NIGERIA: IS THE ILLEGAL ARREST OF INNOCENT CITIZENS PART OF THE FIGHT AGAINST CORRUPTION?
By Editorial Board
Martin Luther King Jr. Once said ” our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter “. At a time when Nigerians expects genuine change with meaningful impacts on its citizens, it appears the country is sliding towards dictatorship with security agents unlawfully trailing and arresting citizens without disclosing their whereabouts which makes it appear as kidnapping.
Since the birth of democracy in 1999, the Country have over the years witnessed series of political change that have continually add more colour and glamour to the Nigerian democracy even though it was not an all round perfect democracy but it was a democracy willing to learn as it was opening the path for the building of a more healthy democracy.
The 2015 presidential election that led to the defeat of the then incumbent president that brought in His Excellency, President Mohammadu Buhari to power no doubt gives more strength to our democracy as the wishes of the people for the first time in our Nation’s history becomes a reality through the non interference of the Executive organ of Government. The victory of the All Progressive Congress, APC, led government is a victory to our democracy as many across the globe would refer to it.
Nigerians at this point do not deserve to be going back to the old ways, the beauty of democracy brought in the present government as most of its activities being rolled out on a daily basis is targeted at silencing democratic tenets.
The emergence of this government left Nigerians with so much hope especially as it came with a dire hard mission of change, a change that will make the citizens happy and reposition our democracy in a more stronger strata.
Apart from the dwindling economy occasioned by insurgency in the Niger Delta region by the Niger Delta Avengers and their allies that have unleashed attacks on the nation’s oil and gas facilities which have negatively impacted on the economy, a point must be made known that the government is not doing well to sincerely bring to an end of the menace.
What should we make in a situation where people that were supposed to be protecting the law turns out to be its violators? This connotes a dangerous imaginary of a lawless society, when laws are flagrantly broken by its supposed protectors means that there is invariably no law in the land and sends a very bad signal to our democracy.
Security agents no longer behave responsibly as they go about arresting people on the streets illegally, some on their sleeping beds thus violating the privacy of individuals, fundamental human rights and breaking and entry, at some points the military also kidnap citizens and nothing is being done or said about them.
Notable instances are the whisking away of the 10 innocent Oporoza Youths from Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State comprising of palace staff and students of Gbaraun grammar School during the May 28th military siege of the Kingdom. Till date, the whereabouts of these boys are unknown, the country have once again kept quiet in the face of this broad daylight injustice. Days and months have passed, still no word from from these pathetic youths.
The kidnap of Comr. Daniel Ezekiel, spokesman of Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, by Security operatives is another scenario that kept right thinking Nigerians baffled on what our security agencies have become. We are afraid that the nation is going back to the military era where the rule of law is not adhered to.
It is so worrisome and gloomy to see how security operatives would jump into the streets in commando manner and begin to kidnap people without stating the reason behind it. Things have degenerated so bad such that the military is on a rampage punitive mission against the innocent suffering masses.
The average living condition of the people is deteriorating with hardship at its peak as security outfits have further come to compound issues, life in the country is in great danger in the hands of security operatives that would instead of arrest resorted to kidnapping of innocent citizens. The presidency cannot claim to be ignorant of the security happenings in the country. A situation where Security agents are operating like kidnappers. This lawlessness in military clothing must be stopped by the government of the day, they cannot continue to pretend as if all is well with the country, all is not well as people are dying in silence.
The government should no longer joke with the lives of the citizens, security agents should be cautioned on their modus operandi, the government should be civil enough to look into the illegal arrest of the Oporoza 10 and the whisking away of Comr. Daniel with a view of releasing them and bringing those behind such act to book which will serve as a deterrent to such elements.
The fight against corruption should not be used as a ploy to kill the innocent masses, hunger and impunity should be tamed to its barest minimal in order for the masses to once again live a happy life.
While we hope for a quick resolve of the Niger Delta crises to reposition our economy in a proper shape, we also urge the government to particularly tasked security apparatus not to be seen as intimidating the masses with the present style of arrests that seems like kidnapping. Free all the innocent citizens that have been whisked away under suspicious and questionable circumstances.
Most Nigerians keep wondering if the current illegal arrests are part of the fight against corruption?
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