A friend sent me a link to a video showing the serious assault of two persons in the Rivers state house of Assembly. ABSOLUTELY SHOCKING!!!! this attack brings new meaning to the term 'to mace someone'. Granted, it is very possible for someone to go crazy and attack another in plain view of others, and we have seen evidence of this all over the world. What is totally unacceptable is that the perpetrator of this crime is walking free and uncharged and other people who were involved in viciously attacking the victims are also free without charge.
Can we really call our political system a democracy? What we have can only be described as a free-for-all system where 'law makers' are able to contravene the law and walk free while the media and other parties focus on who is playing politics and who started the fighting etc. rather than on demanding justice. This attack is a public declaration of what has long been known but unspoken which is that anyone with money and influence can do as they choose even going as far as seriously assaulting people without facing the consequences. This is not the first time. There is video evidence of members of the armed forces assaulting members of the public and dare I say it, even a well known Leader of a Nigerian Mega church assaulting a young lady widely available on the internet. There have been no convictions for any of these crimes as far as I know and I would love to be corrected on this claim.
Is this what we call democracy? A society where hundreds of thousands of university graduates go begging for jobs and are reduced to competing for unskilled jobs with the rest of the populace while influential business owners are recorded expressing their surprise at the system they created. A society in which all kinds of tribal, religious, gender etc. discrimination is entrenched, where people are physically abused and assaulted daily with no repercussions and most of all a society with little social development or execution of justice. This is not a democracy, this is ANARCHY!
To borrow a quote from Chinua Achebe's novel Things Fall Apart; 'Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; mere anarchy is loosed upon the world'. The justice system is the center of any developed society because human beings respond to punishment as a deterrent to crime. When the justice system is broken then anarchy is prevalent. The Nigerian justice system is broken, it is preferential in its treatment of people; punishing the poor and powerless for crimes that are usually unproven while allowing the rich and influential to go free. A justice system that does not seek out the truth and punish crime allows anarchy to thrive. Nigerian's can no longer deny that we are in a state of Anarchy, it is clear from the media reports and people's personal experiences. Starting from the lawmakers offices down to the street,people are living in fear, looking over their shoulders wondering where the next attack or frustration will come from. Everyone is thronging to religious institutions seeking answers from God. God already saved us from military rule, the rest is up to us.
We must demand that our leaders focus on fixing the justice system. Only then we will begin to see crime diminish and true democracy and social development emerge. How can we do this? It is up to us to get involved, be interested and start speaking up and making demands by writing to our local Councillors and following through with petitions. A word of caution; change takes time. Rome was not built in a day and expecting immediate change would be foolish. We are all in this together, we need to work with our leaders to create a society that we are all proud to be part of.