My brother has been missing since yesterday 20-10-20!
We don’t know where he is.
We don’t know whether he is dead.
We don’t know anything.
He told us he was going to take part in the protests at Lekki and yesterday was the first time he would go out since the protests started. He had wanted to go since they began but my mother kept him back. She would pray, beg, and try to talk some sense into him. We live inOrile and my mother didn’t want him to go knowing her son; she said he was too headstrong and that if police began to catch them there, he was sure to be caught!
But my brother is very headstrong so he went anyway. He is 22 years old and works for a factory that makes soap in our area.
What kind of person is my brother?
He is all about hating injustice, all about fighting for equal opportunities, all about fighting for what is right, so even our mum knew she couldn’t keep him away from the protests for long.
When he got there; he was sending us updates on WhatsApp, telling us he was having fun; singing, dancing, food…they were having fun at the Lekki toll gate area.
Then when the government announced a curfew, I remember my mother telling my sister to call my brother to tell him to start coming home. I am not sure she called him immediately. I was busy trying to go and get things to stock up for the house because our mother sent me to the market.
So, around a few minutes past 1pm, when I got back from the market, I asked my sister if she had called our brother; she said she had and that he told her nothing would happen to them there; that soldiers or police couldn’t do anything to them!
My brother has always been the fighter in our family. He was the one who stood up to our dad after several years of beating our mother; he held our father’s hand from hitting her.
You know, that was brave of him; he was only 14years at that time. My brother was beaten by our dad that day but after that, daddy never raised his hands against our mother, till he passed two years back!
So you see, to be honest, even me, I never thought anything could go wrong with the protesters at Lekki! Who did? So I didn’t really bother, curfew or not!
But my mother kept telling us to call him to start coming home; I told my mother that CY, that’s my brother’s name, would take care of himself. You know, he is that kind of person. when trouble starts, he is street smart, he can take care of himself!
Even so, I called him and he told me I shouldn’t worry that ‘laslas‘ he would bunk with his friend who lived with his uncle around Ajah side. I know the friend but I don’t have his number and I don’t know exactly where he lives.
Now when we began to see on tv and social media that the government was killing the protesters at Lekki toll gate, we began to call my brother’s number but his number had been switched off!
I didn’t know if he switched off himself or if his phone battery died. I don’t know, my mother has been in tears, she has been crying since yesterday, saying soldiers have killed her son. We are not sure whether he is dead and because there is a curfew, we can’t even go out to know if truly my brother was among those killed or he had managed to escape to reach his friend’s house. Nobody knows.
I pray with all my might that he is at his friend’s place; I don’t know why he hasn’t called to let us know; I just think that maybe he had to run far and hide or something, that is why he couldn’t charge his phone or call us.
I hope that after this curfew we would be able to go and search for him.
I don’t want to believe my brother is among the dead, I prefer to believe he is alive and hiding. Maybe they are looking for them, you know? This could happen, right? Maybe they are secretly arresting the youths that tried to run, they captured them and are pretending they don’t know what is going on? This government can do such a thing…I pray my brother is not be among those who will never be found.
I pray he is safe, just hiding until he is able to charge his phone and call us; that is my prayer.
(Series written and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories)