It is recorded in one of Nigeria’s two constitutional books of oaths that Lucifer, an elite angel gone rogue, incited a third of the population of angels on earth to protest against God in heaven. His regime change agenda bore the online hashtag #ENDGOD. How did God’s divine government handle these protesters?
Few hashtags in Nigeria have been hotter than the #ENDSARS. Its heat was meant to cauterise the warts of police cruelty, criminality and impunity, which has afflicted the Nigerian people for so long. Yet, the harsh truths of this hashtag have proven to be both sizzling and scalding, making the ENDSARS movement acclaimed and criminalised in the same breath. This returns the old conundrum, why right things can appear so wrong, and vice versa.
It is difficult to write about the fallout of this protest. It is easier to be silent. There are many questions that I honestly believe will never be answered. It is not because the questions are hard or one is entirely dumb. It is because the questions are too self-evident that they fail to be questions. It is because we know the answers and we choose not to know. It is because, apart from the black light that was switched on to illuminate the activities of the shooters on the evening of October 20, our elite forensic thinkers are divided on whether we should view all the incidents associated with the ENDSARS protest under green lights or under white lights.
Of course, under bright white lights, we see the execution skills of the shooters. We see the angles of bullets as they fly into vital brains. We see the shrieks of young women and men in the throes of death. We see bloodstains of innocent gun-gored patriots, clearly on the white section of the Nigerian flag. Under fluorescent lights, we see the nonviolent bodies of those felled while they sang Nigeria’s national anthem, and the faces of the killers who achieved this great defeat.
However, under the dull dual green lights, we see that nobody died. We see no scratch of blood. We see that the Nigerian Army was not there. We later strain to see that two people died mistakenly. We later see that the army eventually ceased fire. We later see it was not mass murder but only a murder of the masses. Under green lights, we would see the faces of those who looted shops looking for palliatives. We would see the faces of the hoodlums that set the prisoners free. Oh yes, we would see the faces of the hoodlums on rampage around the country, but under green lights, we cannot see the faces of those who armed hoodlums to harm peaceful protesters on the streets of Abuja and elsewhere in the country.
…the majority of people agree that we must hold hoodlums accountable for the online, offline and out-of-line protests. Thankfully, all these sorts of hoodlums are presently being rounded up at the airports, USB ports and other ports of exit, to prevent their escape. For we shall all give account of our lives before God, here in Nigeria.
These contiguous forensic light sources inform the two opposite ways one may document the history of the ENDSARS protest. The first and simple story is that the ENDSARS protest started online in 2017, proceeded offline to the streets in October 2020, and went altogether out-of-line when “hoodlums hijacked the street protests”.
The other history one may write is the complicated one. The story goes that some plum hoodlums among the Nigerian elite incited middle income hoodlums to protest online against the reign of Buhari, the most handsome, tall and fair complexioned president Nigeria ever produced. Then the middle income hoodlums went to the slums and invited the low income hoodlums to protest peacefully offline against SARS. Sadly, the peaceful slum hoodlums then invited the homeless scum hoodlums who live in the wild to join them. Unfortunately, these no income scum hoodlums went out-of-line. They left their pride lands and burnt down police stations, killed innocent police officers and destroyed other people’s palace and properties in a show of crass ingratitude to their caring traditional, local, state and national leaders.
Either way, the majority of people agree that we must hold hoodlums accountable for the online, offline and out-of-line protests. Thankfully, all these sorts of hoodlums are presently being rounded up at the airports, USB ports and other ports of exit, to prevent their escape. For we shall all give account of our lives before God, here in Nigeria.
One thing we must not lose sight of, especially as an award winning god-fearing country, is how God handles the protests of hoodlums. It will offer us the needed guidance in handling protests in days to come. It is recorded in one of Nigeria’s two constitutional books of oaths that Lucifer, an elite angel gone rogue, incited a third of the population of angels on earth to protest against God in heaven. His regime change agenda bore the online hashtag #ENDGOD. How did God’s divine government handle these protesters?
How can God let the loyal angels see that Satan’s agenda was not really against Him but rather against good governance in every realm? How can God let the foolish angels see that Satan’s hidden out-of-line agenda is actually to ENDGOOD? How can God let Adam understand the evil of selfish pursuits if He did not see His first son murder his younger brother in cold blood?
Heaven exterminated none of these politically naive angels. In fact, all these anti-God angels are walking free till today, except a few of them who were later remanded in ethereal correctional facilities for sexually molesting our beautiful women. Moreover, is it not shocking to know that God still relates with Satan in some way till today! If God is indeed the Most Powerful, why did He not summarily eliminate this disgruntled plum hoodlum, popularly called Al Shaitan in our country’s second book of oaths, for His effrontery to demand that God step down? Why did He not remand Him in some scary cell in one of those maximum-security prisons in Hades? Why did God command that his holy angels repel Satan’s attack, and just send him back to earth to continue his rascally life in the opposition?
The answer is: How can God let the loyal angels see that Satan’s agenda was not really against Him but rather against good governance in every realm? How can God let the foolish angels see that Satan’s hidden out-of-line agenda is actually to ENDGOOD? How can God let Adam understand the evil of selfish pursuits if He did not see His first son murder his younger brother in cold blood? How can God let Eve see the futility of material things if she did not see the material body of her beloved son begin to smell when they did not dispose it in dust in time?
How are we to know how responsive President Jonathan was towards insecurity in the North-East if we do not see how responsible President Buhari has been with insecurity in the North-East, North-West, North-South and North-North? How can we know how corrupt the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government was if we do not witness the obscene profligacy of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government from Kano through Abuja to every part of the country where they honourably switch off the mic when they cannot switch off the light and CCTV cameras?
We all protest to God in prayers from the turmoil of our hearts when He seems to be indifferent to our miseries on earth. Ask Job. We all defy God’s commands when He appears not to side with our emotional drives. Ask Jonah. We all cry to God when we cannot feel any divine government presence in our lives. Ask Jesus Christ as he fought for breath on the executioner’s tree.
God teaches us that if we enjoy the praise of men, we ought to endure the criticism of men as well. We can learn from God that there is wisdom in not dispersing peaceful protesters with bullets. We will see that we are not weak when we do not kill people who opine that we should resign from public office. We can learn to welcome the voice of dissent on social media. We will see that anti-government media is not the same as antisocial media. We can learn to relate with the high income plum hoodlums, to regard the middle income hoodlums, to reason with the low income slum hoodlums and to redeem the no income scum hoodlums. Of course, we can agree or disagree with God on this, and indeed with ourselves.
Oluseyi Olufemi writes from Abuja. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.