june-12th-part-2-cameraman-nigeria

JUNE The 12th Part 2

I  believe what had just happened today. I watched as in no delay, the stadium had become empty once again.

It all started this morning, 12th of June, democracy day. I work as a security officer in the Abuja Stadium. And we were told that the president was coming to the stadium to deliver his speech and celebrate democracy day.

When the news became viral, everybody seemed to have decided to attend. Nobody cares if they were Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo. The only thing that mattered to them was that they are Nigerians.

As a security officer, I had to arrive earlier than the others as ordered by our superiors. To make sure the perimeter was safe enough for the hundreds of people that were going to attend the democracy day ceremony.

We had everything all under control but then, the soldiers came. They refused to allow any of us to proceed with the security checking. I remember one of the men saying

“They think it’s football we came to watch. What do they know?”

Our superiors warned us to step down but then we were actually going to. We didn’t want to get shot. The soldiers checked every individual till they became tired and allowed anyone to enter… for a fee. We couldn’t say anything, we couldn’t do anything.

Later, the officials started to arrive. And the soldiers didn’t see a need to check them as well. They allowed them through with their bodyguards like they bought the stadium. I guess that’s what money does.  We had already reserved a seat for them Close to where the president would be so some of the soldiers escorted them there. And when they gave out money to the soldiers, they quickly placed the money in their pockets before anybody could notice what had happened.

When the president arrived, everyone was aware… People cheered for him as walked into the stadium with his security men and escorts. It wasn’t long after, he stood up to make his speech. By then, the soldiers left their post. So that they could properly hear and see Mr. President.  And we, the security officers were told to go back to our duty post. We were not allowed to leave there.  We stood quietly under the hot sun and dare to not complain.

Not long after, a young woman decided to leave the reserved section where the president was. She ignored our greetings and went outside. It wasn’t long before she came back in but this time, with a different bag. We asked her what was in the bag and she ignored us and kept walking so, we followed her and she started running. And we ran after her. We yelled to the soldiers to stop her but they ignored us. They were too engrossed by our President’s speech. Some of the security men caught up to her and separated the bag from her. I was still far behind but I could see what was going on we could not let her go back to the reserved section. We didn’t understand why she was running or why she started screaming.

The President stopped his speech and sent some soldiers to find out what was going on as they approached the security men with their guns, the bag exploded and everyone ran out of the stadium. The President and the officials were quickly taken away. And the soldiers disappeared as well. Six men died that day simply because others couldn’t do their job right.

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