In memory of THE dead 2

For the past 1 week, Facebook and Google have been reminding me of my posts and pictures from a year ago

I’ve been ignoring them, too sad to open anyone. What’s the need I ask myself? What has changed since last year? Are things not worse than they were before October 2020?

October 2020 will always remain every green in my memory. As the #EndSARS protest began in Nigeria, people had different reasons to protest.
Almost every young person had a bad story to tell about SARS and/or The Nigerian Police Force. The movement was birthed out of suppressed anger, not just as a result of years of police injustice and brutality but also of bad governance, poverty and high unemployment rates.

I remember the first day I went to the protest ground. We trekked from Ikate to Chevron/2nd Tollgate along Lekki/Epe expressway. I was happy to have trekked. It mattered to me that I would lend my voice to the movement.

The next day, I went to the 1st tollgate. I confess that I was scared when I got there. There was a heavy police presence though they didn’t bother anyone. I spent all evening there before leaving.

On Saturday preceding Tuesday the  20th. I volunteered to help clean up the area. Before long, my husband caught the bug and joined me.

Volunteers cleaning up at the tollgate

That was my last day at ground zero.

I had my IELTS speaking test on Tuesday at Lekki phase1. I planned to go from the test centre to the tollgate and spend the evening there as usual. However, at the test centre, I got delayed and then the curfew was declared.
With that, I struggled to find my way home amidst the chaos that was already happening along the expressway.

Before this day, the police and state-sponsored thugs had started disrupting the protests in other locations like Surulere, Mushin, and Abuja. We were the only safe heaven left or so we thought.


I came back home around 6 and decided to take a short nap. This was interrupted by repeated calls from my family and friends. Initially, I thought it was random or that were calling to get an update on the latest happenings at the toll.

When the calls wouldn’t stop, I got up and picked my Aunt’s call and she was hysterically asking me where I was. The rest they say is history because we all watched DJ Switch’s live stream and saw the events that followed after. Those living in Lekki continued to hear gunshot sounds all night.

That night, every iota of hope I had in Nigeria died. Things could never be the same!

I couldn’t see any of the people I knew in the military or police in the same light.
As far as I was concerned, they could have been the ones at the toll if providence allowed it.

To date, I shiver when I pass through ground zero. How are the families of those who died coping? Sadly, they wouldn’t be able to grieve openly for fear of the Nigerian government. I think about those whose bodies were taken away. What sort of closure would their family need?

Today for me is for thoughts and maybe some talk. To think about what it means to be a Nigerian and the rather worthless value of life here.

I join the rest of young Nigerians to pray for the repose of the souls of those who died at the Tollgate gate.

PS: Fisayo Soymobo’s piece titled portrait of blood (II) is one of the articles you can find about the actual victims

PS2: Here is my earlier tribute to victims of police brutality in Nigeria

  • Cyril
    Posted at 07:23h, 20 October Reply

    May the souls of all that die cause of our country rest in peace amen.

    • Christ Loved Channel
      Posted at 10:12h, 20 October Reply

      There was indeed a Country.

  • Debbie
    Posted at 07:27h, 20 October Reply

    The struggle they paid with their lives, would someday be a dream come true either as a new Nigeria or a new Nation.

    Forever in our hearts!❤️

  • Collins M.
    Posted at 07:59h, 20 October Reply

    It’s a good day to recount the experience of that fateful day, especially coming from everyone one of us. Let’s keep the conversation going so as to immortalize our heroes who defied the odds and showed bravery at the face of danger. Thanks for sharing with us.

  • Hephzibah
    Posted at 08:28h, 20 October Reply

    Mmmmmmmmm every hope I had in Nigeria died too

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 17:32h, 17 November Reply

      As it did in millions of young people.

      We have to put it behind us and rebuild

    Posted at 08:54h, 20 October Reply

    So sad. Really sad.

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 17:31h, 17 November Reply
  • Ijay
    Posted at 10:35h, 20 October Reply

    We will be set free someday .. I believe

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 16:16h, 17 November Reply

      I pray so too.

      Just that sometimes, it looks too farfetched

  • Amaracheese
    Posted at 10:45h, 20 October Reply

    May their souls rest in perfect peace
    and May God continue to strengthen their families. We will never forget 20/10/20 ✊

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 16:15h, 17 November Reply

      After more than one year, the official report confirms what we all witnessed that day

  • Adwoa Adwofua Yeboah
    Posted at 14:51h, 20 October Reply

    May their souls rest in perfect peace and may Nigeria rise again

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 16:13h, 17 November Reply


      Thank you AY

  • Chukwukadibia
    Posted at 16:17h, 20 October Reply

    May the souls of those noble Nigerians rest in peace.

    The painful experience of ENDSARS protest and living in our dear country have made the youths – the hope of this country – do all they can to relocate to countries where they can maximize their productive years (18 – 40 years).

    The only hope is to reorient ourselves on the power behind our leadership as one of my friends calls it. The power behind our leadership is self, greed, no empathy, oppression, and deceit.

    There is an urgent need for our leaders and Nigerians as a whole to allow “understanding” have access to their hearts.

    As we intercede for this country, we pray that God will give us the insight on what to do, and stretch His right arm to support us to get rid of the Goliaths that bring fear and pain upon us.

    God bless our country.

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 16:12h, 17 November Reply


      Thank you for the kind words.

  • Ruth
    Posted at 00:27h, 21 October Reply

    May the souls of the departed rest in peace.
    Thank you for this write up Chizzy. We won’t forget what they died for & I pray that some day it will be worth it

  • Stella. O.
    Posted at 09:38h, 21 October Reply

    Something really died in every young Nigerian who believed so much in her. The events of that day will remain indelible in our minds. I have never been desperate to leave Nigeria until that day.

    • Chizzy Nwokoye
      Posted at 16:09h, 17 November Reply

      20.10.20 will never be forgotten in Nigeria

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