Over the months, I have been extremely bothered, especially with the level we operate as a slum country, armed with less or no preparation for the future that is almost besieging us. This obvious blemish has not disappeared despite the humongous write-ups from potential window dressers called writers; they have subjected intellection to the crevices of poor and monstrous tunes. These tunes have in their wacky sounds masqueraded in the annals of heroic history and under the guise of most glaring reality, only a few intellectuals have refused to be confused by all these coverups. They knew darkness existed and that darkness had never been a topic in history.

Most interesting is this core responsibility of mine and which I think should be a chore for an average Nigerian. I have taken it upon myself to routinely explore a country that had been hellbent on stifling the belief of its citizens in it. Apart from denying its subsets of their most basic needs, it is also hoarding from them their freedom of expression as enshrined in section 36 of the 1999 constitution of Nigeria.

There was a time in Nigeria when the youth had in their daring and recalcitrant spirit trooped out. But they have now garbed themselves in the long robe of silence, lived like dead bodies and people whose Nunc Dimittis had been sung. Most disheartening is the obvious abuse of this generation of young people, whose unbeatable potential has been unduly misdirected to suit some corrupt tendencies of the state via the venal politicians, notorious for enslaving the people with their commonwealth.

The thing was misinterpreted when it started, it was deemed to be one of those revolutionary moves and whose musketeers were probably going to fade away while the revolution remained. "How many people soldier go kill" dominated every clime as stars, it reverberated in the starved mouths of stressed-out comrades, who formed not just physical barricades but subtly revolutionary ones. They establish intellectual engagements with the firmament, warring agents of the state called police, and whose duplication called SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) fired the alchemy of an earthquaking protest.

This was said to have been the most popular demonstration in recent time, not even when it was subscribed to by forces within and outside the state. Chicken Republic reportedly sponsored the feeding of Abuja protesters. This was also supported by Reno Omokri, who was an adviser to the government of Goodluck Jonathan. He supplied dozens of chickens. I began to see a reinvigorated protest at this point, not until it was suddenly hijacked by hoodlums who deliberately masqueraded as peaceful protesters. How do we get the hoodlums?

The whole thing was suspended, most especially with the mobilisation of terrifyingly armed soldiers who barricaded Lekki Toll Gate. This systematic tactic of not just suspending but putting the idea of peaceful demonstrations to rest led to copious opinions dispensed via gallons of ink in different climes. A few intellectuals have fully justified the action, saying the state has a responsibility to secure lives and property. So many others objected to the wickedness, they in the course of stressing this pontificated on the lapses and issues with Nigeria. An average Nigerian has never been safe in the hands of full-blown bandits, their welfare has been lagging behind in the careless state. These were enough reasons to occupy Nigeria against deliberate killings by the government.

Muhammadu Buhari's voice was the toast of all at this time, youths had expected him to assume the role of a father, even if he had never been one. They expected him to bring them very close with his soothing words; not that he had once mentored with his actions and words. He was said to have called for a revolution in 2015, or have at several times massaged his selfish ego with the cloak of a peaceful protest when he could have spoken via the gun's barrel. Funny! Buhari goofed with his widely acclaimed speech for failure. He never surprised so many people with this, he has always been heatless.

To silence what was narrowly interpreted as an uprising, state governors met and resolved to constitute panels to deal with cases of police brutality in their respective states. The constituted panels were then believed to have mustered the necessary courage, not when they were expected to bring respite to those brutalised families. They failed unexpectedly in their responsibilities and were submerged in sentiments, bribery, corruption, including so many other ills #EndSARS came to fight.

Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo was said to have enticed and bribed the elected representatives of the youths in the Oyo Panel on police brutality. He successfully compromised these young people with the money he brandished hence, there were so many infractions and that rendered the said panel persona non grata before the people.

Lagos, apart from being the ground on which the soul of so many noble and courageous Nigerians were massacred had, also played host to a far greater infraction. The said infraction flagged off the reopening of the same venue and on which the bloody Lekki massacre was consummated. The reopening was never supported by a reasonable percentage of the panel, not when the clearly inevitable reaction of the people had been earlier preempted by these people of deeper thoughts. The courageous reaction had triggered a serious mobilisation on the path of the oppressors, who crawled after every living thing that passed through Lekki today, including the flies.

The state has not just gravitated towards the "State of Nature" described by Thomas Hobbes but has just pitched a confluence with the nasty, brutish, and short state. There is this tendency that there won't be laws in any distant time, for the egocentric leaders would become a law unto themselves and to over 250 million others. The more reason why they couldn't tolerate a higher standard devised against their excesses as EndSARS. They arrested at will today and utilised the instrumentality of the state for illegal vendetta.

This has proven to be a higher standard against Nigeria, and precisely the Hobbesian "State of Nature."

 

 Tunde Akingbondere

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