By Folorunso Fatai Adisa
That Nigeria is facing serious challenges, at the moment, is a statement that requires no scientist or marabouts to proof it to anyone. Every living Nigerian in Nigeria, and perhaps abroad, through the internet— Media, sees it, hears it and feels it. For me, Nigeria is surviving today on the oxygen of the sheer grace of God, which the nation has in abundance but still abuses.
When John Alexander Logan, an American soldier and politician, remarked that: “Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of a free and undivided republic.” It seems most Nigerians were absent on that day. And they weren’t privileged to have come across his words on the pages of books in order to reflect on the profundity of those words.
On Wednesday, 20 October 2020, a mob of people stormed the palace of the Oba of Lagos and carried away food items and other properties. They did not leave the palace without vandalising it. That action informed the search for warehouses where CA-COVID palliatives were stored in Lagos State. They found them. They looted them. And they vandalised properties.
It was the Lagos’ looting of warehouses that activated the storm of vandalism almost across the country. On Friday, 23 October 2020, Robbers had a field day in Ilorin and Osun State. The Ilorin saga was more serious as they looted the Palms Mall. They vandalised properties. And some inhuman people claimed that those robbers took what belonged to them, like really?!
Shops at the mall belong to citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, just like you and me. For example, FEMTECH— a gadget shops where T.V sets, mobile phones etc are sold and “HairSense” a big unisex salon in Ilorin. They looted and vandalised FEMTECH In Osun. Similarly, they did, yesterday, in Ilorin. HairSense wasn’t spared too and every shop in the Ilorin Palms Mall was left naked. It is crystal clear that people are using the current situation in the country to maraud.
Clearly, our leaders are not the only problem we have in this country. We, Nigerians, are also a problem to this nation as well. This turbulent time has unveiled our predatory trait as well as our rapacious nature that is deeply situated in our pillaging prowess. What a dispiriting vulturine behaviour patterns?! By destroying and stealing from those shops, they have just successfully thrown a number of people into the state of depression: others, joblessness.
Importantly, there is no justification for thievery and vandalism. They are punishable crimes. Consequently, security agencies should help apprehend these criminal and government should exercise a serious crack down on them. “Ole ni ole nje!” Perpetrators of these dastardly acts should be severely dealt with
On the whole, let us reflect on the didactic words of Jane Jacobs, an American-Canadian journalist, author, and activist, “But look what we have built … This is not the rebuilding of cities. This is the sacking of cities.” It is only a mentally deranged person that destroys whatever they had built. We are not mentally deranged. We wouldn’t allow thieves in human skin destroy our cities and country.
Folorunso, Fatai Adisa writes in from Kuforiji Olubi, Abeokuta, Ogun State, via Penpusher2015@gmail.com