By Philip Agbese
I have noticed much of cacophonic noises about the alleged shootings and deaths in Lagos Lekki Toll Gate by Nigerian soldiers. The voices are strange and confusing, but loud enough to cause insomnia even to birds of the air and cause disquiet in the abodes of ancestors in their graves.
Some people tell me, this land of Oduduwa has been polluted and defiled with blood seeking for the offenders. They say the gods are angry and seeking vengeance on the enemies. Others tell me, there were blood stains or dead bodies at Lekki. Unclear shaky fingers are pointing at massacres in Lekki, which are invisible in every sense.
The fury in me and my patriots is much; we must be our brother’s keeper; it’s a divine command. We are preparing for war to avenge the alleged brutal deaths of our beloved ones by the men in khaki.
But do we have a genuine reason to seek vengeance? The more I think, the more perplexed and forlorn I feel with my inner self. My dilemma is compounded by the lies told and retold by wisemen and women of today. They are unlike the wisemen of the Bible. There is a blend of darkness and light in an odd marital bliss. But can darkness and light co-habit?
Are my senses failing me? Did I hear some loud whispers saying, no one died? No! It is impossible! I beg to differ. Someone and something died at Lekki on that dark night of October 20. The screams and clatters shuddered even sleeping dogs into wakefulness. Anyone who says there was no massacre in Lekki must be day-dreaming and snoring. Yes! Something was massacred in Lekki.
Unfortunately, the only victim of Lekki “massacre” known to me, who died is TRUTH. And truth died with neither children nor relations to mourn his wretched soul. Yes, he is the only casualty in Lekki. His friends denied him; likewise, neighbours, but dirges resonated far into heaven to bemoan his innocence.
Truth, a poor and orphaned lad graced the world a loner and also, died a loner. I am not surprised because the modern world is complex. I begged to be his companion when he was alive, but Mr. Truth rejected me. But I will be his friend in death and mourn his demise wholeheartedly. I will invite kings and queens to his funeral. I will invite my friends all over Nigeria and abroad to the interment ceremony of Mr. Truth. I will wail until God Himself hears me out and send His angels to console me.
I will prove to those who said, there was no casualty at Lekki that Mr. Truth was murdered in cold blood. Oh, my dear friend, Mr. Truth, only God chases away flies from a cow without a tail. Mr. Truth roamed the world unnoticed. He came to Nigeria, but we never welcomed him with a sweet lullaby. We scorned and ridiculed him publicly. Bureaucrats’, politicians, activists and hoodlums jeered at him. Mr. Truth finally landed in Lekki, Lagos and coldly murdered by hired merchants of blackmail and hate.
But Mr. Truth was kind and generous. He was a protective shield for all. Everyone he met found his exemplary peace, love, compassion and consolation endearing. Mr. Truth fought the battles of others and neither demanded a penny nor appreciation from them. He risked his life to save others.
He played the sacrificial lamp all the times. Yet, he was unconscionably and wickedly massacred in Lekki. Such cruelty by humanity baffles me limitlessly. Surely, Mr. Truth shall reincarnate someday to savour the grace of Jehovah God and mock the callousness of his killers. I have no doubt that he will emerge stronger and sit on the throne of kings in the ambience of purity, deriding those who prematurely terminated his life.
I have extensively read and written on the alleged Lekki massacre many times since the incident occurred. I can comfortably claim a fair knowledge of what exactly transpired at Lekki. And I sensed a big gulf between reality and the spiteful rejigged narrations of the incident as bandied in public domain. Again, having attended all the sittings and listened to the actors at the Judicial Panel of Inquiry, so far, I feel obliged as a human rights activist to join other Nigerians and the rest of the world to satirically mourn the death of truth. Indeed, truth was massacred at Lekki.
The deliberate murder of truth was done not by the power of any gun nor any official authority. It wasn’t even the soldiers or other security agents. But the felonious instincts of #EndSARS protesters themselves and their sponsors. In killing the truth, the protesters murdered conscience; they strangulated Lagos to suffocation and rubbed mud in the face of Nigeria.
The protesters, their acolytes, conspirators and promoters fooled us to murder the truth. Our activists joined in the fray of murderers of the truth. Some of our celebrities chorused the antiphonies in loud jubilations after the death of Mr. Truth. A handful politicians and leaders sounded the death knell on the truth; they unabashedly passed a verdict of guilt on his innocence. The soil of the earth became hardened and refused to be excavated to host the cadaver of Mr. Truth. The labourers tried in vain. But the mystery must be unfolded.
The ghost of Mr. Truth is prowling the land hauntingly in search of the executioners of his innocent soul. The gods are angry. Time has come to invite the chief priest of Atakwu-enyi shrine to appease the gods for the great evil committed. The land must be cleansed of all filth.
Now, I agree with everyone that there was a massacre in Lekki. It was the truth who died in the hands of heartless people. Both the initiators of the actions leading to the gruesome murder of truth and the onlookers are guilty in same depth. What a perfidious generation passionately aloof to truth.
Quite ironic, we all like the truth elsewhere; but have refused to uphold his doctrines or preserve his antecedents in Lekki and Nigeria. Therefore, the US was fooled on Lekki. The United Nations (UN) was fooled. The UK was fooled. The EU was fooled. Even our Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) were fooled in their multitudes. Royal fathers were deceived, likewise the clergy. Human rights bodies swallowed the pill of dishonesty and displayed a nauseating dose of intoxication.
Sacred pulpits of evangelism became campaign podiums for the sentencing of Mr. Truth to death. He had no protector or sentinel to shield him from the killer lies and menacing poisonous blades. The gullible amongst us experienced faked post mortem analysis and conversions like the Biblically prophesied apocalypse on why Mr. Truth was killed. So, indeed, the truth died by our collective actions and irritating indifference.
The day of Armageddon is knocking hard on our doorsteps. But are we sane enough to reminisce how we murdered truth? How was truth murdered? We were told lies that our troops were killing defenseless citizens and we sent it viral on social media platforms, without confirmation. We were told the Army interfered with a civil protest uninvited in brazen violation of extant laws of Nigeria. It was falsehood at its peak.
The haters lied to us that the Army Morgue in Lagos was the secret mass grave of the slain Lekki 78. We were told dead bodies of Lekki massacres were all over the streets of Lagos. But we woke up to a peaceful city, with no dead bodies or decomposing corpse anywhere. Only the deserted corpse of Mr. Truth was found abandoned in the morgue, in the media, on TV screens, in the open air, treetops and on the streets of Lagos.
But in truth, nobody died from gunshot wounds; no mortuary in Lagos preserved the corpse of the Lekki victims of the alleged soldiers’ barbaric brutality; no graves of the victims anywhere; no mourners or relations or siblings of the dead is known to date. We were told someone counted 78 dead bodies, but there were no missing persons at break of dawn.
And the pigheaded rights activists told us another fantastic lie again. They claimed relations of the Lekki victims dreaded coming out to testify at the probe panel for fear of intimidation and harassments. What a poorly crafted lie; a vicious cycle of rehearsed deceit.
However, can they show us the graves? Can they take the probe panel members to the graves of the Lekki #EndSARS casualties? These are questions the ghost of Mr. Truth is wandering the land restlessly and begging for answers from a humanity which terribly wronged him. Oh! May you Rest In Peace, Mr. Truth; Rest In Peace, Truth, the indomitable hero of our times! The fight is above me; it is only of the gods of the great shrine who have the prowess. Adieu!
Agbese is a human rights activist based in the United Kingdom.