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Arent we all SARS

Published by The Nation on Thu, 29 Oct 2020

Idris MohammedSIR: Nigeria is a country of many wonders. The more you look at how things are being done the less you understand. Writing on Nigerian issues is very tedious, interesting and sometimes very annoying. This is because the country is changing like a chameleon. The more one tries to analyze or understand a particular issue, the more he or she will become confused, worse than even what he or she intended to see.The EndSARS protest has been trending globally drawing attention of the international community. Many of the big actors even wrote letters calling the Nigerian government to quickly address the concerns of the young people in respect to the police brutality. Although democracy allows citizens to voice out their opinion through demonstrations on anything that affects their freedom or right, however, we have the protests hijacked by unpatriotic elements to vandalise public places including hospitals, police stations and places that provide important services to the general public all in the name of ending police brutality.There are viral videos online showing how the hoodlums attacked policemen, killed, injured and burnt their properties. Some even carted away riffles and important devices used for security operation all in the name of protesting against police brutality. These hoodlums took to the street with police uniforms and facilities taxing innocent citizens and abusing peoples rights like we are living in a Hobbesian state of nature where life is nasty, brutish and short.Federal government distributed the Covid-19 palliatives to the general public through the state governors with the aim of reducing the suffering during the lockdown but it turns out that some of the governors deliberately stored the food items in warehouses. Recall, the minister of humanitarian claimed that the so-called palliatives have been distributed to the target population which generated a lot of controversy with people demanding the minister to prove it.People deliberately create fake news with images to misinform and instil fears in the mind of the general public through social media platforms and even some conventional media organizations have become agents of spreading false news. This madness shows that we are all SARS!Why would somebody go beyond the boundaries of logic and just take to the level of vandalism, arson and destruction all in the name of ending police brutality and bad governance' This will take Nigeria backward especially now that the country is only just coming out from the corona virus pandemic.We damaged our images before the international community; no serious nation will openly welcome Nigerians without suspicion of our indiscipline and poor character. This will certainly haunt us either through visa restrictions or any kind of assistance from the international communities. Now our enemies will laugh at usNonetheless, governments wrong approach to national issues and difficult atmosphere for the young people in the country are some of the major factors that gave room for the breakdown of law and order. The proliferation of light and small weapons in the country as a result of these incidences are immeasurable. If care is not taken, crime rate and human right abuses will escalate.The EndSARS protest has come and gone with bitter lessons. Through the protest, the youths who want to take over leadership from the older generation have proven to lack discipline and patriotism. The over one week of protests indicate that we are not different from the notorious nut now defunct SARS. One can conclude that with the ignorance and madness displayed by youth during the protests and the hoarding of palliatives meant for the downtrodden by some governors, Nigerians are worse than the disbanded SARS.Idris Mohammed, Funtua, Katsina State.
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