projectXThe documentary

November 2012, Chijoke was arrested by a special police unit called SARS (Special Anti Robbery Sward). His younger sister Obianuju Ilonya has since been advocating to know about his wear about. All his family wants is his body! SARS brutality has been documented by the world leading human rights organisation, Amnesty International. Yet another police brutality footage on twitter, triggers the in 2007 launched #endsars #endpolicebrutality campaign to go viral. Amid the 2020 global Covid 19 pandemic,  a social media savvy Nigerian generation take to the streets to exercise their citizenship right to protest peacefully, at least till October 20th 2020. 

“They are shooting us”

….A female voice screams.

“I am down. I am down. I am dying. I am dying o.”

…another male voice is heard.

Nigeria is known for its wealth in natural resources! However, there is an enthusiastic population of multitasking entrepreneurs, with thousands of small businesses (formal and informal) sprinkled across the country which is all too often forgotten. Despite their enthusiasm, employment creation remains weak, unable to absorb the fast-growing labor force. Extreme high rate of unemployment and underemployment is the results. Nigeria transmitted into a democratic government in 1999 after over 30 years of independence in 1960 from England. Protesting governance in all its forms has been a culture of activism in Nigeria way before the 1885 Berlin conference era. From silent strategic protest to street riots. This time, the Nigerian people seek an end to oppression, injustice and bad governance through a peaceful cry for change. Almost 2 weeks, they marched the streets of the country peacefully until the 20th of October 2020. Peaceful protesters were shot at by men allegedly in military uniform. 

Nigerians react to the #lekkimasacre. The world reacts. The streets are on fire. But the government reacts even harder. For some the aftermath is loss of properties over the lives of victims. For others, they become government targets – frozen bank accounts, multiple arrests, violation of the Freedom of Association. The aftermath continues parallel to defendants contradicting their statements during the investigative panel on the Lekki shooting. This documentary intends to capture the narrative of a Nigerian generation in the process of experiencing the impact of their participation to build Nigeria!

How did we get here? Where can we go from here? Activists explain the root causes of this protest. For liberal and democratic societies around the world, one might need to see a riot, a strong protest to label it activism. For the young Nigerian society who have suffered a strong military rule, western exploitation and social injustice over the past years, breaking the silence to speak is not a simple task, but rather a strong sign of an awakened consciousness. This is activism!  The people of Nigeria have continually evolved, in their individual struggle to build a sustainable economy. With over 90 million unemployed and underemployed citizens and a long list of socio-economic injustice, Nigeria’s people question the nation’s governance. SAP was one program that was criticized. In 2019, as a strategy to increase the nation’s revenue, a 50% taxation increase was rolled out. This affected the bottom of the pyramid the most as inflation increased and the value of minimum wage decreased. The effect is felt on the streets and in the homes of millions of Nigerians, many of which find no way to ventilate their rage but to endure, improvise or push back by simply exercising a basic citizen right to “peaceful protest”.

How did we get here? Where can we go from here? Activists explain the root causes of this protest. This documentary intends to explore and portray  the awakened consciousness of a generation willing to sacrifice for a better nation. For liberal and democratic societies around the world, one might need to see a riot, a strong protest to label it activism. For the young Nigerian society who have suffered a strong military rule, western exploitation and social injustice over the past years, breaking the silence to speak is not a simple task, but rather a strong sign of an awakened consciousness. This is activism! 

What if Nigeria’s available and potential resources could provide efficient and accessible health care, education, shelter, water and food for all strata of society? What about the lives that have been lost in the battle for basic human rights? The mission is a better Nigeria. Nigeria has just begun its 21st century journey with a new kind of generation demanding accountability, good governance and leadership.

  • Director: Joana Adesuwa Reiterer
  • Language: Div. Nigerian languages including English and Pidgin.
  • Length: Estimated at 90 minutes.
  • Audio translation: tbc
  • Subtitled in language: tbc
  • Release schedule: 2021
  • Company: Joadre, Austria
  • Co-production: Verein EXIT |Rodo Studios LTD, Nigeria
  • Copyright: Joadre
  • Poetry: Kabat Esosa Egbon.
  • Extra footage: Thomas Ogun
  • Music: TBaze
  • Editor: Joadre, Thomas Waldek

May their lives be remembered!

JIMOH ISIAQ. SLEEK. STEPHEN AGBANYIM. TONY ORUAMA. AYOMIDE TAIWO. PETER OFURUM. CHIDI ODINAUWA. CHIKA IBEKU. CHIBUIKE ANAMS. IFEOMA ABUGU. CHRISTIAN ONUIGBO. EMMANUEL EGBO. VICTOR MADUAMAGO. TIYAMIU KAZEEM. MUS’AB SAMMANI. KOLADE JOHNSON. ONOVO MATTHEW. CHINEDU ANI. PRECIOUS ODUA. RICHARD GORA. CHIJOKE ILOANYA. LINDA IGWETU. DANIEL TELLA. HARRLY ATARIA. JOHNSON NNAEMEKA. FEMI BELLO. CHIMA IKWUNADO. GODGIFT EKERETE. GABRIEL OWOICHO. TINA EZEKWE. MODEBAYO AWOSIKA. DANIEL ADEWUYI. CHUKWUEMEKA MATTHEW. CHIKA IBEKU. AZUAMAK MADUEMAGO. RINJI BALA UZZIEL.  RINJI BALA UZZIEL. JOSEPH EIDONOJIE UGBENI. ANITA AKAPSON. CHIBUKE DANIEL IKEAGUCHI. IFEANYI OZOR. CHINEDU MENIRU. AUGUSTINA AREBU. ANTHONY NWOKIKE. PAULINUS OGBONNA. EKENE ISAAC MEGBE. EMEKA OJINZE. ADEMOLA MOSHOOD. ISMAILA ANYINLA. SUNDAY. JOY NDUBUEZE.