Wednesday, November 4, 2020 9:16 am
Uzor Maxim Uzoatu
After the minutes of the EndSARS meeting was written, read and adopted, there are plenty matters arising, and these matters are not funny at all.
First and foremost, the Nigerian police officers are on the run from their duties, shouting for all to hear that they are now “endangered species.”
Wearing a police uniform is now an open invitation to a beheading!
In stressing this matter, the police officers are adamant that they cannot guarantee security during Yuletide.
This way, Christmas has been postponed!
Hear the police voice: “In these ember months, and up to Christmas period and the New Year, I doubt if any of the security services can guarantee maximum security as usual. There is no way we can discharge our statutory responsibilities and functions when we have become soft targets of miscreants and violent persons.”
The police officers are not smiling at all, so let me quote them further: “Our destroyed facilities are yet to be reconstructed and rehabilitated; our looted armouries are yet to be restocked and when our men and women are yet to get over the humiliation of the atrocities committed on them by the same people we are charged to protect, how can we return to our duty post?”
The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Mohammed Adamu has on his part directed his men and women thusly: “If anybody touches or assaults you, you can also protect yourself.”
How can Christmas ever be celebrated on a “fire for fire” note between the people and the police?
Let’s just agree that the postponement of Christmas is the culmination of a very bad year like no other, this evil year called 2020 AD.
No year in history has ever been like 2020, and no year thereafter can ever beat the impossible records of this year.
I believe General Sani Abacha foresaw with his dark goggles the impossibilities of this year when he launched his Vision 2020 back then.
I can remember clearly that immediately Abacha appointed the man he had overthrown, Chief Ernest Shonekan, to oversee the Vision 2020 project, many Nigerians were instantly struck with a heavy attack of conjunctivitis that reddened many years.
All I could do from my corner while dodging Abacha’s goons and bullets as a guerrilla journalist was to write a piece entitled: “Vision in a Time of Conjunctivitis”.
When Abacha suddenly expired in action, Nigerians were thrown into rejoicing as the happiest people on earth such that they completely forgot about the auguries of Abacha’s dark vision.
For me, it is in the vision’s character that General Muhammadu Buhari who Abacha put in charge of the Petroleum Trust Fund (PTF) palliatives then is now in power in this red-letter year of 2020.
As I have mentioned “palliatives”, I don’t need any William Shakespeare to tell me that I have found the right word.
Palliatives? Ah, palliatives!
Before the advent of Buhari’s Corona virus palliatives, there were Abacha’s PTF palliatives via Buhari!
If you think I am mad by making this association of palliatives, you need to run a quick check on the contents of your medulla oblongata!
In Nigeria, things change only to remain the same, because back in the PTF time the palliatives were said to have a very “northern base” just like it happened in the Corona virus time.
The Humanitarian Affairs madam swore that no Nigerian can ever deny being given cash palliatives, but on the southern front what was given was empty pocket palliatives.
Well, the EndSARS uprising happened and there were charges of trigger-happy shootings by the military that angered the protesting youths.
One thing led to another, and it was discovered by the youths and some ill-assorted “foodlums” that material palliatives were hidden in government warehouses.
It was a free-for-all fight as the warehouses were broken into ashungry and angry Nigerians helped themselves to the stacked lot.
The irrepressible quest for palliatives uprooted all police defence mechanisms and brutalities as the policemen and women had to run for their dear lives, their tails between their legs, and their uniforms flung into bushes for good measure.
I was informed that one high-ranking policeman denied being a policeman in the manner that Peter denied Jesus in the Bible!
The police say they are now too afraid to come out of hiding to guard the people especially in this Yuletide season.
In the end, the year 2020 has broken all known records, not the least of which is this wonder: Christmas is postponed!
-Uzor Maxim Uzoatu, poet, journalist and social critic, writes from Lagos