…Everybody did what was right, yet an innocent man lies in the mortuary!
…Police or hoodlums?***
The Lagos State Government has a vision for a commendable mission: to clear miscreants from Ijora Under-Bridge, in an initiative to sanitize Lagos. Ijora has a mini-Government, run by about 200 miscreants and hoodlums.
A legitimate Government like the one in Lagos State will jealously keep the one in Ijora or elsewhere under control. So, they established a Lagos Taskforce, and saddled it with the mandate of making Ijora and its environs safe.
There is a more popular Task Force already in Lagos, going by the nomenclature, the Presidential Task Force for the decongestion of Apapa Gridlocks. It is headed by a former Lagos State Commissioner of Transportation, Kayode Opeifa.
Highly meticulous, and having paid his dues, Opeifa is not only concerned about protecting his good name which derived from his past dedicated commitment to quality service delivery, Opeifa also sees the present task as a stepping stone, to only God-knows-what! Part of Opeifa’s mandate, in the onerous assignment of domesticating or exterminating the Apapa Lagos gridlock is to work on a newly converted Truck Terminal at Lily Pond Ijora, and ensure that, truck drivers who allegedly engendered gridlocks are happily kept there!
The truck drivers, when happy can be easily managed by a child. When provoked, the army of a nation may not be able to easily cow them. Those who know them say they are more amendable to the laws of the ‘Carrot and the Big-stick’. They also said they were easily excited by violence!
On Wednesday, the Lagos Task Force moved into Ijora, in furtherance of the assignment of clearing the area of miscreants. They came with armed police and other security operatives. They caught the hoodlums unaware; and the latter shifted ground.
Sadly, the job could not be completed. They postponed the task to Thursday, forgetting that delay could be dangerous!
When they came on Thursday, they found a more prepared, body of armed hoodlums, who gave them a run for their time. The taskforce was armed with ‘Authority’ and guns. The hoodlums were armed with ‘Force’, guns, broken bottles, clubs and other dangerous equipment. Remember what Niccollo Machiavelli said, anyone wanting to introduce a new set of ‘law and order’ must be prepared to overcome those who prospered from the old ‘Order’. There was conflagration! A typical example of ‘Corruption’ fighting back!
After a while, the police took the upper hand. The hoodlums fled on foot. And as they fled, they robbed! They waylaid innocent road users, burning vehicles, vandalizing as they brandished their dangerous weapons. Nobody was spared!
The police went after them in glorious pursuit. The hoodlums continued until they got to the Truck Terminal at the Lily Pond. What better place to take refuge? Only that they also find an excited match in the truck drivers!
To most Nigerians in Lagos, there is only one Task Force in Lagos: the Presidential Task Force led by Kayode Opeifa! Thus, the mayhem was so reported under different banners!
But, the mayhem that followed was better imagined! Sandwiched between the Lagos Task Force pursuing them and the Truckers, who are easily excited by such events, the hoodlums took out their guns and began sporadic shootings! A Truck driver was felled, new vehicles were burnt, this time, some of them either belonging to or donated by the Nigerian Ports Authority!
People immediately scampered in different directions, for fear of dear lives! Momentarily, everyone forgot the injuries and personal effects they were deprived! And then, everything died down!
But did it?
Who fired the deadly shot? Is it the Police or the ‘hoodlums’? That is even the minutest of the grieving family’s problem now.
Who takes responsibility for the death of the truckers who was felled? He has a family, and dependants whose life and labour have perpetually kept out of troubles and crimes!
Who mitigates the great loss, knowing full well that even in the event of a ludicrous ‘insurance policy’ the premium might not have been paid for over six months! Who pays the next school fees of the children? Who pacifies the wife and mother, in the event that the landlord comes tomorrow for the ‘rent’!
The Lagos State Government desires the attainment of a commendable vision. The Nigerian Ports Authority is doing the best, endorsed by the Federal Government.
The ‘hoodlum’, in the absence of an elusive job, has only engaged himself in what to do to fend for the ‘daily bread’. Yet, a bread winner is felled, throwing new set of dependants, into a vulnerability of going into new crimes.
Who bears the brunt for the current Collateral Damage??!
Let us continue to pray for Nigeria. The borders are partially closed, a commendable initiative, which has ignited new social problems, which includes unimaginable hike in food prices, with its attendant allusion for more vulnerable to go into crimes!
Keep praying for Nigeria!
May the President live For Ever!