With the scooter riding-killer in
France recently, and the present
call in Britain to commence the screening of private messages and telephone calls by their security agents, the fear that the entire world lives in, has finally reached its precipice as a condition metamorphosing across borders.
Today, it is expedient to have the entire land mass of Nigeria swarming with security operatives because the expression of freedom lacks moderation for some of us. It has so easily become justifiable that the search for our own peace should transect whatever boundaries others have erected to protect themselves and guarantee their peace. It is this conflagration within our minds – which is expanded to mean a threat to our existence. This is the mindset that produces the disagreeable actions which must be checked in order to keep the society in cohesion.
Even those that would perform the most dastardly acts, and then run into hiding, also know the value of peace. Otherwise they would not be running from tasting their own manner of medicine. However, it is only within the construction of such besotted minds that they hope to gain peace through the suppression of the will of others.
Therefore, when I stream on my mind the activities of Boko Haram, Al-Qaeda or the other groups that resort to unrestrained violence in forcing their wishes on the people, which has also necessitated the militarisation of the Nigerian environment, I begin to wonder about the real value of the fundamental doctrines that could be so imperative to push a people to such bestial level, and yet prefers to do all of it from a hide-out.
Yes! The prevalence of the military personnel in a civil society emphasizes the fact that all is not well. However, it is even worse to have them remain at the barracks when we all appreciate that all is truly not well. Because for peace they were created and are being paid; peace they must keep at times like these, when we are at war with ourselves.
Though behind the façade of militarizing the environment is the disturbing fear of the affluent class and the need for their protection; and at such, the ordinary Nigerian cannot be fooled into believing that these military personnel are actually out to protect them: A protection that they would have preferred if it was against hunger, other forms of social deprivation, or the scourge of diseases.
A smaller picture of all these oddities could reveal a government that is forever failing to provide answers to the core needs of its people; the picture may present a people, who have been turned on each other because of the danger of stark capitalism (where the weak are converted into the fuel that sustains the greed of a few) We could see in the picture, a people that have been torn apart by self-serving political divide, and a people with broken love, having been browbeaten or hoodwinked by religious and ethnic political bigotry.
It is also important for us to appreciate that a bigger picture would most likely reveal the multiplier effects of so many other minor and major infractions that have conflated to make Nigeria, a land without a soul. If some persons could be somewhere and be brewing such activities that will involve taking explosives to blow up innocent people; if a government that claims to be enjoying the people’s mandate could wake-up and issue a directive that would translate to an increase in fuel pump price because Nigerians have failed to assist the government in apprehending those who are stealing the oil-subsidy funds; this simply represents the tangle of the pot calling the kettle black; for one to be referring to the other as a foe of the people .
In the bible days, the Israelites were audacious enough to have gone to report the Egyptian taskmasters to the Egyptian king for being hard on them, and they were rewarded with an appropriate reprimand of more burdens for daring to speak out and against the status quo. But Nigerians have been patriotic enough not to report to God the lack of drugs at the hospitals; they have not reported to the Almighty the state of the roads that have become death traps; they have not reported the election results that are never the true reflections of the people’s votes; they have not reported the harm that the stealing of their common wealth has caused them, yet it would seem that the leadership of the country has a mandate to keep punishing its people for their misfortune of being Nigerians.
It is only unfortunate that the government has a way of making its own crime more civil in appearance. Otherwise, Nigerians ought to be requesting protection from the simulating infractions of its government. When Nigerians complain in their rooms and work places, they are confounded with astronomical electricity tariffs, levies and taxes; when they complain on the streets, gun wielding military personnel are used to snuff them out and back to their hideouts.
No system can treat a people like this and be expecting them to be comported. As bad as it may seem, sometimes, Nigerians really wish for more ways to tell its leadership that all is not well: Though not in the Boko Haram fashion that does not identify the friends from the foes; not in such hellish ways that is repulsive to all modicum good values, but truly through the means that could force leadership to understand that the Nigerian ship is sinking, and needs to be salvaged by the persons, who absolutely know the right things to do… such persons, who they are also using the militarisation to scare in one fell swoop with the actual criminals.