It has been a difficult week for Nigerian youths following the peaceful #EndSARS protests. No amount of words can describe the pain and heartbreak from the senseless, extra judicial killings of unarmed protesters across the country and particularly in Lekki by Nigerian Military Officers. It is shameful and abhorrent. I just hope events that transpire after this will help us achieve collective healing.
Allow me share my views on an angle that has not been emphasized as much. So, I was going through the #EndSars hashtag the other day and I saw some tweets alleging that the wanted CSP Nwafor of the famous Akwusu SARS has escaped with his wife and children. It was the word “wife and children” that stuck out to me. What does it feel like to be a spouse or a child of a man that has been accused of so much inhumane crimes?
When we discuss corruption and bad governance in Nigeria, it is always a Us vs Them approach. It feels like no one knows these people or their children (except for really prominent families like the First Family and some top regional leaders.) But that day when I saw the tweet, I began to think about the children of our politicians, thugs, SARS officers etc. Do they know how their parents by the actions or in-actions are killing people daily? Do they know that there are people in Nigeria who go to bed cursing their parents every night? Do they know their fathers are state sanctioned armed robbers who kill and extort people? If they know what can they do?
I’ll bring it closer to us; if you find out your parents are involved in a massive looting scheme that will surely make other people go hungry, will you speak up? It doesn’t even have to be political or government affiliated looting. There are people who embezzle church funds, company funds, co-operative funds etc. These people are our relatives, do we stand up them when we find out they are part of the system we are fighting against or do we look the other way?
It is difficult but I have been thinking about it all week, and I would like you, our reader to ponder upon it. Have you been in a situation where your parents or relatives were involved in looting and stealing public funds? What did you do, or what will you do about it?
As we continue demanding for an end to police brutality, let us also examine the corruption that exists in close proximity to us. And in that reflection, we should start fighting back in little ways against the system.