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“If Nigeria dies, hatred killed it,” – Femi Adesina.

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What a week it has been for our own dear native land! Just at the beginning of the month, as the country turned 60 as an independent entity, President Muhammadu Buhari had charged us to “begin sincere process of national healing, eliminate old and outworn perceptions that are always put to test in the lie they are.”

What began about a fortnight ago as “genuine concerns and agitations” by Nigerian youths against the excesses of the Special Anti-robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police (SARS), has suddenly transmogrified into expressions of hate against the land, leading to murder, mayhem and arson. My sympathy and condolence to family and loved ones of the dead, irrespective of how they came to their unfortunate ends. How can what began as peaceful protests suddenly turn to incipient anarchy as seen in killings, torching of public buildings and properties, storming of the Bastille and wanton release of hardened criminals, and many others. Hatred. Nigeria is one country passionately hated by some of those who live in it, and it had always been so. Some people call it ‘the mistake of 1914,’ in which what used to be the Northern and Southern Protectorates were forcefully cobbled together by the colonial masters, leading to the emergence of Nigeria. Since then, it has been one uneasy relationship among the people that make up the Union.

Suspicion of domination, ethnic rivalry, fear of being given the shorter end of the stick, gaining unfair advantage, and the like, have characterized the relationship. And the overriding sentiment is hatred, fueled and justified by many factors and tendencies. If Nigeria dies, whether now or in the future, hatred killed her. How can people go about, bearing giant-sized grudges against their country, its leadership, against one another, and expect that country to live in peace and prosperity? It won’t happen. “When we don’t know who to hate, we hate ourselves,” observed a writer. The EndSARS campaign began as an agitation against police brutality, in which there was a unanimity of purpose. And suddenly, it became a vehicle of hate. Against leadership, against national cohesion, an opportunity to settle political scores, and equally prepare for a power grab in 2023. Hatred came into the mix. The agitation by youths against injustice and oppression suddenly took on a variegated nature. Separatists came under the umbrella, and began to advance their cause, working for the dismemberment of the country. Those beaten black and blue in 2015 and 2019 elections also crept in, and asked for pound of flesh, while also plotting for a return to power in 2023.

 

GroThe venom, which peaceful protests eventually became, can only be summed up by one word. Hatred. How can you begin to club people to death, in different parts of the country? How can you set fire to national assets and institutions, storm prisons and release prisoners into society, all in the name of peaceful protests? No, peace had fled through the window, and hatred was fully in control.

 

There are many factors and agencies of hatred in Nigeria, and until we learn to purge ourselves, the country may never move beyond where it has been pirouetting and gyrating for six decades. Like the macabre dance, it has been one step forward and two steps backwards.

 

Hatred is evinced from many quarters for Nigeria, and for its government and people at any given time. It comes from churches, mosques, professional activists and agitators, interest groups, some elements in the media, so-called analysts who never see anything good, and so on and so forth.

 

Breaking: I won’t sign off 2021 budget without compensation for EndSARS victims – Gbajabiamila

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UK parliament debate petitions on the violence surrounding the #endSars protest in Nigeria

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Members of the UK parliament on Monday, November 23, held a debate on the petition to the United Kingdom government seeking a sanction on some Nigerian government officials by the EndSARS protesters over gross human right abuse.


During a sitting at the Westminster Hall, the lawmakers took turns to slam the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government for the poor handling of the protest. The debate for the petition tagged ‘e-petition 554150′ was led by Theresa Villiers, a member of the British Conservative Party. Parliamentarians who spoke raised eyebrows against the defence of the federal government that there was no shooting at the Lekki toll gate.

While describing the “Nigerian government’s violence against its own citizens” as intensifying, Kate Osamor, a member who is representing Edmonton, said the corruption and police brutality still continue. Osamor also described as “undemocratic conduct” the claim by the minister of information and culture, Lai Mohammed, that the killing and shooting at Lekki, as contained in a CNN report, is fake news.


The member said:

“The Nigerian government needs to stop freezing bank accounts of key protesters; it needs to stop illegal detentions of key protesters. “We are aware that some protesters have reported facing intimidation and the British High Commissioner in Abuja continues to raise our concerns about intimidation of civil society groups and peaceful protesters with the Nigerian government.” The UK parliament said it would continue to communicate with the governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and a top member of the Nigerian presidency.

The parliament concluded that “future sanctions could reduce the impact of the designations.”

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