My fellow Nigerians, the last few weeks has been such a memorable period in the history of our nation, a moment of tears, sorrow and blood. The run of events that played out during and after the Lekki Massacre is one trajectory that has continue to attract both local and international attention. The unclad fact is that, there were shootings by the “known” among the unknown army. Even though ambiguity has been peddling around to disguise and invalidate the incident. It is certain and clear that no responsible government would display such heinous and carnivorous act on her citizen. This is a standard that can never be shortchanged, perhaps this has been the reason why the rank and file in government have continue to struggle with words, their level of contradiction and confusion is a sign of morally drought individuals we called leaders. It is now on record that, the Nigeria Military released a statement claiming the Lagos state governor invited them to the Lekki Scene to enforce law and order, after the military had initially repudiated their presence at the scene. Their truth would have been completed but they denied killing anybody.
Babajide Sanwonlu, in his own counter defense, refuted the claim, his prayer was that he has no authority under the constitution to invite or command the Military to action. But, the Governor however confirmed that people were killed after he earlier gave a false narrative that no one was killed. However, the race of contradiction between the military and the Lagos state governor is like passing a baton and it is unfortunate at a time the ruling class is begging the Nigeria populace for a pinch of trust; how this is possible is a question soliciting for so many answers.
The ENDSARS episode has indubitably exposed the looks of skeleton kept for so long. The fact may sometimes be ugly and very hard to hide. It has been revealed that Nigerians rhythm of anger and misadventure is loud and evident; just like the afro-pop. The ENDSARS struggle has been pregnant for years, and the youths decided to be the doctor to operate on Nigeria and this is being felt across the nation. The event is a response to the effect of cumulative atrocities that has been left to thrive for long. It is possible to say that Nigeria is a narration of a nation where almost everybody is angry. The youth population of this nation rose up to confront the abnormalities. Energy however shows that many people still believe in the project called Nigeria but the relevant authorities lost the chance to re-write many wrongs when they order the killings of the unharmed peaceful demonstrating protesters.
Consequently, this uncharitable singular act has since been condemned from every corner. The uncanny situation is definitely avoidable, if creative prior steps were taken by President Buhari, but as usually he was lucid enough with the silence culture he is known for, which is very unpresidential. Although, he finally spoke but his words were less felt and not far-reaching; it couldn’t move an ant. Nigerians expected a presidential speech that will be full of empathy, genuineness and thorough but it was a shamble full of chunks.
A country like Nigeria cannot afford a hiatus leadership, it is very dangerous for our polity. The specification of leadership that befits Nigeria as a nation is a responsive one, considering our complexity, diversity and the level of volatility. It must be stressed that the untimely and unsophisticated posture of the government before, during and after the Lekki shooting resulted to the invasion and looting syndrome. The invasion of warehouses where palliatives were kept should be a serious concern because this is another means to affirm the level of hunger and poverty that exists in the land even though such attitude may be considered as unscrupulous.
However, the reality must not be overlooked because this is a sign that many of our people are seriously hungry and when hunger bewitch a man, he loses his sense of reasoning and any sort of evil may be inevitable. To blame alone Nigerians who invaded these warehouses is unjust and lop-sided especially without interrogating the authorities in government who underrated the level of hunger among Nigerians and choose to hoard those palliatives with unworthy reasons that may never be justified. For example, tons of noodles worth of 4,000,000 naira meant for Benue State was diverted to be sold in a market in Kano state, this kind of act is absurd and it shouldn’t be swept under the carpet; thorough punishment must be administered. In the same vein, a senator who is believed to be distinguished said he refused to share his own palliatives because it was meant to be distributed on his birthday, can you imagine such a beautiful excuse. It is so unfortunate the kind of impetus people use to justify impunity. In this country, we are at stage where the sense of shame has gone on exile.
The ruling political class must be aware that the level of consciousness among the average Nigerians is up swinging and the era of trepidation is over, to face your fear is the beginning of freedom. The social media is a major gismo of weaponry in the hands of the people and it may never be stopped. However, permit me to sound unequivocal, “Nigeria of today is worse far more and the reality is the looting going on in almost every part of the country”. Many public and private businesses have been raided, looted and burnt. This look so barbaric, uncivilized and condemnable but this is just the definition of a failed society. What the government must know is that people are hungry and angry, as it stands everybody is vulnerable. To start the blame game when all hands should be on deck is a symptom of a leadership that is blind to reality.
The perception of Nigerians towards people in government should be a source of concern to them. In a society where the governed perceived everybody in government as looters or crooks, such a society will end up in a state of anarchy. Another point that must be taken is that, people see the present state lootings as direct revenge or retaliation against the government and its political exclusive.
As a country, we are gradually moving away from sanity to a point of no return. We saw how the jailbreak on maximum Prisons in Benin and Okitipupa happened, an attempt was made on Ikoyi and Kirikiri Prisons as well. Also, the Oba of Lagos Palace was completely looted and likewise police station and many private businesses were burnt, virtually there was a collapse of law and order. Which portrayed a strand of anomie in Nigeria. What this bring forth is a government that has remained insensitive to the plight of his people. To dwell on the excuse that ENDSARS protest brought this upon the country is a blatant lie. As the poverty capital of the world, things like this is inevitable.
We can label the species involved as hoodlums, miscreants and thieves but they are product of the Nigeria state. They were created and mentored by the failed system. In clearer perspective, Segun Adeniyi said, “we have described those who have gone on looting sprees as hoodlums. Yes, there are criminals and hoodlums among them but if the hordes of people (men, women, children, including security personnel) who have engaged in maniacal lootings across the country are all hoodlums, then something is terribly wrong with the soul of our country”. This rhetoric must be looked at critically, a second wave of such can happen and this time we may not be lucky.
To move forward with the right frequency, it is very imperative for all and sundry to admit that Lekki shooting took place and life were lost, this will undoubtedly bring to play a sense of responsibility especially on the part of the government, without this, it will be very difficult to channel the right course for true healing and reconciliation among the wounded and empathizers. To be frank, this is not the time the government and its defenders to engage in politicking, blame game and personality rebranding. The only image rebranding as it stands is ‘true justice’. The red stain on the green- white-green flag is physically and emotionally symbolic and every energy must be set in motion to remove this stain by ensuring undiluted justice for the slain soul. However, at this juncture, I can only wish for a Nigeria of my dream as I hope the gains the youths have made will be the forerun to a new era.