Friday, 12 July 2013

Showdown in Nigeria’s Little Tokyo: Rivers State House of Assembly

“Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles, and thy princes eat in due season, for strength, and not for drunkenness!” Ecclesiastes 10:17

It is not by riches that noble men and their sons are known; it is by exploits. It is not by aggression nor merry that the strength of princes are shown; it is by discipline. It is not by thuggery that brave men are enthroned; it is through the solving of problems that make people’s living better. We are praying that government in Nigeria will do exploits, exhibit discipline and solve problems so we may maximize our potentials as a people. As we travail and transform ourselves, the least our leaders should do is try to live out the answers to our prayers. But with happenings such as the one showcased below, which the producer has censored “18+”, more Nigerians lose hope.

It is sorry to be reminded that some of our leaders are still engaging physical assault as a means of establishing their opinions. Otherwise, how should one perceive the use of excessive force by one person in expressing the desire to have his acquaintance preferred by the majority?

The recent showdown that took place at the Rivers State’s House of Assembly reminds me of the movie, Showdown in Little Tokyo (1991) wherein Officer Chris (Dolph Lundgren) and his policeman partner, Johnny (Brandon Lee), were hunting down a dangerous Japanese drug-dealing squad. The cops were involved in a perilous battle in pursuit of justice. They took the law into their own hands and meted judgement outside the boundary of their jurisdiction. But since it is a movie, they did not actually harm the bad guys they fought. On a light note, we may think of their vengeance as being synonymous to what Tom did to the bull dog in the video below:

In his account on Lost Rights as it relates to American liberty, James Bovard posited that “Democracy must be something more than two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner”. But, is that not the situation over here in Nigeria? Or, how does the smashing of carved wood upon someone else’s head affect the price of fish in the market? Who wouldn’t suspect that dangerous wolves have now become leaders? If our leaders are practicing democracy in this awkward manner, how can we, the electorate, perceive that they have our interest at heart?

Here is my final contemplation on this issue. If in the pursuit of your understanding of the meaning of justice, you embark on a violent project such as the Nigerian version of Showdown in Little Tokyo, lifting the mace, pursuing a perceived culprit and striking him on the head, how do you reprove your own child if per chance he or she is caught breaking people’s head in the neighbourhood? Again, we should ask ourselves the sort of leaders who resolve disputes by introducing thugs into the premises of their council to execute vengeance. Maybe we should even ask ourselves what kind of protégés these leaders will raise. Perhaps, we should learn from this experience how to distinguish wolves from sheep.

We are a people who need to continually pray for our leaders to be used as instruments for a good change and replaced by better leaders in future. If it happens that tomorrow becomes worse than today, then this preceding generation of leaders would have succeeded in failing their successors. This idea should humble us all.

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