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Why We The Youths Are On The Streets Protesting – Female Activist, AISHA YESUFU


Aisha Yesufu is one of the leaders of the #EndSARS protest. She has been a known name in civil protests in Nigeria. She is a social and political activist who came to prominence for her role in tirelessly speaking up for the abducted 276 Chibok schoolgirls kidnapped by the Boko haram terrorists in Chibok in 2014.

Aisha Yesufu remains a known face in the End SARS protest. An iconic photo of the Nigerian activist taken on Saturday 10th October, 2020 during the #EndSARS protest in Abuja has served as a morale booster for Nigerians calling for the scrapping of a police unit, Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), notorious for its brutality against citizens.

In the photo which has been trending on Twitter and other social media platforms, Mrs. Yesufu stood with her legs apart and threw a fist into the air which symbolises the defiance and determination, as far as achieving the goals of the EndSARS protest.

Mrs. Yesufu stood in the photo with her legs apart and threw a fist into the air which symbolises the defiance and resolve, as far as the #EndSARS protest is concerned. Meanwhile, a group of other protesters stood some metres away behind her in support of her cause while she has a bag hung across her chest.  Her iconic photo during the protest in Abuja served as energizer to the EndSARS protesters.

Though Aisha Yesufu, a mother of 2 was born and raised in Northern Nigeria, she is not from the north. She is actually from Edo State, South-South Nigerian, same with her husband. In a chat with an online medium, she explained what led her into political and social activism which she believes it’s her own way of giving back to the society.


What was growing up  like as a child?

Where I grew up in Kano State can be compared to a Ghetto, in fact, some people call it the Ajegunle of Kano where you have a lot of drug users, street children, almajiris, and using drugs was very normal over there. If you were not into drugs in that area, you were seen as an odd person.

How were you able to scale through the hurdles of getting educated in such a “Ghetto-like” environment?

By the time I was 11 years old, I did not have any female friends because all of them had been married off but I wanted to be educated and leave the ghetto. About my university education, I initially got admission at the Uthman Dan Fodio University in 1992 but later left the school after a crisis and enrolled at the Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria to study Medicine. I left Ahmadu Bello University again after the school was closed following the murder of a professor in 1994. I finally completed my tertiary education at Bayero University, Kano, where I graduated with a degree in Microbiology.

What do you do as a means of living?

After my schooling, I went into business. I have never worked for anyone in my life and I never intend to. I have been doing business since 2000; I started my business after school and it became my main focus.

How did you develop the spirit of activism that’s seen in you today?

For me, activism has been part of me all my life. I am somebody that stands up against injustice and I have been doing that since I was young. I had participated in a number of protests while in school.

How did you join the Bring Back Our Girls (BBOG) Group?

I remember that I was at the gym with a friend who told me that later that day, she was going for a protest because of the abducted Chibok girls. I asked for the colour they were wearing and she said red. Since I did not have a red hijab, I decided to buy one that day. I called my husband to inform him of my decision and he supported me; that was how it started. When the Chibok girls’ incident happened, I was already set to give back to my society and I saw that as an avenue.

A few days back, she also addressed protesters in Abuja. Below is what she said at the Rally

We cannot be a nation of praying people. We call our self the most populous country, the Nigeria. Really! But when it comes to protest, we are the least populous country.

Because we have powers as citizens.

People who are not afraid to die. Are we living in Nigeria?

Is this life?

This is not life. I spent seven months in the UK. I just came back two weeks ago. I just finished my fourteen days quarantine. You know what, I wasn’t treated as a slave in another man’s land. So who will dare to treat me as a slave in my own country, because we call out those who failed.

Every day you get a phone call from someone in the middle of the night telling you that they need money for healthcare, they need money for school fees —

They need money for this and that. Nigerians make demand from fellow citizens but they dare not make demands from the government that are failing them, that are looting them, that are packing their things away. It is high time we begin to do tough law.

Enough of the nonsense! When some people will stay at home, they expect us to put our lives on the line for them, and then they will call and tell us to bring money. People have been making excuses, all users in the walls of social media. If Sowore is the one doing it, they will not come. Henry shield is the one doing it, they will not come. Owowade Eyinju is the one doing it, they will not come. Ariyo is the one doing it, they will not come.

You know what, excuses are like shoes and you will always find the one that fits.

I say it is time for us to stand as a nation

I am tired of being afraid in my country

I am tired of hiding in my house. I am tired of paying unnecessary school fees. I am tired of paying bills. Come to the thirty k that they pay, what will it buy? A bag of rice? And that’s it. And then we have a president, who has the guts to do nothing and yet is sending thugs and security agents to come and intimidate us. You all should be ashamed of yourself.

You all should be ashamed of yourself

You all should look at yourself and let the tears pour down, because you are killing this nation.

No matter how much do they pay you. How much is your school and salary? How much do you pay for your children?  The child of the President and the child of the policeman should have equal rights in this country.

They should have access to good quality education

How much is the school fees in Britain where most of them have their children? You see us on the street, you think we are hungry that is why —

We aren’t! We are angry

It is Buhari and his people that are hungry. The people who are stealing our money, they are the hungry people.

How much is it, your school fees? How much is your salary? How much do you pay for your children school fees? Do their children get the same access to good quality education like your children, No! That is why we are here. So the next time they send you to protesters, and tell you to put a stop to it, and you come out with guns, think about it.

With additional materials from premium times and dnbstories


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