Yes, as a normal human being, I felt the death of the Badagry Police Division Officers killed by the rampaging soldiers. Indeed, I feel so deeply for the Police personnel who may have suffered a losing hand in other encounter with the military.
But what about the countless victims of unbridled Police brutality that has long been the norm than the exception? Police brutality went even wilder recently along the Ojo stretch of the Lagos Badagry Expressway, when Policemen, right in front of a station, pounced on a Mobile Policeman, his offence, as deduced by streetwise members of the public, being that he was “escorting” a goods laden vehicle, in effect riding shotgun (although unarmed), to prevent the driver being extorted by the myriad of Police teams, state and local governments officials and touts along the way. A case of dog eating dog, you say? A macabre dance, indeed, in the village square.
The long years of the military rule has left us with a weird attraction for military and paramilitary uniforms. Lagos, the famed centre of the nation’s democratic struggle, is particularly notorious for this. The state for sometimes now has been the butt of jokes by stand-up comedians, who foresee a situation where the states will exhaust the various plain colours for its numerous uniformed outfits, gradually adopting the popular African print, Ankara, for the new outfits that would surely emerge as the state marches on.
Government-sanctioned uniforms are in every nook and cranny, but insecurity is at a premium across the length and breadth of Nigeria. In many instance, deviant security officials work hand-in-glove with hoodlums. Any wonder that criminal minded persons create various republics within the Federal Republic of Nigeria with uncommon confidence? Like truly precious assets, these criminals enjoy the patronage of their uniformed backers, who, for regular maintenance fees, keep them safe from prosecution and the clutches of rivals in the ever-present gang turf wars.
And what becomes the fate of the hapless citizenry in the perilous times? Prayer, of course! And the Almighty answers in quantum. The Almighty has been, is, and would forever be a reassure presence in the true believers in His grace. I am one such believer. That is why I could go on loving Nigeria, even when then President Olusegun Obasanjo cast heavy doubts on the character of many of the persons serving in the Nigeria Police Force (NPF). The same unshakeable belief in the Almighty sustains me when President Goodluck Jonathan speaks of members of the terrorist group, the so-called Boko Haram, having allegedly infiltrated his government.
I love Nigeria, I no go lie, but only God’s grace is keeping me so.
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