Co-convener of the #BringBackOurGirls (BBOG) movement, Aisha Yesufu has described the decision of the Lagos State government to resume tolling at the Lekki Toll Gate as a sign that they have no regard for the lives of Nigerians. The activist made the statement on Sunday when she appeared on the online interview programme, 90MinutesAfrica, hosted by Rudolf Okonkwo and Chido Onumah.
“One of the things that should really make us sit-down and think about our lives whether we are citizens or slaves is the fact that less than eleven months to a general election, the government is coming out to reopen a tollgate where people were killed by soldiers sent by the same government,” Aisha Yesufu said. “They are reopening this tollgate that has such a painful memory when justice has not been fully given to the victims. The message they are passing is that they have zero regard for the lives of Nigerian citizens,” the gender and rights activist stated.
Scores of Nigerian youths protesting police brutality were fired upon at the Lekki Toll Gate on the night of October 20, 2020, by men of the Nigerian Army deployed by the Lagos State government. The ensuing events led to the suspension of tolling operations at the tollgate amidst calls for justice for the victims of the shootings. But the Lagos State government has now ordered the resumption of tolling, ignoring public outcry against the move.
Aisha Yesufu reminded Nigerians that the only weapon they have is their vote, which can be effectively used to punish errant politicians in 2023. “What we should be doing now is to ensure that we are using the power that we have which is our capacity to vote. The only thing we have as citizens is our votes and we must ensure that we use it because if they know that we are going to vote them out if they open the tollgate they wouldn’t dare us this way,” she noted.