OPINION: SPARE INNOCENT LIVES & BUSINESSES: DO NOT TURN REVOLUTION INTO JUNGLE JUSTICE

It is no more a saying but a historical fact that the Privileged Class that prevented Peaceful Change against a system that was rigged against them, made a Revolution inevitable. No reasonable people want to see riots, carnage and human blood on the streets, in exotic cars or the humongous homes of the Privileged. But if they fail to see beyond their noses, continue to ignore warning signs and bathe in their own decadence, they and their cronies that stand by, will lose it all.

The saddest part of revolutions are the lives of innocent people that are lost, their businesses devastated and other irreplaceable loss in an instant after years of building. Revolution often turned into Jungle Justice. No matter where the Privileged and Opportunists hide or live all over the world, the stubborn and unrelenting class that are resisting Change can no longer escape. There is no place in the universe that you will not find relatives of those you oppressed and dispossessed.

Revolution may smoke and glow slowly before it catches fire. Boko Haram was well before #ENDSARS. The irony was, it started from the same Privileged class that were trying to control and retain Political Power. So Adamu Ciroma and others warned that if Ebele Jonathan became President, they would make the Country ungovernable. Those that rode on the back of the tiger would be consumed by it. They forgot or ignored the fact that Jonathan was widely elected with votes from North to South; until he messed up big time and singularly helped elect Buhari.

It is hard to put genie back into the bottle as Boko Haram exploded. They refuse to learn. Buhari, despite all expectations, could not defeat Boko Haram sponsored by his colleagues, not the previous government as he once indicated when out of power. If he could not contain Boko Haram; #ENDSARS is just a tip of the iceberg. The Revolution is here already. They are just waiting for the Army and Police to turn against the Privileged class where they can extort more money than they do from the Poor and working class on the streets.

Trainers of Boko Haram and Niger Delta had met at the Libya Training camps and so testified. The Moneybags from the South and North arranged and sponsored the foreign currencies that enabled their “postgraduate” education through the Central Bank foreign exchange approval. Arab and European countries using religion (African opium) that became business endeavors in Africa, made hard currencies available to gain influence and economic advantages in African countries.

Therefore, when we heard that #ENDSARS is being sponsored by foreign destabilizers: we wonder what is new? Despite the looting of innocent small businesses, which reasonable people despised; some rioters exposed the cold blooded acts of politicians hoarding Covid-19 palliatives meant for the hungry and destitute. Some of these palliatives were rebadged and sold, others kept for feferities and birthdays. This is in the face of unprecedented poverty in a land that used to flow with honey and wara.

Where were those appealing to the Youths to shelve #ENDSARS when the country was turning into the world’s capital of poverty? These are the same people that are still flashing cars, houses, weddings or foreign graduations of their children or airplanes in the social media. Most of these are from the looted money of the people used to dare and tempt the angry. The people that work hard for their money do not spend foolishly and if they do, they bore the consequences. There is something wrong mentally if you think you can tempt, dare and flaunt whatever you stole in the midst of poverty and not expect repercussion.

There used to be a time when most of the wealthy people were modest as exemplary models and inspiration for the Youths. Since society has gone to the dogs, every wealth either by hard work or crockery has become a suspect of ill-gotten gain. The Youths have lost motivation for accomplishment in more rewarding endeavors other than money. This has resulted in the meagre pursuits of discoveries, adventures and little heights in a country that had a Region known for many Firsts in Africa, higher standard than many Asian and European countries.

No matter how peaceful a demonstration, there are rogues waiting to capitalize on people’s misery. They are opportunists taking advantage of the situation. These are the hoodlums and thieves authorities empowered to brutalize and hijack peaceful demonstrations. Even worse, unscrupulous agents in authority hire their own thugs to cause havoc in order to discredit peaceful and orderly demonstrators. We have seen these distractions and mischief in the so-called “civilized” world and we must not be surprised to see the same in our communities, especially after Police and Army are trained by militia that joined Police camps abroad.

It takes centuries to build civilization but about a day to bomb it into the Stone Age. Indeed, accomplishments have been destroyed not only by the acts of men but by Nature. But the problems with Africa is that, a well developed and civilized people have been destroyed not by Natural Disaster but by greed, inhumanity of man against man and intransigence on the part of the Privileged Class that hung on to Power from the days of their youth to their old age. They have refused to give the Youths the same opportunity they had in their youth.

The best of them were Activists as youth fighting for African Independence while others in their youth seized Power by force and came back as civilians after rigging themselves into Power. They have created a palpable fear in many communities where Police have withdrawn their services because their lives are in danger. It is the type of atmosphere that encourages a fertile ground for chaos where hoodlums, thugs and militia become more dangerous than the solutions demanded by #ENDSARS. Just ask people at the mercy of Boko Haram.

Police training standards must be raised to weed out bad characters. Their pay must reflect this high level of training. The logistics needed for rapid response must be well maintained and secured to avoid extortion and brutality on the streets. It is not enough to pledge new policing each time Inspector General is appointed, bribes collected by Police superiors must be transparently punished in order to stop it. The fact that junior Police officers were bold and courageous enough to testify against it indicated their frustration.

It is not Family Support or Allowance Abacha and Babangida encouraged during their time that degenerated into fatal extortion against Transport Workers and civilians on the streets.

*** Farouk Martins Aresa @oomoaresa.