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By Abubakar D. Sani, Esq. 08034533892

Like most movements

(Including life itself)

It started innocently enough

With a call, or more

But which – because of the message –

Rapidly spread and became a cascade

A docile, long-suffering populace

Dared to challenge the State

For being at the receiving end

Of the worst excesses

Of those sworn to protect them

And kitted at their expense

Our law enforcement agents:

Our supposed knights in shining armour

Became, instead, our worst nightmares

Licensed to unleash terror

Or, at least, that was

The public perception

Of an infamous Police formation

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad

Or, SARS, as they were commonly known

Few, indeed, is the household

(If anecdotal evidence is to be believed)

That was spared of their ‘evil’

Their alleged atrocities

Were seemingly better imagined

If confirmed, it is just as well

That they are not recounted

Suffice it to say that

They were tales of horror

Anguish, pain and trauma

Unbefitting of men of honour

And so, it came to pass

All it took was a spark

To ignite what

Promised to be a conflagration

Initially manifesting as

A peaceful protest or Citizens’ Action

Calling for the end of SARS

A simple, innocuous call

However, no sooner had

The Government relented

Through a Presidential Statement – no less

Replacing it with SWAT

Than the protesters

Came up with yet more demands

This time, two dozen-strong

Well, almost – short by one

Wrong-footed, the Government

Re-considered its options

And issued threats

Backed with force

But, this ‘foe’ was like no other

As, even though it was ‘unarmed’

It was well-organized

Tech and media-savvy

They raised money

Seemingly in a jiffy

And dispensed it

To the needy

The spectacle played out

In all the media platforms

And the agitators

Lapped it all up

Yes, literally and metaphorically

As they were careful to dispose their litter

Wherever they massed

Lest they be charged with irresponsibility


As with all things Nigerian

(Or so, it seems)

It is getting out of hand

With some agitators

Reportedly resorting to violence

Harassing law-enforcement agents

And, others – without discrimination

In Benin, they broke a jail

And released its in-mates

In Osun, the Governor’s motor-cade

Was attacked – luckily, he escaped

The situation continues to evolve

With events seemingly

Possessing a life of their own

Which only the brave can predict

This has not, however, deterred

One of the movement’s organizers

Popularly called ‘Segalink’

From disavowing it

Thus corroborating

The Government’s position

That Fifth Columnists

Had taken control

But, who knows?

Who can tell?

Such is the state of trust

And the disconnect

Between our leaders

And the rest of us –

Their followers

And, yet, it might get worse

Given that it is happening

In the midst

Of an ever-so-fragile recovery

From the Covid-19 pandemic

What is the way out?

Any ideas, anyone?

Is this a Gordian knot?

Who will save this house?

Is the end nigh –

For Nigeria as a geo-political fact?

Or, will we execute yet another escape act?

Having come, severally, close to the precipice?

The prognosis is so dire

That some have wondered

Whether the end-time foretold in the Scriptures

Has arrived early in these shores

The religious have called for prayers

After all, we are reputed

To be the most religious nation on earth

Accordingly, all hands must be on deck

Summoning the Lord from on High

To preserve this union

With all its imperfections

Albeit, in a way that is re-ordered and right

So that we might yet fulfill

Our potential, so gloriously foretold

But consistently imperiled

By our habits of old

Emmanuel Bagudu
Author: Emmanuel Bagudu

Abuja based award-winning multimedia journalist

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