US–based Nigerian musician and peace activist, Prince Ayo Manuel Ajisebutu has called on the global community to join Nigerians on November 15 to observe a candlelight vigil in honour of those who died as a result of the #EndSARS protest.
Saddened by the October 20 shooting of peaceful young protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate, Lagos, an incident that continues to generate global reactions particularly among Nigerians in the Diaspora, the artiste urged people of goodwill around the world to observe a sit-at-home candlelight vigil, if they cannot join gatherings in their community on Sunday, November 15.
“We should come together as a united human race to honour these brave youths that were asking their government to protect and care for them. Unfortunately, the same military that was supposed to protect them reportedly took their lives. Let’s come together on November 15 and stand with their families, for their pain is our pain. When one of us is hurting, we all feel it because we are all connected,” Ayo Manuel says.
To him, the objective of the vigil is to get the global community to spiritually lift up Nigeria and her people, and to reassure all that there will be light at the end of the tunnel. “The candlelight vigil for the untimely death of the protesters also symbolizes light of hope for all Nigerians. It signifies a rebirth of Nigeria: a new nation that will allow its youths to grow and prosper, a new nation that seeks equal rights and justice for all, a new nation that is not run on tribal and religious sentiments. Indeed, the united youths of Nigeria have already displayed in all their actions, that a new nation that unites and cares for its citizens is possible. I urge you all to be part of the change,” he affirms.
Ayo Manuel is the founder/president of MansMark Records, an entertainment outfit based in Los Angeles, California. In 1995, he organized several rallies to save human rights activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 from the hangman noose. He later joined forces with some Nigerians in Oakland and San Francisco to form ‘Free Nigeria Movement’. Their activities received the support of organizations such as Greenpeace, Amnesty International, and Rainforest Action Network.
Ayo Manuel was also the producer and presenter of Voice of Free Nigeria, a weekly radio show that urged Nigerians to take charge of their destinies. The radio was used to protest the annulment of the June 12 election. His history of activism and constant call for love, peace and unity dates back to the ‘80s, and are reflected in his songs such as Save Nigeria (1991), Africans Unite (1991) and soon to be released Make a Change.