When the highest branch of authority in the country fails to uphold an elevated standard of order and respect for laws and regulations guiding aberrant actions, what we have are citizens who will follow suit in disregarding each other’s fundamental human rights.
The assault on Deji Adeyanju who led the Concerned Nigerians group on a protest calling for the release of the then detained Omoyele Sowere on Monday, December 23, 2019, might seem like an isolated occurrence, but when pitched against the small and big ways our country through governmental bodies encourage a toxic culture that completely and unabashedly trample on people’s rights, it would come to make a sad, yet angering sense.
In a country like ours, where protests amongst many other ways in which we try to defend our rights (when they are abused) is gradually gaining popularity considering how much still needs to be shunned, cancelled and protested against, unfortunate incidents where protesters attack their fellow protesters as is the case with Deji, are bound to encourage many to participate less in this civil exercise.
Gruesomely beaten and manhandled to near-death, Deji Adeyanju had to go through such ordeal simply for standing up for what he believed in, just like Omoyele Sowere was held for an indefinite period for convening a protest the government has chosen to describe as an attempt to forcefully overthrow the current power and many other innocent Nigerians still in incarceration for exercising their right and freedom to demand better actions from our representatives.
Following the DSS’ relatively recent display of lawlessness with little or no condemnation on the part of the federal government, it would only be natural that citizens catch the fire of trampling on other people’s rights, disrespecting their freedom to express their opinions and be emboldened to obstruct a purely civil right without fear of being held accountable for it. This would naturally be possible because these governmental bodies are also almost never held accountable for their actions either.
While it hasn’t been determined from whom the order of the attack came from, there is the likelihood that this will pass without event, and like everything in this country, we are reminded of how constrained and often useless the protections we get from our human rights are.