Ace comedian, Debo Adebayo, popularly known as Mr. Macaroni, has shared how policemen dealt with them at the Lekki toll gate on Saturday. In a video that has gathered over one million views, Mr. Macaroni gave details of their encounter with the Nigeria police officers who, according to him, said if the incident had been in the night, they would have wasted their lives “and nothing would happen.”
He said he was not really ready to join the group of protesters to the tollgate but the 39 members whom he saw were the people who encouraged him to join. He added that he knew that there would be arrest of persons. He said his phones were destroyed. He and others were beaten, stripped naked and dehumanized by the police.
He said Nigeria government has no value for human life. “They don’t care for human lives. We are in a government that has zero tolerance for human lives. They can kill and dehumanise anybody to achieve their goals. We were beaten and stripped naked. Everyone was beaten. People only went to the Lekki tollgate to ask whether it was time to open the tollgate. Justice has not been done to the people killed during the last protest.”
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I want to thank everyone for speaking up. My phones are bad, I can’t even take any call or return messages. I’m in my house, I’m okay. I just want to address one or two things about the recent event. I was very scared of going out. I wasn’t ready to go out. My family members called me. My friends called me saying ‘don’t go out’. The only reason I went out was that I knew people would be there. I knew people would also die.
In fact, I was at Lekki phase one. I think nobody should be talking about whether celebrity came out or not. The situation we are, in Nigeria, is a deep shit. You cannot blame anyone. People are scared for their lives. We knew that we are in a government that has zero value for human lives. They don’t care at all. They can kill anybody. They can dehumanize anybody just to achieve their goal and do what they want to do.
This is not the time to be saying where are the celebrities? We don’t need that. All we need is one voice. We need to come together and speak against what is going on in our society. That is all. I knew that they will arrest. When we were picked up, we were taken to Adeniji. We were beaten. We were stripped naked. Everyone was beaten. I have asked them to put down the names of the 39 people that were with me, male and female alike. It was these 39 people that gave me the courage to come out. They are the true heroes. They didn’t go to fight but to ask why opening the tollgate.
Is that the next thing to do? Have we gotten justice for all that happened last year? A lot of families are left in pains and years of sorrow because they lost their loved ones. Businesses destroyed. Is opening the tollgate the next line of action? Nobody supports violence, nobody supports destruction of property but we need to talk to the government. The government is responsible for protection of lives and property. We had over 200 policemen on Saturday. And you want to tell me you cannot guarantee a peaceful protest if there were to be one with 200 policemen? It shows you guys are irresponsible.
We were beaten. There is a serious war out there. These people don’t care. They will kill anybody. If words were not out that they have arrested this and that, people would have died. They were telling us that they will shoot you and nothing will happen. If it were night, all of you would have died. We are in a serious shame. But it’s not enough to silent our voices.”