In a scene all too common and all too familiar, the people of Nigeria are protesting their dehumanizing treatment at the hands of those authorized to commit sanctioned violence in the name of the state. In this particular case their anger is directed at Nigeria’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), whose crimes the people say include bribery, shakedowns, unlawful arrests, torture and murder. People have taken to social media to tell their stories of brutality and dehumanizing treatment. Happily there seems to be some traction as the government has taken some measure of action. Unhappily, it does not appear to be much concrete:
The people don’t believe their government. Why? Maybe because they’ve heard this all before. Here’s the country’s VP from two years ago:
So the people have stayed in the streets. And not just in the country of Nigeria, but all over the world. So the only reason change has happened is because the people have risked life and safety to make their voices heard. Sounds familiar to me.
I’m not going to pretend to know all the ins and outs of this situation and I’m also no Nigeria expert. But I, and all right-thinking humans, know what this is. This is the natural consequence of when the social contract is broken. It is the natural consequence of social stratification. This is your reminder that for some people it is always Us and Them.
But take heart PT! Because it is also a reminder that we are all in this together. Increasingly, we see the signs that the people of the world are finding their commonalities and rejecting the purposeful division sown by the “ruling” class and their enforcers.
A change is coming. I feel it with my heart, soul, and mind. Change is painful. Change takes longer than anybody is happy with. Change is super scary. But change is inevitable. And I for one am here for it. Stay strong Nigeria.
Don’t step on the flowers. Smoke em if you got em.