Days ago, some armed security agents opened fire on protesters gathered at the Lekki Toll gate, which had been one of the main rallying points of #EndSARS protesters in Lagos State. The shooting allegedly claimed some lives and several others wounded. Since then, Lagos has known no rest. The protest which had been going on for over two weeks was to compel the government to scrap the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police, which has been accused of extortion, torture and extra-judicial killings.
Inside Nollywood reached out to Nigerian celebrities for their reactions to this development and how they were directly and indirectly affected. Excerpts of their reactions:
I feel so powerless –Ezinne Umeh
I feel so powerless but I know I can’t be silent. The only power I have right now is my voice, that’s why I have been speaking in all my social media platforms and also protesting both online and physically. This fight is not just about ending police brutality; we want good road, electricity, job creation, good standard of living and no to bad governance and corrupt leaders.
Each and every one of us or our loved ones have been affected one way or the other. Seeing your fellow youth die on live tv is not something anyone would want to see. My friend was killed unjustly by SARS. I’m mentally down. This is just too much for a country with so much potential. It so sad that it has gotten to this.
I’m mentally, emotionally down –Amanda Ebeye
I’m not good, I’m sad, I’m distraught. Never in my life have I seen so many deaths, so much blood. Usually I skip anything gory but this time I couldn’t because these are my people.
I watched some of them die in the live video I saw, I saw them struggle for their lives in the hospital. They wanted better lives and they died fighting for it. I have been affected greatly, both mentally and emotionally. October 20th 2020 is a day I would never forget. A protest that started so peaceful, thugs were sent to completely disrupt the peaceful protest which resulted in the curfew. People wanted change, they were defiant but they were unarmed, gun shots should never have been fired.
We sent five demands, none has been implemented because as far as I’m concerned SARS was not disbanded, the name was just changed and police and the army are still out there killing innocent people.
I’m so bitter –Chigozie Atuanya
The government doesn’t care about us. I am feeling so bad. All these would have been averted on time if the request of the youths were met at the early stage. I am so bitter. I also saw a video of a warehouse fully stocked with COVID-19 palliatives meant for the masses. How did it get there? What was the plan? This is so heartbreaking.
Part of me is gone –Omotola Odunsi
I am so sad. My heart bleeds. It is so devastating. I was part of the protest all along. All we wanted was the right to live and have our freedom. We also called for good government. The killings are just like nightmares. I can’t get it off my mind. Mentally, I am broken.
I am a youth, I have to lend my voice but they refused to listen to our pleas. Now part of me is gone. These people that were killed are part of me, we are all youths, the future generation. All we want is to live and have our freedom. That’s not too much to ask for, if you ask me.
We must have a better Nigeria –Eva Chris
It’s unfortunate we got here because the masses were grossly neglected in all aspects. The youths were trampled upon and our future mortgaged by a few elites. I urge all the youths to stay peaceful but angry. We need to keep making demands of our leaders. The country has to change. We will not be deterred. We must have a better Nigeria. We won’t stop demanding for it.
I have always been affected by bad governance. This is not different. I am supposed to have acted a few clips in the past few days but they have either been cancelled or postponed but I don’t mind. This is bigger than us all. This is for us and generations to come. No matter how successful you are in Nigeria you definitely would have been more successful in a better and more organized economy or society, that’s of course except our leaders who are stupendously rich but would have been average in a saner society. I have been grossly affected but I honestly hope this will somehow change the narrative.
I lost everything to Lekki attacks –Uche Elendu
I am heartbroken to see what a peaceful protest turned into. People lost their loved ones, lost prosperities. Everyone is wailing. The blood stain on the Nigerian flag is very symbolic. We need lots of prayers to wipe off that stigma. This is a democratic government; they are expected to listen to our pleas.
We are so backward, yet a country so blessed with rich human and natural resources. Now innocent people are dead. What have we done to deserve this? No light, no good road, no good water system, education zero.
My store in Lekki, Lagos was looted and other ones there too. Goods worth over N15 million were carted away. They removed everything. Even my Generator, my CCTV. I lost everything. I was sitting in my home when I saw photos of my store empty. Government, security officers couldn’t do anything to help an average Nigerian repel these thugs from their continuous looting. Let the chaos stop, let peace prevail. This is a democratic government.