By Haruna Muhammad Inuwa
My memory serves me well, thus, I can remember. In January 2012, the atmosphere was heavily electrifying and ultimately tensed. Frustration and anger filled out streets. Hope lost. And the wave of fear continues to reign. The subsidy was removed by President Goodluck. Yes! As we thought, life was spontaneously unbearable as the cost of living skyrocketed. We were wrong; we did not see the trouble ahead – of nationwide insecurity, of economic instability, of the almighty COVID-19, of End-SARS protest. As of then, our thoughts were overwhelmed emotionally. Of course, we could not predict what would transpire within the same month. In Kano, people were carried away sentimentally — mocking security forces and threatening them with Boko Haram just to justify their unprocessed anger over the subsidy removal.
It was Friday evening (22nd January 2020). Like a nightmare, a film-spoiler-like — we heard over a thunderous strike. Could it be an accident of trucks? Then shootings of gunfire went on. No, it is too early. That could not be Arm robbers, for it was not godly hours. Not yet. Later, the atmosphere became permeated with smoke. However hard we tried to distance our state of fear from reality, the reality further unfolded. Alas, we knew, it was not safe. From all angles, people were running helplessly. Like a headless chicken, unorganized without direction. That was when Islamist insurgents struck Kano, that was nine years ago. Over 100 plus casualties were recorded. Consequently, the government imposed a 24-hours curfew, and the poor people, lockdown at home, pray and beg for chaos no more.
This is what lack of anger management and emotional intelligent ruthlessly caused us. We drummed for chaos (unknowingly), and eventually soberly begged for divine mercy.
Yes, wish not for chaos in the land, because we would be disempowered mentally and our safety at a retarded pitfall. The recent unfortunate incidence in our dear country broke my heart. Nobody deserves to die. I repeat, no single soul should be sacrificed. We only live once, goes the old wise saying. There was a peaceful protest at first. After intense pressure, the government made concessions. Then thugs and hoodlums over-empowered the peaceful protesters. This is a well-written scripture for the discerning minds. The looting of public malls and destruction of common people’s properties surfaces the atmosphere and the conflict entrepreneurs re-strategize their game.
Some of us sincerely argue that, despite there’s absence of trust between the citizens and the politicians, we should’ve given the government chance to fully implement the demands. These things can’t be achieved overnight, therefore, there’s no need for the protest to continue. But, instead, what we got was a fair share of insults. Looking beyond, this is unnecessary. For the record, I’ve never been a fan of this government. In fact, I passionately detest its anti-masses policies. I campaigned religiously against Buhari and his party men. Better still, some went ahead to have made it look like we are endorsing the government and police brutality.
When you start issuing out fresh demands you know, you make your cause pointless. It started with end corruption, end bad governance, then fix Nigeria, and finally, Buhari must resign. Seriously? Unfortunately, no one is going to resign. This is a democratically elected politician and he will finish his tenure before he vacates office. It is clearly and unarguably written. So, onto the next one.
What happened in Lekki last night stands absolutely condemnable. No justification or whatsoever. It is the government’s responsibility to fully investigate what happened and justice shall equally be served. Going forward, we must acknowledge the fact that; life must exist before we talk about rule of law. We are angry with everything doesn’t give us the freedom of escalating severe violence and panic-mongering within ourselves. This is time to inspire hope. Preach for peace. And, seek divine intervention.
Obviously, calling for the international organizations to sanction a falling country like Nigeria is not going to add up anything – it would have a negative impact on the poor people, you and I. Nigeria is economically hurt and dying. Hence, wish not for chaos in the land. Consciously, destroying people’s properties will further increase tension and would not affect the people at the top. Thence, wish not for chaos. Government’s property? It is unwise and trivial. Accordingly, wish not for chaos in the land
Like I argue, Nigeria is the only country we have and by the special grace of God, the country is not going to burn the way conflict entrepreneurs want it.
May God save us from us!
Haruna Muhammed Inuwa, a Staff Writer at Educational Communities Worldwide and writes from India