Traveling across Lagos During the Violent #EndSars Protests in Nigeria. Part 3.

This post is one in a Series. A list of all of the posts in this Series can be accessed here.

A guy just zoomed by on a motorbike. He was sitting on a new television. The TV bounced up and down on the seat of the bike as he navigated his way from the Lekki-Epe expressway, into a nearby street.

I think it was a a fifty-five inch flat screen television. It looked so wide.

Another guy walks by, topless, with a trolley full of baby clothes and a pile of other baby things.

“Iyawo mi loyun o!! Iyawo mi loyun o!!”

His wife is pregnant.

I see her nearby. She is indeed pregnant. She looks very happy. There is a boy walking alongside her. I think he is her son. He is practically bouncing with excitement about the baby things.

I am not quite sure how to feel about what is going on.

These people are looting a shopping mall up the road. The ongoing #EndSars protests have set the stage for general, all-encompassing anarchy in Lagos. People are being gunned down indiscriminately, police stations are being burnt, transportation has been shut down, and now innocent shopping malls are being looted by protesters.

I mean, I understand how shutting down transportation can coerce the government to pay effectual attention to pleas for societal reform, but I honestly fail to see how vandalizing, breaking into, and looting a beautiful shopping mall which was built by hardworking people is a part of any well-meaning protest.

The road is crowded with people on their way back from the currently-being-vandalized mall. With food and electronics and all sorts of stuff. It’s like Santa Claus’ plane crashed nearby and everyone is getting in on the mountain of Christmas presents in the rubble.

People line the side of the streets, watching. Some with fear, not sure how safe it is to join in the looting. There were gunshots at the mall about two hours ago.

Others watch with envy, wishing they had a motorbike with which they could quickly cart away a 55″ TV for themselves.

I am not quite sure how to feel about what is going on.

I really like that mall. The black Skechers boots I’m currently wearing, I bought from the branch at Ikeja. The pink skinny jeans I have on too. And a good number of my other general clothing items.

It is saddening and scary watching these people thoughtlessly and rapaciously eviscerate the evidence of people’s sweat and hardwork, without even a smidge of nagging compunction.

It is very scary.

Life is difficult. In spite of these difficulties, people strive to build stuff. If, in spite of the plethora of diverse difficulties that abound in this plane of existence, I strive to build something physical in this place, is it not possible that some day, in the course of some arbitrary protest, some random beings will vandalize and completely ruin the physical indication of all of my sweat and suffering?

This is scary. This is very scary.

One general trend, is that these people are vandalizing and looting buildings which appear to represent a level of wellbeing and prestige that they feel is inaccessible to them.

It’s actually pretty hilarious because social standing is very relative. I wonder what’ll happen if the guy with the pregnant wife, or the guy with the stolen 55″ TV, gets home to realize his living space has been burgled by the elements in the community who see him as a rich man.

Because you know, there are protests and everywhere is fucked up and everybody is stealing from everybody else.

I wonder what’ll happen. I think it’ll be freaking hilarious. Get back to the house with a stolen 55″ TV to realize your entire living room has been scraped clean. No sofa. No mobile phones. No sound system. Even the food in the kitchen and in the store has been carted away. Hahahaha.

All for the want of a stolen 55″ TV. It would be so difficult to restrain my laughter at such a person hahaha. As long as it was safe to do so, I would laugh very very loudly at them and feel good about it.

And then there are the usual excuses. Nigeria is bad. There is no money. There are problems everywhere. If I’m to be honest, I’m pretty sick of that pretextual refrain. That is the trivializing excuse for like every fucking soieital malaise in this place.

Someone steals, the economy is bad.

Someone is an inveterate fraudster tainting the international impression of a country and making life difficult for legitimate individuals who happen to share said country of origin– Things are difficult, there is no money.

Someone kills- We all know how Nigeria is.

I’m pretty sick of it. Of course there is some credence to the position that hardship generally compels people to engage in activities they otherwise would never seriously consider, but it’s definitely being overplayed. Like deeffinitely.

In fact, a festering deleterious thought attractor state like “Everything is bad and everyone does bad stuff therefore doing bad stuff is not that bad because its prevalent, even normal and you’d actually be missing out if you don’t”, could even inspire engagement in people who normally would not have involved themselves. Like some reverse causality stuff: People are more likely to do these things because society has normalized it.


Everything is bad.

I need to get to Ikeja.

Transportation costs are ridiculous today, because the roads are shut down.

I have run out of cash in hand.

I need to get to Ikeja.

This post is one in a Series. A list of all of the posts in this Series can be accessed here.