INSECURITY in Nigeria is now something else. One could be killed in the place of worship, one could be killed while walking on the street, one could be killed in his/her house, one could be killed tending to community matters. A mad trailer driver can decide in his heart to ram his trailer over your head and go free with it. A policeman can decide to blow off your head and label you an armed robber and still, he will go scot-free. Other security officers can arrest you and if you fail to dance to their tunes, they would label you a thief and where you’ll find yourself in the consequent minute won’t be a pleasant place to be. Anything can happen to you in this country as a youth, mother, father, a breadwinner and nobody; I mean, nobody will bother himself about it not the law enforcement agency. Perhaps it is time we started being careful with what and how we move in this lawless country where nobody is a friend to anybody. The youth should at least be more careful with whatsoever they do because there are injustices and insecurities everywhere in this country.
This is the tale of our beloved country; of our men and women, of our youth and our children who were birthed here. No one is safe here. Your house is no longer safe for you, the street is not a hundred per cent safe and the market place, safety is not guaranteed. The policemen would extort money from you; kidnappers, ritualists, even our politicians aren’t helping matters. Prior to my time in school, the most dangerous people I dreaded then were the cultists. They were everywhere watching your steps. I long to live in a country where safety is prioritised, a country where it’d be deemed unethical to harass the citizens unjustly. I have always longed to live in a country where I can easily come out to vote in an election for a candidate of my choice without being intimidated or harassed, or without being afraid of losing my own life, a country where political office holders will adhere strictly to the rules in the constitution.
The security operates are aiding and abetting crime. A criminal is arrested, then freed after he/she has ‘settled them’. Ironically, they can also label someone as an internet fraudsters (yahoo boy) and there is absolute nothing you can do about that even if you’re arrested with your Identity card. Nothing is working; everything/everyone seems disoriented. We can’t be wary of attacks from Boko Haram, herdsmen, et al, and still be scared of the security operatives. I was arrested by the policemen when I was 16 years old. I was arrested while studying for my WAEC; I was in the company my classmate who lived close to my house. Incriminating substances weren’t found on us; our offense was studying outside our homes at 7:32 pm.
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Some minutes later, we arrived the police station. We were put behind the counter, we pleaded with the men to release us, but our plea went on deaf ears. Two hours later, our parents showed up. They informed the DPO in charge about our disappearance. He told them that there was a raid in that area like three hours ago and they should go inside and check if we were not among those arrested. We were arrested for nothing. We were innocent of whatsoever we were accused of. Remember not everybody you see in the prison is guilty of the crimes they were accused of. Most are innocent. A policeman can kill you because of a ₦100 bribe. Corruption and insecurity have become the other of the day. Remember the Benue killings, Kaduna train attack, and the continuing killings by Unknown Gunmen in the South-East. Meanwhile, our leaders aren’t stopping this menace. Is this not insanity and psychosis?
Now, the 2023 election is around the corner. Have you ever seen rich men’s children queuing up at polling units to vote for their fathers to retain their offices? The answer is no. The reason is that their fathers know how insecure these polling units are and so they would never allow their children to go out there to vote. There is no security here; there is no one that will ever fight for you when you are fighting for your rights. However, as a youth living in Nigeria, just be careful how you go about your daily activities, how you make your movements and how you relate with people around you. Be conscious of the environment in which you have found yourself. Nobody is your friend when you are in trouble and nobody will likely be a friend to someone arrested as a criminal. Protect yourself first, protect your relations and those close to you because none of those above will ever come to your rescue when there is trouble. You will only sail your own ship and pilot your airplane when the time comes.
- Oriyomi a student of the Department Of Mass Communication, Crescent University, Abeokuta.