By Fr Pat. Amobi Chukwuma
A certain Nigerian woman got married to a hopeless man. Their marriage has so far lasted for better and for worse for fifteen odd years. They are blessed with two sound and two unsound children. In other words, two of the children are irresponsible like their father while the other two are as industrious and responsible as their mother. The ratio is 2:2.
There is a limit to endurance. Patience can one day turn into impatience. Recently I read in one national newspaper with the caption: Change of Name, which reads, “I, formerly known as Mrs. Patience Uwadiegwu, wish to be known from now onwards as Mrs. Impatience Uwadiegwu. All former documents remain valid except my wedding certificate, because my ill-fated marriage is in coma.”
The Nigerian woman in question has suffered untold brutality at the hands of her wicked husband for many years. At a time, she was devastated and was contemplating packing out of her matrimonial home, but for the sake of the children she discarded the option. Despite her endurance, her man has continued to brutalize her without reasonable provocation.
One day, things fell apart and the centre couldn’t hold. The wicked husband locked her out of the house when she went to the church to worship God and to lay her burden before the Holy of Holies. When she came back around 6.00p.m, the front and back doors were all locked from behind.
She knocked and knocked but the husband, who was inside with the children, refused to open the door. One of the responsible children attempted to open it for their stranded mother. The wicked father prevented him from doing so. As soon as it was getting too dark, the mother of four lost patience. She broke the wooden door with a heavy rod and furiously confronted her stupid husband for intentionally locking her out.
The husband thought it was as usual. He gave her two dirty slaps, which caused seven stars to come out of her eyes. Instantly, extraordinary power from above came into the estranged wife. She carried her husband above her head and hit him hard on the tiled floor. Blood began to ooze out of his eyes and mouth as she was beating him like a panel beater. Their four helpless children became spectators. Two were cheering up their mummy while the other two were crying for their overpowered daddy.
The victorious wife while still holding him to ransom shouted, “Enough is enough! Your brutality must end today. I have endured enough!” The bleeding helpless husband pleaded, “Sir Madam, I am sorry. I promise from today not to brutalize you again till death do us part. Please forgive me.
I have learnt my lesson today. Please! Please!! Please!!!” The wife felt for him and let him off. From that day till now, peace is reigning in the family. The husband has dropped his brutality and is according his wedded wife extraordinary respect.
After 60 years of independence, Nigerians are still languishing in man-made difficulties as a result of bad policies and bad leadership. The dividends of democracy have continued to elude us. Hardship is written on the foreheads of majority of the Nigerian citizens. Our country is mocked all over the world as the Headquarters of poverty.
Hunger has eaten deep into the fabric of millions of stomachs. A hungry man is indeed an angry man. God blessed Nigeria with abundant human and natural resources and we are languishing in the midst of plenty. How can someone stay in the middle of the sea and die of thirst? The rich are getting richer while the poor are getting poorer. Old incompetent leaders have continued to recycle themselves in governance, especially at the federal level.
To add salt to a bleeding wound, insecurity has become the order of the day. Many innocent Nigerians have been sent to their untimely graves through hunger, brutality, armed robbery, terrorism, banditry, kidnapping, bloody herdsmen and through other bloody crimes. Thus, innocent blood is being poured out like water all over the land. As the mayhem rages, the Federal Government continues to make empty promises of securing our lives and property day after day.
To worsen the ugly trend in this country, some security men whose duty it is to protect lives and property of the citizens turned their weapons against innocent people going about their daily businesses. The victims are mostly the youths.
The dictum “Police is your friend” is overturned to become “Police is your enemy.” Where shall we run to? Some of the officers and men of Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) became automatically “Special Anti Innocent Squad (SAIS).” No wonder the Nigerian youths, who are at the receiving end of police brutality, swallowed their lives and rose up en mass to say, “Enough is enough!”
They are protesting all over the country with the caption “ENDSARS.” Their objective is partly achieved. SARS has ended. Other abnormalities must also end.
But there is a new development. The ultimate question here is: Has SARS truly ended or has taken a new nomenclature? SARS is ended and SWAT is born. Special Weapons and Tactics Team has replaced Special Anti Robbery Squad. Are the members different? If it is the old men of SARS that would be commissioned into SWAT, then the brutality is sure to resume soonest.
It is like selling a dog to buy a monkey. A mad man given sleeping tablets to bring him under control will eventually wake up. His madness will then take a new dimension. You can only tame a lion for a while. When annoyed, it can still kill. Time will tell whether SWAT is different from SARS.
The EndSARS is the beginning of what is to come. The truth is that Nigerians are fed up with the whole system of governance in this country. The 1999 Constitution as amended is militarily oriented. It favours only a section of the country.
There is need to have a people oriented Constitution. Much power is centered at the federal level. For peace and equity to reign, some powers of autonomy should be granted to the states. Even some philanthropic Nigerians are calling for resource control and state police. Others are suggesting going back to the old Regions and bringing back the tenets of the 1963 Constitution which was abandoned by the military regime.
It was workable than the present tinkered Constitution. The 1963 Constitution made Nigeria a true Republic while the 1999 Constitution made Nigeria a Zoo Republic. Animals in the zoo are not free. The current Nigeria National Anthem ends with “One Nation bound in Freedom, Peace and Unity.” Where are the freedom, peace and unity after 60 years of self rule?
To achieve Freedom, Peace and Unity, it is not only SARS that must be ended. Our greatest problem since Independence is bad leadership. If we get it right, Nigeria will be counted among the Comity of Nations. Our economy will grow. Hunger and anger will be subsided. The terrorists and kidnappers on rampage will return to their senses. The Fulani herdsmen will drop their Ak-47 and keep their cows in ranches.
The Police will be truly our friends. The Army will go back to the barracks and get prepared for territorial defense of the country at all times. The tails of the greedy politicians shall be cut to normal. Governance shall be made less costly. The dividends of Democracy will flow abundantly and taken to the door-step of every Nigerian. I pray that I shall live to see all these positive and ideal things happen. I was born during the reign of the 1963 ideal Constitution. Optimistically, I look forward to its resurrection and application.
In summary, let us end brutality, bad governance, corruption, favoritism, nepotism, tribalism, terrorism, injustice, inequality, hatred, kidnapping, banditry, religious bigotry, divide and rule, suppression, demoralization, victimization, election malpractices, political thuggery, marginalization, et cetera.
There is frustration in the land. This calls for urgent restructuring of the country. The present Federal Government should read the handwriting on the wall and take the bull by the horns. Revolution and Anarchy are looming around the corner. A stitch in time saves nine. In God we trust!