By Adebayo Shu’aib Pedro Alabi
As though deponent to some evil oaths, the Nigerian establishment always gives the world a reminder of an ill-mind it possesses.
Fraught with strangest cruelty, this typically callous brute has no conscience let alone a measure for empathy. And un-exorcised of many demons resident in its disturbingly calloused mind, this vainglorious monster, by its staunchly garrulous poise, casts its shadow upon its citizens and mine their minds by briskly wielding its villainous, ever-thirsty sabre that bayes for more blood even when the one it just spilled is still fresh. And that’s the reason why an arbitrage is being [re]built on that Lekki space where monuments of commemoration should stand sky-tall.
It’s about four months now since the Nigerian Army regained— briefly for some sinister obeisance— the consciousness it lacks in its war against insurgency up the north. The military, aided by the monstrous executives, wreaked, before the very eyes of the world, what the Human Rights Watch would liken to “Massive Destruction, Deaths from Military Raid.” And ever since have been layers of denials that, in most debasing ways, insult the memories of those killed in that state-sponsored massacre.
The harsh approach to dispel the patriotic acts of the maimed protesters and dishonour the memories of many youthful Nigerians ripped in their primes while denouncing the high-handedness of some state-backed thugs called SARS, now, tells, noticeably, of the ogre we admire as a leadership.
The gripping, dismaying indentation the Lekki Tollgate massacre heinously etches on the mourning families of the slain protesters is grotesquely hurtful enough to think of dismantling the Toll. And, in soberest of reflections, transmute it into a monument that will, in unceasing attempts, mollify the pains of the horrendous trauma this inquisitive generation and the one that sired it were made to suffer on that spot.
In most eternal terms, the government and its partners-in-crime should be striving to– at least for the optics— disabuse the feckless actions and lack of restraints that were grossly displayed in that ignoble act of deviltry the world still remember with so much scathing cringe.
The most exclamatory part of Lekki massacre is not the dilatory response of the brutish executives and their foot-soldiers; the most hurtful thing is the groundstanding and unempathic positions the establishment maintains as regards the much politicized impropriety of those protesters who dared to raise their voices against the tyranny of the state. This position is further maintained in the subjugating attitude of the government that has, in most shameful manner, supervised styled arrests and economic repressions of the maimed, living patriots of EndSars. A modern fashion state-terror that puts the world’s breath to a still, and asks for critical evaluation of the executives’ psychiatric dissonance.
The disservice dealt at humanity in the instance of the peaceful protest of EndSars will continuously haunt the democratic development of this nation as much as it does its perceived humanness. And for the government to be deemed slightly worthy of forgiveness, or ever again be thought borderline sane, that space upon which the Toll sits must be erased of its witness of fierce hostility and all dejection-spawning memories it bears.
The establishment must lay ruin its “grim reaper” and honour the maimed and the slain with un-withering wreaths that, as though on its knees, recounts the guilts and undoings of those it bankrolls to protect our dignity and lives, but, instead, acted otherwise at Lekki.
As opposed the cursory reopening of Lekki Tollgate for business, the government should be thinking of commemorating the memories of those it failed outright. It should, so remorsefully, think first of those it killed on that spot instead of clinging to the hilt of its raging scythe.
But that, here, is utopia!
The establishment hardly remembers the living, let alone the dead.
In our world, the slain has no reward from the living. We do our responsibilities as we do our dead: we flee their memories just like we flee from death itself.
Adebayo lives and writes from Osun state, Nigeria..