Saturday 24 October 2020

A WEEK OF OWN GOALS....Na Aduma-do-bodi


I was thinking this morning..... Last Sunday's Premier league fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and West Ham United (WHU) started what later became a week of own goals. Everyone wanted to see how the Jose Mourinho led lads will build on the momentum having trashed Manchester United at the last match day. Sixteen minutes after the blast of the kick-off whistle, Tottenham had raced to a 3 goal lead. Wow! Everyone thought it was going to be another rout, but we were wrong. The opposition, WHU dug in after the third goal. Eight minutes to the end of regulation time, WHU pulled one goal back and three minutes later, Davinson Sanchez of Tottenham experienced every defender's nightmare when he scored an own goal. With five minutes left, the signs were ominous for Tottenham. Truly, at the 90th minute, WHU drew level and the match ended. Tottenham was the loser of the day, no thanks to the own goal. Wow!

An own goal is when one makes a serious mistake leading to a setback. In other words, it is shooting oneself on the foot or what we call 'aduma-do-bodi' in Warri. As I reflected on the impact of the own goal, my mind drifted to the #ENDSARS campaign that had peaked that Sunday with youths in many states registering their anger with what is going on in Nigeria. The Feminist Coalition (a group of young Nigerian feminists) formed in July 2020, was at the forefront of the organisation and mobilisation. Up until that day, support for the protest through the group was on the upward projectile. They raised over N74 million within 10 days and were doing a fantastic job in disbursing the funds and supporting protesters at the front line. Then late Sunday the group said their fight is also for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people (LGBTQ+). They had tweeted 'Our communal fight to #EndSARS is inclusive of the LGBTQ+ community who are also harassed, assaulted and killed by police.' Really? People started questioning if the group had a hidden agenda. By the time they deleted the tweet, it was too late. The group had lost a lot of goodwill from the now viral tweet. It was an own goal and own goals kill moral.

As the protest continued on Monday, sponsored hoodlums had infiltrated the group and became violent and States started declaring curfews. Lagos State, the centre of the protests was next to declare after Edo State. The curfew was announced by midday and commencement time set at 4pm. How is that possible? Just before 4pm, the government announced a change of time to 9pm, but it was too late. The military moved in to the protest ground zero, the Lekki Toll Gate and started shooting. Many were injured with some reported fatalities. How could our progressive governor, Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, who has been doing a lot to show he understands the grievances of the protesters, impose this ill-advised curfew? Oh, it was an own goal, that got everyone including hoodlums angry leading to massive destruction of properties.

Is that the last own goal? No. Following the circulation of video evidence of cameras being removed and lights being switched off at the Lekki Toll Gate just before the arrival of the military men, everyone rightly or wrongly pointed to the Lion of Bourdillon. Spleens got burst and the investments of the Lion became targets. Chai! When a Lion who has worked so hard to take up residence in the Rock come 2023 becomes complicit in the events leading up to Black Tuesday, it is an own goal and the people will not forget.

As the violence intensified, what most protesters did not know was that 'own goal na aduma-do-bodi.' The youths and most of us the sympathisers are unanimous that the impunity at the centre must stop. We want a better Nigeria and not rhetoric. But when false narratives and fake news are continually being peddled on social media urging the miscreants to keep destroying and looting the properties of innocent Nigerians, it is an own goal. We wanted a better Nigeria, but to destroy the mass transit we use, malls we visit and what hardworking Nigerians that are not politicians have built? No, that na aduma-do-bodi.

It's been a crazy one week, which I believe everyone will look back and regret the avalanche of own goals because what most groups have achieved is take one step forward and another backward. Truly, own goal na aduma-do-bodi. My prayer is that we will be vigilant enough not to score own goals. 1 Peter 5:8 “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.

Happy Sunday

......Just the thoughts of a certain Wey Mey

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