As ENDSARS protest turns violence, Catholic Priest writes on danger ahead

Rev. Fr. Felix Akam is a Catholic priest from Ebonyi State Nigeria. He writes on the danger ahead while the #ENDSARS protests persist in some parts of the country with vital suggestions given on how to arrest the situation

I do not want to be seen as an alarmist, but we can not pretend that the cloud over the horizon is not frightening. I have always feared this  degeneration of events but the rascality of our leaders and overconfidence in the power of the army and police to protect them would not allow them to listen to our warnings. 

It is as simple as ABC. There are new boys in the town. I have seen their display of fearlessness before the security operatives in Aba, Abakaliki and Onitsha. Their bravery and invincibility before conventional weapons are only but tips of the maximum danger they pose for their enemies. Bullets do not penetrate. No, they do not. 

I have seen them overpowering the army, the police and local vigilantes; and burning down their stations even. I have taken time to analyze their ritualised semantics and securitised rhetoric and I can tell that we are headed to another guerrilla resistance. The boys are not smiling. They even called their operation 'Clean-up excercise'. 

If we must prevent this danger from hatching, this is not a time to militarise cities and villages. This is not a time to show we can use English to dismiss them as mere hoodlums. When they come visiting, even our computer would be a fuel to roast us. 

For the sake of our lives and our future, it is time for the Igbo leaders to humble themselves before these agitators and appeal for dialogue. The language of proscription is outdated. The table of dialogue must be decorated with clear and sincere intention. Nothing less! 

I warn again! This is not a time to buy cutlasses and give to cult boys to man the streets, because cultists are always the first to run away from the villages at a break out of minor inter-village skirmishes. The solution is neither sacking special assistants on security nor appointing new ones. The leaders need only to sack their interest, deflect their egos and understand that they are few kilometers away from a no-coffin-no-grave scenario. 

Let our leaders pretend that they are not at risk and highly vulnerable to these boys. If they do not do the needful, their homes and business interests are at the risk of being burnt within minutes. The groups who have been sacking central police stations in a broad daylight without resistance could burn down anything they suspect to be part of why their demands are not met. When that our worst fear comes, not even a security man stationed at those place would stand up against these boys.

Let us keep pretending that these attacks are only targeting the police and the army. When armed robbers invaded my house, they first of all crippled my dogs 🐶 and moved up to handpick me like a chick 🐥.

Let me go for the October Devotion! 

©Felix Uche Akam.

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