By Wednesday October 21, 2020 the EndSARS protest, which turned bloody in parts of the country was taking a toll on Nigerians.
Social and economic life came to a halt. Hoodlums, bandits and miscreants had taken over.
Peaceful protesters, apparently under the sponsorship of unseen hands failed to call off their demonstration when government announced the scrapping of the security outfit which went by the name, SARS.
SARS was subject of the protest. But when government acceded, without hesitation, protesters raked up other issues which they ought to have included in the demand.
And so Nigerians with other motives infiltrated the convoy of singing and dancing protesters.
The mayhem and pandemonium that followed were enough to warn residents to stay clear off streets. The wise among the residents knew that ruffians who have been looking for opportunity to kill were on the way.
In Enugu, the Coal City, Government didn’t want anyone to die.
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi was able to apply soothing words to keep at bay young men looking for opportunity to vent their anger against a society, they claimed, has left them in quandary.
Suddenly, as envisaged by the wise, violence erupted. Banks, ATM facilities, erected bus Stops, Traffic lights, concrete slabs used to demarcate major streets, Police Stations were destroyed. Victims screamed.
Government curfew did not prevent the onslaught, perhaps because security men were nowhere to be found at those critical hours to enforce the order.
The hoodlums barricaded some roads, forcing motorists to make swift turns. In the unfolding drama, many avoided their homes. Rather, they rushed towards the 82 Division of the Nigerian Army, believing that the Enugu Barrack was a safe place.
For them, no protester, whether genuine or not could contemplate invasion of the barracks.
How right they were.
The Social Media could not help matters. Reports emanating therefrom gave the impression that armageddon had finally come. Like in the early period of Covid-19 pandemic, everybody stayed safe at home.
For fear of the rampaging miscreants, filling stations closed down. All Banks remained under lock and key. Even ATM services stopped. In place of banks and ATM, money lenders and shylocks took over.
POS operators made brisk transactions with their mobile machines.
A customer approached one of the operators.
Customer: “Please I need some cash.”
Operator : “Ok. How much.”
Customer: “Just N40,000
Operator : “For every N10,000 you pay
N1,500. So you pay N6,000
The customer exclaimed:
“This is impossible. This is outrageous!
“This is the reason Barkin Zuwo said in 1983 that he preferred keeping his money in his house, instead of the banks.”
Barkin Zuwo was a second republic Governor of Kano state.
The young man who planned to escape to his village to avoid being victim of the rampage later turned round to collect N34,000 from the POS shylock, bought petrol, N400 per litre at black market and zoomed off to his village.
Meanwhile, the Social Media were counting the dead in scores. Some said that names of millionaire political figures have been compiled, while special protesting squads were ready to march to their abodes.
Bola Tinubu, APC National Leader was said to have fled to France. When confronted with the visual meeting between Tinubu and Governor Sanwo-Olu in Lagos, the conveyors of the false news retorted: “You didn’t hear? The French government repatriated him back to Lagos last night.”
His son was also allegedly arrested in London.
As the panic stricken residents remain indoors, one noticeable feature in Enugu is the absence of exotic cars, the limos that used to parade the city roads.
The wise, rich billionaire reckons that every public protest in most of Africa, weather genuine or not has the potency to result in deaths.
So they, their children avoid the streets and unleash the poor to confront the hot metal, the bullet.
Who is wise? Be wise! It is a matter of choice.