Daily we read of all sorts of feedback from the authorities. Among these are protesters being labelled terrorists, accounts frozen with support from the courts, detentions, protest leaders barred from travelling and all sort of measures which are being termed as vindictive and retrogressive.
Our leaders keep missing the plot. They keep squandering opportunities thrown at them by fate to make good. The violence has receded, the people have gone back to their hamlets to lick their wounds. This is the time leadership ought to rise up in a statesmanly fashion and begin to lead the push towards a national reawakening.
Instead, what do we get? Just yesterday, reports were awash of a protest leader being carried all over the nation in an attempt to arraign him in court. We even read of reports stating that the Police were seeking to detain him for another 30 days after spending about 12 days in their custody. He was said to have been accused of inciting and other things.
For me, these are the very wrong steps to be taken by the authorities. The protests were hijacked and turned into an inferno of massive destruction. Even the protesters suffered in its wake. It was reported that while some were out there peacefully protesting with placards, their businesses and houses where being looted.
The carnage was all encompassing and Nigerians, irrespective of ethnic stock, geographical location or religion, suffered enmase as a result. So, the idea of now pushing back forcefully is ill-advised, if you ask me.
Instead, a no-victor, no-vanquished type policy should have been instituted where social and economic incentives are rolled out to assuage hurt feelings. Also, a dedicated attempt to address the issues that led to the protest in the first place ought to have been part of a massive inclusion policy. These, I believe, will better soothe the pain of the people and redirect minds towards the much needed national cohesion that should put us aright.
Government’s position is really not the best and will only serve to drive dissent underground, temporarily mute dissent and encourage a much more volatile eruption in the near future. This, we do not pray for and as such government must immediately reorder its step and throw up much more malleable figures within its circle to drive a much more humane approach to this thing.
It’s not every time we use force.
Author: Joseph Edgar…
Articles published in our Graffiti section are strictly the opinion of the writers and do not represent the views of Ripples Nigeria or its editorial stand.
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