Alibaba Relive 1989 Students Riots Under Buhari

Comedian Alibaba has gone down memory lane to relive his experience of the Structural Adjustment Programme (SAP) which was introduced by the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida.

The comedian said that SAP which sparked riots all over the country saw students of his school then, Bendel State University, Ekpoma, destroy things and every student had to pay whether they took part in the riot or not.

He compared that era to the present administration of President Buhari whereby everyone will be affected.

“Many years ago, I was contacted by Amadi Ogbonnaya, of the VANGAURD newspapers to come perform at a Wednesday #LadiesNite at Jabita Club,” he began on Instagram.

“The Saturday before, I made a great impression on him at an event I came for on #YabaTech. He told me to ask after a certain Wale Olomu, if he was not there by the time I got there, to receive me.

“I landed Lagos on Wednesday morning at about 5:40am. The OBSERVER newspaper 504 pickup that brought us from Benin, stopped at Maryland. They had their Lagos office at Maryland. I particularly remember the journey because, it was the day that the almighty S.A.P riot started. May 24, 1989.

“That journey to Lagos was a memorable one. We had been run off the road few kilometres after the Benin Tollgate, at about 2am. We all came down & pushed the pick-up back onto the road. Then there was that time that a torn part of the tarpaulin, that was being blown by the wind and aerodynamics, caught the left ear of the lady sitting closest to it. And that drew blood. We had to stop to deal with it.

“The rest of the journey would have been okay, but for the rain that beat us from Ore till Sagamu. It was like the 7-1, Man United-Arsenal massacre. We couldn’t park and wait. So we crawled on from 0re till Sagamu Tollgate. The rain was not the problem. I had swapped sitting positions with the injured lady. I now sat by the torn tarpaulin and was soaked to my skin.

“When the rain stopped at Sagamu, a lady now had an Asthmatic attack. One man was arguing with her. That its epilepsy. Come and see panic. Driver no gree stop. That he was supposed to drop the newspapers by 4am. But finally stopped.

“On arrival I was smelling like a he-goat, because of my #HausaWallet that was soaked in the rain.

“This story is long. But the important thing is that while I was in Lagos performing there was a riot in BENSU, Ekpoma, as there was across the country. And there was so much destruction and damage to school properties. Even I, that was in Lagos, had to pay for all the damages in a Riot I did not take part in.

“Trust me, whether you were part of it or not, you will pay the damages. And in this Buhari regime… e go pain you wellemly.”

Sebastiane Ebatamehi

I am a Writer and Online Publicist, destined to give a voice to the silent echoes and hush whispers that are seldom heard

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