As the news of Nnamdi Kanu’s recent abduction by the Nigerian government trends on social media, it is being met by mixed reactions. While some folks applaud the government’s action, others are condemning it.
If Nnamdi Kanu stands accused of violating the law, the Nigerian government has the prerogative to pursue its cause. However, in pursuing justice, it would be discordant to assume that it is acceptable for the custodians of the law to also break the law they profess to uphold. Where does the moral balance lie if the plaintiff is also guilty of the same crime as the accused?
If the Nigerian government abducted Kanu illegally, they have violated the laws that guide such apprehension and this must not be ignored because it has far reaching consequences for all Nigerians.
Whether or not Kanu is guilty as charged is not the poignant issue at this time, instead the concern here is the general complacency of Nigerians towards the numerous acts of abuse by their government which Kanu’s recent arrest brings to bear.
Truth be told, Nigerians are generally confused and conflicted when applying the principles that guide our cohabitation. We do not apply governing principles fairly accross the board. Yet principles are like the pillars of a house. They determine the structure and flow of the edifice. They do not change their positions for anything or anyone.
Our laws are the principles that guide our communal conduct. They may not be wavered at random for anyone or anything.
As it were, In Nigeria our laws are like pendulums. They swing wherever the handlers want them to swing. The Nigerian culture is one which applies double standards to the same phenomenon under different circumstances and this has always worked against us.. It is a discordant approach to civil conduct and governance yet no one seems to notice, let alone care about the dissonance it causes within the land.
When government officials plunder the wealth of the nation, we ignore their misdeeds even though they are violating the law, yet the same government would arrest petty thieves and throw them in jail without trial and we applaud their actions. It is like someone allowing their teenage son to spend the night with the neighbour’s daughter but forbidding the neighbour’s son to do same with their teenage daughter. There is no fairness if principles are not adhered to.
If the Nigerian government wanted Kanu back in the country, the civil thing to do was to follow the right protocols. No government may claim to pursue justice while flagrantly violating it. It is because of our continued tolerance of irreverant and unfair conducts by our government officials that Nigeria is in the state she finds herself today. Any of us may be the next victim of their misguided governance because a rogue government is always a civil threat.
While some folks would argue that certain sovereign countries also indulge in similarly abusive conducts towards their citizens, this does not somehow bestow legality upon the practice. As Nigerians, we are responsible for choosing the values we tolerate within our commune. Disempowering conducts, particularly by government should be discouraged because they diminish us as a collective.
Dr. Wale Sodade