‘The only stable state is the one in which all men are equal before the law’ – Aristotle
The extraordinary negative change in behavioural patterns in Nigeria is not accidental. The ongoing death game by terrorists and the violent blight created by sundry criminals and allied violent gangs that are becoming ubiquitous is the bitter reward of irresponsibility that characterize governance and administration of justice in the land.
No nation gets exalted without upholding the sanctity of truth and justice.
Beginning with the very idea of social injustices and analysis of structures that have been oil to dispense them, one might start to understand the reason for fratricidal and structural violence in the country. A closed society is bound to witness open chaos. Equity, fairness and justice are traditional ingredients for sustaining a stable and orderly society.
The spiral waves of anarchy being witnessed today flow from fountains of governmental failure to sustain an open and just society that protects the poor and defend the rich. It is idle not to that unjust state will become awful horror film of unending tragedies, where existence becomes accidental happenstance. Ubiquitous banal Birds of brutal deaths have taken over the ungoverned sky the same way sons of dogs partitioned the land into belts of blood. Leadership is trapped and perpetually seems to remain on a bed of trance without giving a hoot to the lamentations of cowardly citizens, sobbing on the slaughtering field of fate after surrendering their responsibility to hold rulers to account.
We elected leaders, instead of holding them to account we say God will judge as if God will not judge us too. Poverty, misery and hardship are harsher judges even before God’s judgment. So, we need to stop hiding our timidity under a religion whose creeds we don’t even keep! The recurring news today in the land are captioned;
Killed by schoolmates, killed by hotelier, killed by a stationery car, killed by moving trailer, killed by terrorists, killed by kidnappers, ignoring the fact that the real true killer is the unjust rudderless rulers that gave clothes of justice to anarchy to wear.
We have rulers that create more problems than solve them; rulers who are not mindful of responsibilities. They ignore Marcus Aurelius’ dictum that ‘Wiseman accepts his pain, endures it, but does not add to it.’
The recent opportunity opened to Lagos State Government through the report submitted to it by the EndSARS Panel of Inquiry it set up was wasted in the frivolity of semantics- ’massacre’; rather than using the opportunity to coarse the characteristically reckless security agencies into decency that abhors extra-judicial discharge of duties. The white paper came out wild.
The Wild Paper written with the ink of blood came out! The fluidity of its prose is aided by steeply urgency for the abdication of responsibility. The viscosity of its poetry, powered by a halfhearted commitment to a course of justice betrayed hope. Governor Sanwoolu, a humane but naive personality was torn between loyalty and humanity; regrettably, he prioritized loyalty.
In any event, the light was first switched off at Lekki before Sanwoolu created his own darkness with dark wild paper! Maybe if we had used Toll Gate, Lekki as examples of our Zero Tolerance to Violence, Dowen College, Lekki wouldn’t have happened.
In 2010, I bought the book, ‘The Rise of Political Lying’ written by Peter Orbone, it wouldn’t be out of generosity to give a copy each to the Governor and Boda Lai as well deserved Christmas gifts from me.
Indeed, they earned it! Aside from the contributions of the State and ineffective governance to the anarchical state of anomie, we find ourselves, active citizenry to is dead in Nigeria. We react by avoidance, pretending that all is well.
Each time we ask people to move on without resolving issues, we lose a community. Each time we ask people to do whatever makes them happy without considerations for others, we lose a society.
Each time we offend others and tell them ‘no one is perfect, we lose the capacity for repentance. Now, we are left with a soulless society and callous community of cruellest kind of homo sapiens, where kids are killing kids, maids are killing masters, husbands killing wives, wives stabbing husbands. Also, we have a society of cruel kidnappers and terrible terrorists that wash their feet in the blood of victims.
Leaders are as bad as their citizens! We created an ultra-reckless and irresponsible society, yet we have the temerity to ask the archetypal Hippocratic question – how did we get here? We recklessly drunk drove ourselves here without caution lights, forgetting that accident does not pardon even if the vehicle is ours! It is that bad that that today, some even see the chains in their hands as diamonds, making rescue from slavery impossible.
It is mission impossible, a fruitless journey that could drain emotions and task sanity! You can’t convince slaves who are in love with their chains to embrace freedom.; otherwise, how does one explains, people, staking their ‘honour’, albeit, foolishly, in support of a king whose Doctors are in Europe and whose Minister is seeking humanitarian child delivery intervention in American hospitals, while they themselves are wounded without access to even the glorified mortuaries called hospitals? Worse still, they died in droves in the lethargic hands of vicious kidnappers and virulent terrorists their ineffectual rulers are too impotent to tame?
Nigerian elites are funny people, behaving like spoilt children, fighting for chocolate, rather than focusing on home security, they are raising the gavel in the parliament and wearing diplomatic caps in the executive chamber in protest of Omicron inspired UK travel ban. These are jesters that change locations to comfort zones rather than changing their homes into comfort zone. They are bothered that they cannot travel to Europe but less concerned about the poor farmers that could no longer access their farms. It is this line of thoughtless self-centred leadership that create the gulf where inequality and injustice co-habit, producing seeds that germinated into reckless audacious anarchy that now rules our land today!
Gbenro Olajuyigbe is the Executive Director of Emergency & Risk Alert Initiative.