By Idris M. Kabir
We might be too immersed in politicking to notice, but the menace of local militias and cultic groups is highly on the rise in recent times. Even if they only steal little pages of the dailies, the violent ideologies, however, continue to rage wildly, mounting bases on every opening created by social imbalances.
It’s verily a harsh reality we have found ourselves in, one which could arise to cripple our existence if we fail to nail it with very quick but sound social, economic, and political strategies. In a porous society like ours, we can only but endure these deadly trends for some moments before the whole nation plunges completely into anarchy. In retrospect, what is even scarier about these spates of violent uprisings is how they facilitate the destruction of our peaceful societal ethics and morals. The fear they command breed enough darkness to raise a new brand of vengeance-motivated killers from ordinary citizens. This explains the gruesome reprisals and incessant jungle-justices that plough behind their waves of chaos. Take the Ikorodu incident as a case study.
Generally, it may seem like a problem for some few communities right now. However, if we honestly assess our immediate locality, there is absolutely no viable shield which could prevent these dangerous trends from encroaching into our personal space, hence the genuine concerns. As harsh as this may sound, it can only get worse with time if we continue to watch with an eagle eye without cooking a decisive remedy. Frustration will always breed nuisance of all kinds which will then create unbearable calamities. These calamities will in turn awaken more innocent killers from our peaceful streets that would turn thirsty for revenge.
The causes of these toxic waves of uprising are not really buried in the moon; we have created a wide range of insecurity in our society and purged our streets of genuine hope, with decades of abysmal leadership and institutionalized classism. It is only natural for various evil groups to start clouting people together by promising to rekindle their hope and ensure their personal safety.
Most people know that the citizens of some sections of North Africa felt betrayed and were full of anger and frustration over the continuous negligence of the successive governments before terrorism swooped in and harvested the readily ripe fruits. The rest of their stories are spread over vast wasted lands and scores of refugee camps. In the same vein, several years of anti-people policies is gradually eroding the humaneness of many citizens of our dear country, and we can’t sensibly just sit back and watch.
Now, our usual response to this scary trend so far has been to roll out the tanks and unleash military might to crush any threat. But what happens when both the police and military is overwhelmed? Remember that even our mighty military have a saturation level. The bitter fact is that bullets have a history of fueling frustrations rather than quelling them. So, while we have to defend ourselves against our self-made “monsters,” we also most urgently must address the socioeconomic and political anomalies that created them else, they would just step back into the nursery and breed more vicious monsters to replace the fallen ones.
We have a nightmare on our hand and we all need to donate as much efforts to rescue our beloved nation from drifting into the path of self-destruction. As an individual, please guide as much young people as you can, socially, emotionally, economically as well as politically, from getting absorbed into any of these trending menace for any reason. Stand firm against jungle-justices anywhere, not just to defend the right of the untried suspects, but also to prevent the ordinary men from turning themselves into brutal murderers. We all must own our immediate environment and strive to make it better in our own little way.
Finally, please shout as much as you can for the authorities to hear; infrastructural development is very much useless without building adequate human capacity to manage them. It may interest you to know that Damascus (Syria) was once a very beautiful city, but conflict between the people living there and the system razed the city to the ground. We need as many social and economic development programmes as possible to ignite some sense of value on abandoned people, and we also need several urgent orientation programmes to illuminate the bitter mindsets currently on the rise. This way we may stand a chance of saving ourselves from crashing down the path to destruction.
– Kabir wrote in from Abuja and can be reached on Sirkb11@gmail.com