By Chidex Onyemah
Hundreds of youths gathered at the Alex Ekwueme Square, Awka, in Anambra state on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, for a candle light service in honour of victims of police brutality in the state, especially those gunned down by soldiers at Lekki tollgate on Tuesday.
The event, which was organised by an NGO that claimed anonymous, brought together over 600 youths for one hour (8pm-9pm). Orient weekend reports that security personnel surrounded the venue, making sure that the event was peaceful.
Speaking at the event, Rev. Father John Mark Okafor, commiserated with the Anambra youths, who lost their loved ones through the brutality and excesses of the Nigerian police. He noted that big and economically buoyant countries in the world, all have the red color in their flags and now that the white part of the Nigerian flag had been stained with red, it connotes total change.
In his words: “There is a red colour on the flags of the big European and American countries; our green white green is already messed up; but we are here because, we have added the blood of our youths to the history of this country. We are moving forward in this course.
“If we have to come out victorious, then, we must be strategic. The law of violence has never resulted to anything positive. Looking at what happened in 1967, many people were massacred in Asaba, and up till now, nothing has been done. Let us remain persistent and peaceful in our course,” he said.
Also speaking, Ada Nwankwo, one of the representatives of the NGO, showed empathy with the youths killed by security operatives at the Lekki toll gate. She decried bad governance across the country.
“We have come in peace tonight; the only thing we are against is our future not being secured. We hope that at the end of the day, there will be change in our generation and for the benefit of our future generations. Let me quote Aisha Yusuf.
“We want a country, where the child of nobody becomes somebody without anybody. Humanity is all about living for others, everybody’s life should matter,” she said.
Orient Weekend reports that Anambra youths are still bent on taking down CSP James Nwafor, accusing him for being responsible for the death of many youths in the state. This was evident in the speeches made by the four youths, who shared their families’ encounters, over the years, with SARS across the state.