The protest for the end of SWAT Unit (Special Weapons and Tactics), sadly, took another turn as soldiers were deployed to the Lekki tollgate which got people seriously injured and a few killed. There have been outbursts from Nigerians and the international community as videos circulating on the internet showed peaceful protesters with the Nigerian flag shoot at.
The Nigerian Army has denied its involvement in this situation as Major General John Enenche, the Director of Information of the Nigerian Defence Headquarters, said the videos and images making rounds were photoshopped. Also, the Nigerian army Twitter account referred to tweets about it as fake. The Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo Olu has been going back and forth on Twitter and television stations to state his position on the crisis, claiming the issue was forces beyond him. What do forces beyond him even mean?
People have asked questions. Questions like who authorised the turning off of the billboard? Who authorised the removal of tollgate cameras? Who ordered soldiers to move into tollgate? People are asking what is happening and these questions seem to be dodged.
It can be said that from chaos comes order. What kind of order comes from this chaos that we are currently experiencing? Is it going to be a positive or negative change from this chaos? Is the police going to be reformed? Are we just going to witness just change of name from SARS to Swat? What policies are in place to effect the police reform or how good are the policies meant to stop police brutality?.
Things seem to have taken another turn after the Lekki shooting as places have been set ablaze such as the Lekki toll gate, Television Continental popularly known as Tvc( a media house) and Bus Rapid Transit terminals, Adeniran Ogunsanya mall was looted and we also have the case of covid 19 palliatives rumoured to have been released for quite some time but was lying somewhere in a warehouse raided as people took the covid 19 palliatives.
The Lagos state government, however, made claims that the government palliatives was recently stocked. Some have questioned this as acts by the government to protect its reputation. Another warehouse containing covid 19 palliatives as been found in Osun state and as of this writing, it seems the search is still ongoing.
There has been an outcry by people for President Muhammadu Buhari to speak and when he did, he established his position on things going on in Nigeria by asking the international community to get their facts right. However, he did not comment on the Lekki shootings but instead made known that Sars has ended and he warned those who hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine, and well-intended protest of some of our youths.
He also made known the initiatives put in place for youths and the most vulnerable groups in our society. He appealed to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought initiatives of this administration and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy
What form of order is going to come from this chaos and crisis?. What kind of change are we to expect? We all hope for the positive change that would lead us to be proud Nigerians that can lift the Nigerian Flag with happiness and honour. We, therefore, need the government to work towards achieving the desired change and reforms.