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For about three days now, there have been incessant reports and cries of citizens living in Lagos and Ogun states experiencing armed robbery attacks, rape, murder, burglary and other forms of violence. Still holed up in their respective abodes due to the lockdown ordered by the government, people from these affected communities have had their troubles doubled as they do not only now have to deal with isolation and possible starvation, they also now have to worry about their security too.

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The situation has reached such a crescendo that youth in the affected areas have taken up small arms such as cutlasses, Dane guns, sticks and knives to protect themselves and their communities. Surely, the concerned states, the security agencies and the government, in general, have succeeded in failing the people one more time.

However, there has also been a fierce debate of why these violent miscreants have suddenly resumed the heightened attacks these past three days and not since the total lockdown began in these states. While some are of the opinion that hunger is the motivation behind these attacks, others believe that the zeal to commit evil by the louts and gangs have just been boosted within them.

But if keenly examined, one would find out that this unrest being witnessed in Lagos and Ogun is not just about these gangs looking for food to survive or out of a particular love for crimes. It is also not just about the thirst for murder, rape, robbery and other forms of violence just for the sake of it. It is, however, more like a silent demand for power shift.

It is more like these miscreants are about to forcefully take back all of the inhumanity visited on them by their country & it’s people for decades. It is more about using the opportunity of chaos to seize the wealth of the greedy & the comfort of the diligent for themselves. It is more a desire to get to have a taste of the power which the accomplices of selfish leaders & bystanders, who hardly ever defend them, meted on their basic needs.

A simple heart to heart talk with hardened touts on the street could reveal that they are very sceptical of innocent/good gesture and are equally angry that they are constantly being exploited by power brokers. Many of these miscreants are convinced that if the elite can hoodwink them out of a promised future, they can as well take the assured future of their oppressors away with violence.

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Many of these hoodlums have joined cults as a middle finger to society. And they justify that conviction with the thought, “why not now, why not take our chances when we have the power?”

As a responsible society, it is hoped that when all of the unintended consequences of the Coronavirus lockdown die down; after surviving the impending tragedies which seemed to linger around us, those of us who are privileged in a way or another would take a moment to pull along those who have less privileges.

We hope that these incidents would spur us to see beyond our mantra of “I crossed the bridge before it crashed” and demand for better governance from our politicians and leaders – or we would pay dearly with the descent of a chaotic society.

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This article was first published on 13th April 2020


Macaddy is mostly a farmer in the day who also dabbles into technology at night, in search of other cutting edge intersections. He's on Twitter @i_fix_you

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