EndSARS promoter, Rinu on frozen account: I’m disappointed in Nigeria
Oluvarino Odwala expressed disappointment that the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, froze his account only because he provided his vote during the EndSARS protest, IgbereTV reported.
On November 5, Apex Bank received a court order to freeze the accounts of 19 organizers of the #EndSARS protest.
In his Twitter thread posted on Monday night, Rinu, who is a member of the Lagos State Judicial Commission that is investigating police brutality and the alleged shooting of #EndSARS protesters at the Lekki toll station, said the recent actions of the Central Bank of Nigeria are a betrayal of the alleged peaceful government efforts.
Check out his Twitter thread below.
“I belong to the generation of Nigerians who have lived most of their adult life under a ‘democratic’ government, and yet this morning I wake up feeling that there is no difference between Nigeria, where I grew up, and Nigeria, where my parents grew up. The sacrifices of the Democrats, who courageously supported the June 12 mandate to give life to our democracy, seem in vain. Ironically, many serve in this government and the ruling party.
Wherever I go, I am told that I should be “grateful” for the democracy that took the lives of people, I should be grateful for the fact that I have the right to vote and the opportunity to speak on behalf of myself and my colleagues. But how can I be grateful when young men and women disappear every day, some are recklessly killed for no reason, and others are traumatized for life: physically, emotionally, or both.
We started to protest because the Nigerian youth decided to speak.
We spoke – not because we wanted to overthrow the government, but because we wanted the police to stop killing us. We did not carry weapons and did not incite revolts. Our only weapon was peaceful protest, enshrined in section 40 of our 1999 Constitution. All the while, we kept calm and educated our supporters, repeating during the protests that we did not come to fight the government, but to demand change and make sure the change is implemented.
We believed that somehow we would be spared the systemic violence and social collapse that were a direct result of government action. Unfortunately, we were wrong.
I was called to volunteer to receive donations for our cause from Nigerians at home and abroad who felt powerless to protest in person but believed they could make a difference in the world through financial sacrifice. The average Nigerians were keen to do their best to contribute to the #EndSARS cause, they found my personal account number and sent in what they could donate for the cause. Some even sent just € 500; whatever they could save for the cause. The fact that their victims were swept away by the government and their motives were questioned is discouraging because the funds raised, including more than 200,000 naira from my business, had to be paid to cover the medical bills of injured protesters.
We asked, among other things, to investigate the killings and torture of people, and the government agreed to create judicial chambers. In order to ensure the independence and fairness of the jury for young people, I have taken on the role of youth representative through my education, personal and family life. I did it to make up. I did this to make sure our youth understand that the only way to make Nigeria a better and safer place is to act legally. Why am I still being persecuted for showing goodwill to the government?
I do not belong to the Nigerian political or business elite: I have no relatives in the government or family members rich enough to influence influential people. I’m just a normal young Nigerian. I study, sell hoodies and other clothing for £ 5,000 in tuition fees. I also do a weird freelance role, taking on some brand influencers to make sure my family doesn’t get hurt. However, somehow my existence threatens my government, and the fact that I have the right to vote is enough for them to try to silence me.
In the Nigeria I am fighting for, it doesn’t matter if I’m the son of someone from an average Nigerian home. Nigeria, for which I am fighting, prioritizes every vote, protects all inalienable rights, even mine.
I decided to use the only currency I have, my voice, to speak out against the extrajudicial executions, torture, extortion and unjust persecution that still occurs in a democratic country in the 21st century! The government also agreed that reform was inevitable and promised us that they would listen, so why punish those who speak?
I’m not afraid, I’m just disappointed that this country will do this to me.
Nigeria is all I have, and I have the right to demand that this works for all of us, not just those with influence, wealth, or positions in government.
In a country where people are speechless for a long time, are the people who hold the government accountable too much? How can we ensure that such things will motivate people to build a new Nigeria? Nigeria will be full of responsible government officials, where all forms of oppression and injustice will become a thing of the past. How do you expect that I, part of the future of this country, will still believe in a country that thinks it has the right to block my account through CBN for no good reason?
It is not right. But we will fix everything. Otherwise, my generation and future generations have no future.
Don’t forget #EndSARS! “