Say it to Sanwo-Olu, his godfather and his mentors at the State House in Abuja that they’re are all pathological liars. From the interviews granted to push blames around, the unproductive panel of inquiry and the denial of Lekki genocide, one point that has stood as a fact is that, the Nigerian government is operating largely on totalitarianism. The right to peaceful protest is not only constitutional but the beauty of a democracy, which we claim to have in practice. A political leader who listens to the governed is not helping the followers but his administration. As for every leader, democratic or fascist, there’s a place in posterity to accommodate everyone.
In an ideal democratic set up, government doesn’t only tolerate protest, it addresses it to be sacrosanct. When there’s a need for the people to speak, government provides security of lives and properties and ensure orderliness. The operation “show force” of the Nigeria Police Force, at the Lekki Tollgate today, aimed at dissuading peaceful protesters tomorrow, who only want justice prevailed upon the massacre of 20th October 2020. The government of Sanwo-Olu, with the support of the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, General Muhammadu Buhari, atleast 17 people were gruesomely killed, alot more injured without anyone taking responsibility.
At the initial stage when we began receiving threats from the government (against the people), it was considered as “awada – kerikeri” a comedy. Who would have seen it as a threat? A democratic elected governor and president, that rode on the backs of the electorates respectively threatened some law abiding aggrieved citizens whose rage is borne out of injustice, malgovenance, failed leadership and apparent dysfunctionality.
Attacking unarmed citizens who are yet to heal from the loss of the over 100 days massacre of their friends, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers and children can only be counter-productive and escalating. The thoughtless force for peaceful demonstration explains how incapacitated the leaders are in managing crisis, listening to critical voices and appreciating a feed back, following a fashioned policy.
We can’t be troubled with killer herdsmen, banditry, kidnapping, insurgency, religious extremism, and still see a government elected into power by the people as a terror. The on-going “show of force” at the Lekki Tollgate is evidently a show of shame, irresponsibility, criminality and failure. An authority within the executive arm ordered the 20th October 2020 shooting. Somebody in power gave the order, lives were lost, how come our fingers have lost their direction to point at a culprit? Why is the court too timid to give live to justice?
Their heinous “show of force ” is just like the declaration of curfew which preludes the Lekki Massacre. The people in government can not and will not be more powerful than the masses, but these undoings of General. Muhammadu, Sanwo-Olu and his counterparts are just recipe for a more thorough mass resistance that would either end Nigeria or engineer a fresh style of leadership. The government that closely broke the wall for anarchy in less than four months is on the threshold of another costly blunder. Sometimes I feel, every political leader in Nigeria is jinxed to never get it right. The soro – soke mantra connotes intolerance for poor leadership – the youths are woke, prepared to make a change, I thought the leaders should do well to let the sleeping dog lie. If you can’t be responsible as a leader, resign and head home for some rest. Government is for those equipped with ideas to set the balls rolling.
A Yoruba dictum talks about the inconvenience of a bird on an inconvenient dangling rope. This is the situation the Lagos State Governor, aided by the President is creating. Let’s see how lightning would be dissociated from rain pour, as the government has chosen to marry a peaceful protest with a show of force. I often mutter a quote whenever time offers a study of Nigerian leaders, and their hatred for coordinated expression of thoughts from the citizens, the quote is for JF Kennedy, it states: “those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”