When injustice occurs, it is only right that people seek some form of compensation. Which is why it’s no surprise that after the reported Lekki shootings of peaceful protesters on the 20th of October 2020, Nigerians were enraged and thirsty for some justice.
Unfortunately, the Nigerian government has time and again, in front of glaring evidence, lied to citizens. The Nigerian Army initially claimed they weren’t present at the scene, then stated they were present but didn’t shoot at protesters, then they said they shot blank bullets and into the air. With every statement from government authorities, there is a different layer of evasion of responsibilities.
It seemed as though any form of justice far was from achievable especially since the President of Nigeria refused to acknowledge the incident in itself. So when the news became public that the United Kingdom Parliament recommended sanctions against Nigerian government officials and security agents who abused the rights of #EndSARS demonstrators, Nigerians were completely elated.
The Members of Parliament condemned the violence that erupted at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos and insisted that Nigerian officials should not enjoy in the UK, the liberties they deny their citizens at home.
In fact, one of the members of parliament urged the UK government to place sanctions on Nigerians who escape to the UK with stolen wealth, making mention of Nigeria’s past leader, Yakubu Gowon’s alleged looting of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The events that took place made Nigerians feel heard at the very least. Still, the jubilation came with a little hesitation. This justice comes at what cost?
Sanctions could include importation and exportation bans on the country that would have a devastating effect on the masses. It could also be a travel and financial ban on the erring politicians themselves. The kind of sanctions to be enacted are yet to be revealed. Nevertheless, this moment still represents a small win for Nigerians; a small solace that those that died on the night of the Lekki Shootings would get some form of retribution.
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Toluwanimi Onakoya is a spirited writer, creative and videographer. Her biggest drive is to connect with people and depict tales using various forms of media.
Toluwanimi is available on Instagram and Twitter @nimi_onaks