Abgaya! When will Nigeria learn?
Nigerians are reputedly among the happiest people on earth. This is supposed to be a blessing and a compliment that can be proudly shown off to other citizens of the world. However, after over forty years of growing, like a baby who always giggles excitedly at the pain of the mother’s attempt to amuse it, Nigerians have continued to giggle excitedly at the shameful groaning of her leaders and political class during campaigns and build up to elections.
The shock of the senseless violent acts perpetuated at the instigation of politicians only lasts a moment like that of a child seeing something new for the first time. As usual, the deaths and destructions are widely condemned and mourned; only for us to repeat the same mistakes profoundly and collectively condemned a few years before and the whole circle repeats itself again with the condemnation coming last. Is Nigeria and are we Nigerians that dull? Or do we passively enjoy what we condemn because it happened to a supposed enemy? When will we grow up in to maturity? When will we learn to break this viscous circle?
Four years ago, in the very elections that brought the incumbent federal administration and many state governments to power, several citizens were killed in election-related violence. Sadly too, on account of a national sensibility now numbed to the shock of tragic human feelings, all that simply passed, and life continued as usual.
Right in front of a school where a bullet fell an innocent woman whose only indiscretion was to identify openly with a political candidate four years ago, the supporters of the two leading political parties APC and PDP clashed again last month for no cogent or stupid reason whatsoever, a violence that left another woman dead on the spot again in Dangbala.
Also read: Dirty politics
Who is being deceived? Sometime last week, as the All Progressives Congress [APC] presidential candidate, Muhammad Buhari, launched his campaign in Port Harcourt, gunmen ambushed and shot at members of the party on their way to the venue. As the week ended, an angry mob in Jos burned down a campaign bus plastered with President Jonathan’s posters, and a day after, the APC office in Okrika, Rivers state, was bombed while a property belonging to the PDP in Gombe state was destroyed.
The politicians, reacting condescendingly to the fools they take Nigerians to be would go on air and condemn the violence but none would ever accept responsibility. Instead, the blame game would start again, slowly brewing the tension and hatred for the other political party(s). How can Nigerians allow themselves be taken for a ride and fooled constantly by these miscreants and agberos in suits and agbadas consistently?
Whilst it is safe to assume that this does not constitute the whole story, that it is possible for some mercenaries to perpetuate violence and evil in the name of a political party or candidate, just to tarnish their reputation, it is also safe to assume that if the government and political leaders collectively decide on and demand a violence-free campaign period, agreeable Nigerians would always loyally obey. It is therefore imperative that our politicians grow out of this babyness and political sulking/pouting into matured adults, capable of having rational debates and dialogues about the issues of the Nigerian system, and not always resort to violence and instigating violence like they do in the National Assembly. The government should also equip the security agents and discourage any form of their being partisan like is happening daily.
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