A Nigerian lawyer has told of how thugs were paid N1,500 to attack people during the #EndSARS protests.
The damaged car
A protester who was attacked by hoodlums in Abuja shares her experiences with ADELANI ADEPEGBA in this interview.
What is your name?
I’m Kaka George. I’m a lawyer.
During the #EndSARS protests in Abuja, you were attacked and your car was damaged. What is the level of damage to your car?
It is a Toyota Prado 2008 model. The hoodlums damaged the front and rear windshields, all the windows, front and rear bumpers, and the boot as well. The repair cost was put at N300,000. We are looking for money and people have been generous.
How do you feel about the attack?
It is sad to see that the thugs could let themselves be manipulated when we were fighting for all of us. Just because of the N1,500 they said they were paid, they caused a damage of over N300,000. It is disheartening to see that fellow youths and citizens would allow themselves to be used in that way but we are pushing through it all and we are still taking our stand. That same day, my phone was damaged, I bruised my knees and suffered a torn tissue but I am pushing through it all.
Do you think the perpetrators were ignorant or willful?
I feel it is a bit of both. I’m sure they were ignorant because I don’t think they knew what the people they were going to fight stood for. They were not aware or well educated about the protest or the reason for the protest. If they knew well enough, and still did that, I would say they were just barbaric. They charged at us and I saw them beat a girl right in my front; I don’t think that girl would be able to walk in a couple of months. It was quite heartbreaking. I want to believe they were ignorant but even if you were ignorant, your conscience should tell you that such an action was wrong. It’s simple psychology; you should not just go and hurt somebody for no reason. You should have sympathy. You should not just charge at people and damage their cars.
Did you fear for your life during the attack?
Yes, of course. At some point when I knew I couldn’t stand it, I ran and jumped down from somewhere really high and that’s how I got a knee injury. I feared for my life, but I was out the following day because what the fight was worth it.
So, you were not discouraged?
No, I was not. Sending people to attack us meant we were saying something powerful. So, the more harm they caused to us, the more we kept going. You needed to see the crowd that came out between Wednesday and Thursday after we were attacked. It was like triple the number of protesters that were there earlier. So, the more they were attacking us, the more people were coming out, joining us and making the demands to be heard.
How did the policemen who witnessed the attack act?
I was disappointed at their actions. There was an officer of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, a policeman, an officer of the Federal Road Safety Corps and a traffic warden there. They saw the thugs charging at us. If they had done their jobs, I’m sure those thugs would have retreated but instead, they went inside their cars and left us. I mean, who does that? And they were supposed to be protecting us. They could have stood between us and the thugs, instead, they went away. We read in the newspapers that they defended us, but that’s false, they left us. At some point, a few of us had to start to look for the men to defend us when the damage was getting too much and that was when they apprehended about two or three of the attackers. The thugs confessed that they were paid N1,500 each to attack us.
Source: The PUNCH