Nigerians just do not seem to know the depth of their socio-economic and political morass. In fact, it would not be out of character to say that we are in deep s–t. Today, the continuously and consistently declining structure of the Nigerian state has now gotten to a point of saturation and our society can take no more. The structure of the state is on a tail spin of degeneration, and the decline of the superstructure is a natural consequence.
Any state that operates in the way and manner of the Nigerian state is a criminal enterprise using the paraphernalia of democracy, governance, electoral multi-partism as a decoy to foist a most heinous criminal endeavour on the Nigerian people. The criminal disposition of our political system is given credence by the unfortunate but true description of Nigeria by Karl Maier as: ‘A criminality run corporation where the leaders are armed and are hidden in the safe’
The multiple purpose vehicles used by dubious, unconscionable people masquerading as politicians for carrying out this heist against the Nigerian people are the political parties, especially the two main political parties in the country that are set up and run in a manner that is nothing more than that of an organized criminal organisation.
The quantum of stealing, looting, banditry, and treasury emptying since the advent of this ‘unbroken democracy’ is stupefying, mind numbing, and breadth taking. That the political class is at war with the country and peoples have never been in doubt. A time there was when the baby was beaten but was at least allowed to cry. Today, it is an anathema to express unhappiness about your social and economic condition. You cannot cry! You must not cry, or the police or DSS will be sent after you.
A nation’s security infrastructure, is necessary for the existence of the state and is built for both internal and external purposes of protecting the nation state. They are infrastructures for internal cohesion and a repellent force against external threat. Under a perverse, ill informed, parochial, unpatriotic, and corrupt ruling class in a quasi democracy like Nigeria, the instruments of coercion, procured to protect the people is inevitably used to oppress and repress the same people. Under such a setting, state protection actually means the protection of the individuals and groups who make up the state at various levels, and it doesn’t matter whether those being protected with state resources are the very ones undermining the state through acts of omission or commission.
The repressive action of the President Muhammadu Buhari government against youthful citizens of our country who are exercising their constitutionally guaranteed right of dissent over their state of affairs is shameful, a disservice to the ideals and ethos of our democracy, and an assault on the constitution. Before the current sordid crackdown over the #EndSARS agitation, the police in Lagos had forcefully cracked down on the peaceful protests by the Joint Action Front (JAF), Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) in their protests over the increase in the pump price of fuel and electricity, as well as the ‘Revolution Now’ protesters on Independence Day.
If only the Buhari government is aware that it is fighting a battle it can never win. No government in the long run has ever won a battle against its own people. The sad aspect of the conundrum of the Buhari government is that it is only through repression that it can respond to its many monumental failures in governance. The consequences of these failures will manifest in increasing resistance to the government by the people through further protests and agitations which will lead to further clampdowns and more agitations until it grows beyond the ability of the government to rein it in. If and when such a situation occurs, then we all will really be in trouble. No one knows when such an inevitable conclusion will be reached but one thing is certain – the government can accelerate such an eventuality by the improper handling of the present situation.
That this government will go down being perceived as the worst in the history of Nigeria is a foregone conclusion. It can neither deliver on the economy, security, nor anti-corruption – the basis of its ascension to political power in 2015. Rather, the country is today worse off on these three indicators. To further compound its failures and confirm its ignominy and notoriety through arbitrariness and continuous hunting down of dissenters is the the height of lunacy. The present happenings where the ‘lazy Nigerian youths from all over the country are responding in a definite and patriotic matter to the inability of the state to keep them safe should sound loudly as a warning bell to the government and the political class that our social dynamics are changing and that sooner or later the balance of power in our country will change whether they like it or not.
The situation is very fluid. Only an astute and proper handling of the matter can save the present situation from spiralling out of control. But even if the present situation is controlled, it can only be temporary because the underlying factors or forces of social, economic, and political degeneration in the country are still very much at play. Only a fundamental rejigging of the Nigerian state (System Change) can provide a panacea to our historical, present, and future woes.
Those who have hunted with the hounds and run with the hare will sooner than later be at the mercy of the hunting pack.
It is a matter of time!
Achike Chude is a socio-political commentator, an activist and democrat based in Lagos, Nigeria.
Aledeh News is not liable for opinions expressed in this article, they’re strictly the writer’s