At the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos,
The protesters watched helplessly
as government officials removed the security cameras
They remained resolute even when His Excellency announced the curfew
They were unfazed by the prospects of arrests
and they were unflappable
as the bright floodlights were cut off.
Their aim was to end Police brutality
They were determined to end SARS –
Special Anti-Robbery Squad
known for kidnapping,
extorting and killing young, innocent Nigerians.
The night drew nearer with uncertainties
even prognosticators had no idea of what would ensue
darkness enshrouded the scene
and songs of solidarity filled the air
as the protesters waived the Nigerian flag with utmost joy
sitting on the ground,
some sang the national anthem with delight.
Then there was an unannounced arrival of the military
their arrival caused a great rumpus
A moment later,
the protesters were unperturbed again
they remained calm and peaceful,
and consistently peaceful
they sat down, waived the flag and
sang the national anthem
All these were done to prove a point
to prove that they were for peace
and all they wanted was peace
but their plea was spurned.
Next, spasmodic gunshots and upheavals
unharmed protesters scampered for safety
The flag – green-white-greet turned to green-red-green
our people have been exterminated
and there was an alleged clearance
of the lifeless bodies by the military
and blockage of ambulances to evacuate the wounded
We were devastated
as we watched on Instagram live of a survivor
The night of horror
A day of massacre
caused by forces beyond our control
we will never forget even as the government claimed that
there were no fatalities
Luke twenty-three verse thirty-four
for government apologists who said
the horrendous images were photoshopped.
We will never forget
twenty ten year twenty-twenty.
E.T.H Aina is the author of two story collections, Obinze the Fearless Boy and Heart to Heart. His writing has appeared in Visual Verse, Poetry Portion, The Writer’s Pen, and others. He lives and works in Lagos, Nigeria.