By Kayode Crown
In Lagos State, it is Badoo, in Akure it is something else; cultists going on rampage even having the effrontery to write a letter to the people in Ikorodu, Lagos State, threatening to visit them with evil (if it was really written by them and not by some prankster).
And as the Yoruba will say, “oju lalakan fin sori,” meaning the crab watches it’s head with his eyes.
The people in that area decided to speak to their legs and relocate from the place for the time being.
In Akure when it is getting to 7pm, people start to tell you, “you better start going home.”
But we are not meant to live in fear. And we need to shut down these streams of evil.
The police should step up it is surveillance system, it’s intelligence gathering system. They need to go all out.
It was armed robbery some decades ago, then the menace of 419ners, now we have a poisonous mixture of cult activities and kidnapping and insurgency.
Cultism, which was allowed to flourish in our higher institutions for decades have now spilled over to our streets. The viper of yesterday has delivered it’s brood.
If the security as presently constituted is not equipped to deal with the emerging trends, let’s tear it down and rebuild.
Yoruba will say: if going forward becomes impossible, we can retrace our steps backwards.
Somebody said it was because the military was in power and they run through a chain of command system, that they forced on us this unitary system of government that is causing unmitigated tension in the polity and has come with sky high corruption where everyone is focused on the national cake, to cut their own, in whatever way you can. That is definitely a recipe for stress.
But you may ask, what does that have to do with the present security challenges? Good question. The point is: we have been going in the wrong direction for too long, we deceive ourselves to think we will arrive well and that applies to everything.
Read my lips: nothing good has come out of military incursion into our polity. People should not be ruled against their will and that was what we got.
Military rule was sown in bloodshed and the result/fruit cannot be good.
It was sown in intimidation and the subversion of the will of the people and the result cannot be egalitarianism. The seed was sown is the will of a few and therefore cannot lead to the benefit of the whole.
So let’s stop deceiving ourselves. Different security threats may continue to emerge from the seed sown by the military unless we take stock and retrace our steps, especially when it comes to unraveling the unitary system imposed on us.
Some would claim that the military meant well, but meaning well and doing well are two different things.
The servants cannot rule the house, they will want to turn everyone into servants; and the soldiers are servants, to serve the rest of us.
Their rule was therefore an aberration, which cannot bud anything good. Military rule is like walking on the head; thereafter, the head cannot be correct. The Yoruba will say: what we use for head, we should not make the feet.
The military did nothing good. Period! They occupied space and time, they arrested our development.
I therefore suggest that we remove the number of years spent by the military at the helm of affairs from the number of years since the independence of Nigeria from the British government. That will be a mere 28years. That should be the age of Nigeria, since the best the Military offered was arrested development.
We can call the military years the years of the locust, coming in where everything was green and when they moved out, everything was dried up.
They did not know that the gun should not be for subjugation or oppression, rather for service and protection.
In the military overthrow of power all across Africa, we see the misuse of the gun, and they created a culture of fear and subjugation, which cripples initiative and corrupts a healthy sense of self.
And the oppression of others, which was subtly enthroned during the different military eras in Nigeria, by whatever name you will call it, is what is continuing, having morphed into a rise in the menace of cultism, kidnapping etc.
When the military uses the barrel of the gun against itself and against others and there is a momentary gain for the initiators who become billionaires afterwards, it communicates something to the impressionable; that for you to have the feeling of being powerful, you can go the way of violence, you need to be intimidating, and if you have to kill your neighbour, your fellow citizen, threat them as goods or dirt in the process, it is all well and good.
That is what the military did to our psyche as a people and we have not recovered from it.
The soldiers were supposed to be the harbinger of peace, but they caused trouble, regardless of the reason they gave for stepping into the fray of power.
They should have maintained their estate, they should have kept to the barracks. Anything else will lead to and has led to confusion to this very moment.
It is a case of: the fathers have eaten sour grapes and the teeth of the children are set on edge.
What we need is for the military to apologise to Nigerians. Yes, apologise for being the generator of violence into the nation which has continued to lead to bloodshed through different expressions over the years.
Or do you as the reader think I am taking things too far? But think deeply about this, with the view that if privilege is abused, there will be much to pay.
And the military abused their privilege. The privilege of being armed with guns bought with our money and they turned the gun on us and on themselves instead on our enemies.
But someone may say that not all military men are bad. Of course, but it is all for one and one for all; it is esprit de corps.
The military is a collective, there needs to be a collective ownership of what happened in the past for us to effectively move into the future.
There should not be any revisionist attempt. What is bad is bad. You cannot get the right thing through the wrong way. You cannot bring the nation peace by killing some of the people and in the course of it kill the innocent.
But someone might say: were we not killing each other before the military came in?
But to whom much is given much is expected. The military were authorised by the collective will to bear arms, and they misused it.
That has more consequences than anything else in the trickle- down effect of their actions in the past that is reverberating to the present; in their incursion into the civil life of the people, something they were not designed for. And we are bearing the brunt of it till today.