Whilst poring through the heart-wrenching images that emerged on different social media fora concerning the RevolutionNow protests yesterday, one could at once see the bestiality of those who should protect the sanctity of Nigeria’s democracy; those who should tirelessly protect the lives and rights of Nigerians – violating all with no modicum of reservation – serving as irredeemable instruments of oppression, and shamelessly exhibiting themselves as ‘beasts of no nation’.
The Nigerian state has become an extremely violent and repressive one. The natural disposition of General Buhari's regime to dissent has consistently been violence; dastardly replacing proper democratic etiquette and respect of human rights with untamed and putrid rascality. When a government camouflages as the defender of ‘national security’ whilst deliberately and consistently attacking citizens without reason, it is nothing but a legitimized terrorist absent legitimacy. If the incumbent government of Nigeria considers non-violent protesters to be a bigger threat to ‘national security’ than the exploding web of insurgents in Southern Kaduna and North-Eastern Nigeria, then Nigerians must urgently rise to defend their country before it is completely usurped by insanity and reckless impunity.
To citizens whose gumption and reasoning have not been bartered for phantasm of any good by the government of the day; the present situation of Nigeria is nothing but an abyss of tremendous calamity. When one looks at the disastrous conglomerate of the blatant looting of our public resources; the unchecked spate of executive impunity; the glamorization of nothing and evaporation of substance; the unconscionable rationalization of premeditated and targeted killings as transient errancy, and the exaltation of state insouciance towards citizens’ welfare and endless sufferings over concrete policy solutions to economic and social problems – there can be nothing more instinctive yet instructive than organizing for nonviolent but defiant action against the legitimized architect of such calamity.
It is therefore unacceptable that citizens will be publicly stripped of dignity and treated like savages, for daring to stand and fight for the salvation of their country. There may be no sudden change for the better in Nigeria’s journey towards social change and transformative governance, but there must never be the suppression of citizens’ will to hold their government to account and demand better representation. If after 20 years of non-military rule in Nigeria, the common currency for describing our security agencies and military personnel is violence and terrorism, then there can be no end to citizens’ resistance. If those who should maintain law and order become the indisputable symbol of lawlessness and disorder, the citizens must never tire of constantly trying to knock them into order for the betterment of our country.
If history has taught us anything, it is the constancy of how oppressive regimes always cement their ignominious exits through unforced errors. General Buhari's regime is on that well-worn path. Nigeria survived Babangida and Abacha; Nigeria will inevitably overcome the oppressors of today. Those who have chosen to live by violence and terrorism must always remember that they are very likely to become a victim of themselves.
To Nigerians protesting in different parts of the country, the goal must remain the same; the fierceness of our soul must remain married to the doggedness of our boots, and our resolve must remain unassailable by the repression of this day. For this, too, shall pass and soon, Nigerians shall defeat the timid monster of today that continues to oppress and impoverish us shamelessly.
Adebayo Raphael is a Writer and human rights activist. He can be reached on Twitter @ComradeAdebayo