Not long ago, there was a photo of a man who jumped down from the third floor of a Magistrate Court in Lagos. Why? He owed N40,000. According to the story he owed someone N40,000 and he has been remanded in a maximum prison for six months over this. When they brought him out, in an attempt to escape, he jumped down to his death.
Recently, I watched a group of Kick Against Indiscipline, (KAI) officials chase hawkers and roadside vendors off the road. The brutality with which this was carried out was astounding. If Nigeria faced one of our many problems the way those KAI men chased/beat those traders, we would have moved forward as a nation.
I was talking to a friend about the absence of local people from the area I live in and he said “Lagos no like poor man” before informing me that there was a thriving village in the area but government wanted the land so they demolished the village, sand-filled it and ta-daaa- many fancy new buildings sprang up.
There is a straight line between all these random incidents I have mentioned above, and the #EndSars, #ReformSars campaign that trended on social media. From all the accusations levelled against the police, the videos, photos and other evidences people had to prove their stories are true, all the government took away from it was that it was a politically motivated campaign. The police dismissed all the claims and somehow, because this is Nigeria, a SupportSars campaign kicked off too.
Should the law not have a human face? Was the law made for man or man for law?
The people who were forcefully evacuated from their communities, where are they now?
Those who have been abused, robbed or worse, even killed by policemen, is there any justice for them? How can we ensure young people are not being abused, robbed, tortured or killed by those paid to protect them?
Why does it feel like we live in a different universe from those in government?
When the campaigns for 2019 kicked off. We started seeing photos of people in government climbing down from their gold splattered universe to take rides in keke napep. Next they were buying tomatoes in the market and eating roasted corn. After that, the circle continues…