The problem with the States’ handling of arrested ‘looters’

At the height of the #EndSARS protests, a lot of people from the ruling class were silent as they knew that they were part of a system that stifled the growth of the nation. Several governors failed to engage with protesters and some even tried to stop the protests. And, now that looting of warehouses and private businesses have become a phenomenon, they have found their voices and energy.

Though, there have been genuine and patriotic calls for the arrest and prosecution of hoodlums responsible for the lootings. These calls have also included the arrest of hoodlums who invaded Police stations and took over Police garbs. Fortunately, many of the hoodlums have been arrested by security agents but the current problem now is the State Governors’ handling of the cases.

There have been cases of Governors ordering security agents to go from house to house searching for looted properties and COVID-19 palliatives. It is unfortunate that the same state governments who reportedly hoarded palliatives meant for the people now consider themselves powerful enough to invade people’s private spaces without court orders.

A Twitter User, Uncle Annas posted:

In Kaduna, it’s house to house operation in search of stolen palliatives by security operatives. Haba @elrufai.” In response, the Governor of Kaduna State, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai quoted the tweet with the following:

KADUNA UPDATE: We intend to bring each and every one of them to justice. Stealing and destruction of property in the guise of #EndSARS will not be tolerated in Kaduna State. Thanks.”

While this might seem logical and consistent with the character of the governor, it is an undemocratic practice. No one should be powerful enough to invade another person’s house without a court order.

This is not just exclusive to Governor El-Rufai as some other Governors have also joyfully posted on their Social Media platforms that they are going all the way in punishing looters. And, knowing the Nigerian security agencies’ penchant for impunity, there would definitely be innocent people among those arrested.

Also, the media parades are undemocratic, even though they have become normal in Nigeria. The entire charade is symptomatic of the lawlessness and oppression that are now endemic with Nigeria’s ruling class.

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