Saturday, November 08, 2008

Animal Farm

yesterday i found out (courtesy of friends on Facebook) about an event that has quite a number of people abuzz: the assault of some civilians on Monday in Victoria Island by naval servicemen, including someone i knew a couple of years ago. in the aftermath, she - and some other person - is suing the Nigerian Navy to the tune of N100m. personally, i think this is both bad & good:

  • why would not moving quickly out of the way of a military higher-up be an 'offence'? i'm a citizen - he's a citizen. the fact that we both serve our country in different ways should make no difference. if anything, the fact that i pay taxes which help to fund the machinery that pays him should be accounted for. unfortunately, like Animal Farm, it's become a case of all being equal, but some more equal than others - whatever in the world that means.
  • why would an elderly man sit & watch his aides brutalize people with no show of what Shakespeare called 'the milk of human kindness'? i side with Elihu on this one (Job 32:7, the Bible) - whatever the offence, the level of beating & the treatment given her was overkill.
  • if the higher-up is in such a hurry, he should at least have found out that there's always traffic in V/I around that time, and scheduled his coming for some other time it was lighter
  • i believe his oath on taking a uniform had some variation of 'to protect and to serve'. how are the nation's best interests protected by forcing people to disobey traffic laws just because you have an inflated opinion of your own worth? 'now all i need to push people around is a uniform'. isn't that self-service at the cost of the nation's morals. it's no wonder so many people think a uniform is a shortcut to a plush life. is he - or any other egotistical military personnel - any different from people in public office who rob the nation blind? i definitely am not going to be saying to my kids: 'Rear-Admiral Arogundade? now that's someone worthy of emulation'. in my opinion, he's no different from any two-bit thug.
  • it's good that she sought out advice (bad or good) & decided to take civil action. it means that Nigerians are learning that they have rights that can be protected. i'm hoping that there will be some win for moderation and common sense...but the inmates are running the asylum.

i could go on, but let it suffice to say that things don't look too bright. i hope the support of Uzoma and the rest isn't just for show, that we are willing to take bullets for what we believe is right, instead of merely talking about it and 'thanking God' secretly it didn't happen to us. Nigeria is ripe for change, but that change will begin with individual action. when we are true to ourselves first, then to each other, we can change things. until then...we can only hope that the pigs don't make us worse off than the humans, to paraphrase Blair.

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