the soldiers may have been drafted to Lekki are not in his direct command and subordinated to him.

The Brigade Commanders there, are, through military authority and subordinated to the Commander-in-Chief via the channel of the Chief of Army Staff, is effectively in charge. While the governor needs permission from the Commander-in-Chief through Army Chief of Staff and the Brigade Commander to deploy the military from these barracks domiciled in his domain of authority, the Commander-in-Chief giving orders through the Chief of Army Staff and the Brigade Commander, does not need the permission of the governor to deploy the military to anywhere in Nigeria, including Lagos State, because the Commander-in-Chief is the overall Chief Security Officer of Nigeria.

But if the government insists that the information Nigerians and the international community is asking it does not exist, then Nigeria is in greater trouble. This type of thing happened in other places and they are not good stones to tell. We shall talk about this next time.

In the absence of such a document, there is the grave danger that there exists a Gestapo-type, secret, strike force within the Nigerian Military that executed that dirty Job.

The argument by the Attorney General of the Federation, Mallam Shehu Malami that hoodlums dressed in military gear executed the Lekki shooting is a lame and lousy argument which does not erase culpability on the part of government because it is only the Nigerian government through the military high command that can issue and dispense military uniforms and guns.

The sad presence of a special strike force in Nigeria is the only reason that can fill the vacuum created by an official absence of a report on what obviously was one of the military exercises of ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’.

The next possibility, if an official explanation of the Lekki shooting is absent, is that of the ‘fifth columnist’. Yet, a ‘fifth columnist’ operation cannot be sustained without the active connivance of a localized government.

The localized government in the Lekki Massacre is the Lagos state government. But the question still comes back: has the central government been much concerned about the wanton loss of life of Nigerians in Lagos state? The President should have sought the permission of the National Assembly to impose a state of emergency in Lagos State if it felt concerned, till the riddle is sorted out. You see what I mean, that it is only the Commander-in-Chief and his military command personnel that can tell Nigerians what happened, because the buck stops at the President’s table.

Because of the above, the Nigerian military cannot deny participating in that ignominious massacre of Nigerian youths at the Lekki axis of the #EndSARS campaign. It is in the best interest of the Nigerian military to clear the air of doubt by telling Nigerians what actually transpired on that fateful day so that it can continue to earn the trust of Nigerians.

Let it tell Nigerians the absolute source of the command that deployed soldiers on that location for that mission because tracking the boys to and from the military Barracks from where they exited and picking up spent ammunition shells from the shooting site as being done by the investigating panel of inquiry, have not actually pinned down a culprit.

By military rules, if those boys who participated in the action were authorized to do so (which I am sure of) they are free of all consequences, including charges for murder. In military law, they worked undercover (that is why their faces must be masked), and hence unanimous. It was just a military force and they could be charged under military court martial if they resisted orders. The senior officers (whosoever they are) who issued the commands are the guilty ones.

But for lack of space, I would go on to give a brief history and several stories where the Military High Commands in some countries have to disown their officers who eventually went to jail for crimes against humanity after those officers had issued orders where human lives, as in the #Lekkimassacre, were unnecessarily wasted.

Nigerians will hold their military High Command responsible until it tells them who used his/her privileged authority to order mutiny against unarmed youths. Till they let Nigerians know this (these) individual(s), the Nigerian Military whose guns and other battle gears were used in that operation is culpable for the Lekki Massacre.

The total number of youths killed in Lekki toll gate is still in question. There was reported to be not less than twenty bodies of the victims of the Lekki Massacre hurriedly moved by the Nigerian Military from public mortuary to the military mortuary inside the Barracks.

This confirms my thought that it is impossible to decipher the exact number of the youths, who were butchered in Lekki toll gate on Tuesday, 20th October, 2020. To start with, many Nigerian youths have been marooned as a result of the national economic shipwreck.

A probable hypothesis is this: many Nigerian youths have long dropped far below what I call ‘numerical existence’. By dropping beyond ‘numerical existence’, I mean that though he is still alive and walks the streets, a person has dropped miserably to a rung of the societal class ladder where he is not captured by any existing or available data of citizens because his existence has been forgotten by the state.

Closest to the idea of what I am struggling to convey to the reader, but much better than what I have in mind, is what Franz Fanon calls ‘the wretched of the earth’ in his book with that title.

The existence of a person in Nigeria who has dropped to this abysmal level of life cannot be captured by the national census, which, by the way, has disappeared from the demographical planning and budgets of the country as a result of unending controversies which always trail every census exercise in Nigeria. Such a person being totally disenchanted with the system is not interested in any national project aimed at capturing the citizenry, including the census rackets and the identification card scams.

These types of youths flood the urban cities in Nigeria where they are engaged in such activities ranging from petty crimes to anything that can give them something to eat every day.

Many of us have gone through that uncertain part at certain stages in our life, and have ‘resurrected’ only by the sheer grace of God upon us whereby the society has begun to notice our presence.

For such youths, an opportunity such as was created in Lekki to amass themselves and vent their justified anger to a system that has impoverished them would be regarded as timely, and because they have no fixed addresses, (unless in the uncompleted buildings and under the bridges), and in most cases have lost tracks with their family roots who may have given up hope on them, would have most probably decided to stay through the night on that day at Lekki toll gate till the morning of the next day.

A good number of these types of youths find it convenient to go to Lagos where they believed there would be vast opportunities to ‘hustle’ and ‘resurrect’. Many of these youths, who because they did not have homes to retire at the end of the day must have stayed over in Lekki toll gate on the evening of Tuesday 20th October, 2020, where, apart from keeping company with fellow youths, they will be given free food generously provided by some privileged youths, especially those in the ‘showbiz’ industries.

My hypothesis ends with the obvious truth that a great number of these ‘unwept, un-honored, and unsung’ (courtesy of Sir Alexander Smith) Nigerian youths must have died in that massacre outside the presence of their ‘uncompleted houses’ and ‘under the bridge’ neighbors, who in any case, would not have bothered to ask after them because they are equally challenged.

These are the type of bodies that the soldiers would be moving about from one mortuary to the other, without anybody asking after the bodies. They may be any number – in tens, in dozens or even in hundreds – only the soldiers, the planned and deliberate survivors of death and shock which they dispensed, can tell Nigerians and the world how many people they killed. The likelihood that the soldiers carried away more bodies than Nigerians may ever know is much.

I have an experience. During the General Sani, Abacha days, I escaped death (amongst many other occasions in my life) by a hairs breath. I was living in Olabode Close, Ilupeju Estate, and after breakfast every morning during the NADECO days, we would go under the Obanikoro pedestrian bridge and read the newspapers as we waited to join the Gani Fawehinmi procession to Ojota bus stop where he and other pro-democracy leaders will address us. On one such occasion, a group of soldiers who usually pass through the express road in their droves suddenly alighted from their pick-up van and began to shoot at us. My God, they were so close – on the same side of the express road – initially shocked and surprised, we stood there until we began to see some of us falling down. I did not know how I ran home being alive because many people close by me fell down.

As we ran, those urchins followed us to carry away the fallen ones into their pick up van. When we came out again the following morning, the only reason to show that people died in Obanikoro bus stop the previous day was decayed blood clots along the Coker Road, and Egbeyemi Road links to the major road. I gave a ‘testimony’ of that incident which was published in the in-house magazine of the Nichiren Shoshu Soka Gakki  magazine  of the  Nichiren Shoshu Buddhism founded by Nichiren Daishonin. I was a member of that religious body at that time.

Tuesday 20th October, 2020 was a very sad day for Nigerians. Struggling with an issue that bothered me on that day, I missed out on the first scoops, yet it was still a bad news, and I cried my heart out for Nigeria when I heard the news the following morning.

How will Nigeria know that its citizens died in a country where human life has been cheapened beyond the comprehensible capacity of a sane mind? How would Nigeria know that its youth died in a country where parts of human beings were hawked by human parts sellers and agents of SARS (Special Anti Robbery Squad) in some Nigerian cities?
Nigerian youths died and we are expected to forget them while some inglorious men must be beating their chests that they have once again earned more years in political offices with brutality which chased people back to their homes and shut them up.

We are watching. God is watching us.
It is real sad that the (most probably) wretched and estranged families of the deceased youths will never be able to access the media to share their pains, and have the privilege to report their deaths to the public. But this is what I am doing now on their behalf, to report the death of these ‘unwept, unhonoured, and unsung’ young Nigerians, not to Nigeria, a country that forsook and cut them short in their primes, but to God, the ultimate judge of all the actions of men, who created these young Nigerian youths.

Adieu, young fallen heroes and heroines.

I commiserate with their families who will silently grieve over their losses.

In the melee of the Lekki Massacre, a group of northern Nigerian governors rose after a meeting where they deliberated on some issues raised by the #EndSARS protest, to declare that Nigeria is indivisible. I laughed because I understand that nothing in both life and nature is actually indivisible. At the same time, I was tempted to ask what knowledge, if they have any, informed their opinion that Nigeria is indivisible?

To start with, the pristine law of divisibility in all nature is the reason why human beings exist. If God did not ‘divide’ Himself and reflect it in human form as we all know, we would not have been. So my opinion is that if God allowed divisibility, who is a governor to disallow it?

It seems to me that these gentlemen governors are courting trouble because starting from the minutest atom to the gigantic phenomena witnessed in the comic realm, everything is divisible.

Esoteric science and transcendental arts observes that ‘change’ is a veritable instrument of divisibility in most stubborn systems and processes of nature. This is the primary secret which maintains the eternity wheel. I mean that the continuous process of change is the primary secret which makes both life and nature eternal as we all conceive them to be.

The same esoteric science and transcendental arts still observes that any force that opposes change opposes the divine eternity wheel, and such a force standing against nature, is always annihilated by the indomitable power of change.

Presently, not only has contemporary science recognized that divisibility of matter (which gave impetus to high-tech scientific feats including nuclear fission) but also the possibility of the presence of ‘antimatter’ which explains the hitherto inexplicable phenomena and mysteries of life.

With the discovery of ‘antimatter’ the world found out that there existed the reversed form of everything and this ‘other side’, makes for ‘better’ perfection of phenomena. That is why we hear such things as ‘reversed osmosis’, reversed this, reversed that, in the things hitherto believed to be sacrosanct and unchangeable.

It is clear therefore that these Northern governors are talking about a subject they know nothing about. They need to be taught. So, I am teaching here that the divisibility of matter opened up the bounds of physical sciences to limitless possibilities the same way the divisibility of Nigeria, when it is realized, will usher in and unleash limitless possibilities in the development of the country.

I am very sure that Nigeria shall overcome the collective myopia of these gentlemen governors the same way the physical scientific world overcame the limitations of pristine scientific fiat of the indivisibility of matter.

Beyond the uninformed and myopic (may be biased, also) view of the northern governors, therefore, shall emerge a divisible, re-structured and happy Nigeria of greatness that will assert herself as a key player in the competitive field of global economy.


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