Relative calm has been restored in cities in Nigerian after more than two weeks of deadly protests against police brutality and widespread anger over the shooting of peaceful demonstrators.
In Lagos, the country’s commercial hub and the epicentre of the protests, authorities on Saturday eased a 24-hour imposed curfew, while the streets of the capital, Abuja, steadily returned to normal.
With Lagos’s residents allowed to leave their homes between 8am and 6pm local time, some decided to go out and help government workers clear the streets and buildings destroyed by arsonists.
One Lagos resident Chinwendu Madubuike said, “The level of destruction is shocking. We can’t leave everything to the government,” .
He added that; “Lagos belongs to all of us. We are not happy with the destruction of buildings and burning of shops. The bit we can do is to clean up the mess and begin to rebuild what has been destroyed,”.
But others decided to boycott the clean-up exercise even though online appeals by some volunteers were made.
“We the youths have been on the streets protesting peacefully for over a week and cleaning up our mess day and night,” said entrepreneur Chelsea Balls.
“As much I would love to clean up my state and have my state back to its normal form, we the youths didn’t make that mess – the hoodlums hired by the government did that,” added the 36-year-old.