For the mere fact that the street urchins, looters and vandals who were mobilised and sponsored to unleash mayhem on the beautiful city of Enugu for two days, hiding under the hijacked ENDSARS Protest, deviated into the search for non-existent palliatives at Queens School Enugu, showed how disorganised and unreasonable they are. This action is enough to tell the world that they are not protesters, but hired miscreants and rogues, who cashed on hijacked the protest to perpetrate evil against humanity in Enugu. It is on record and verifiable that Enugu State CA-Covid-19 palliatives have since been distributed and shared among the 17 local government areas in the state, that also shared among the poorest of the poors at the grassroots level. The commencement of the distribution was flagged off by the Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi in August, 2020 at Queens School, Enugu where they received and parked by the state. Apart the CA-Covid-19 palliatives brought by Federal Government to the states, Enugu State Government shared palliatives severally at the peak of Covid-19 lockdown.
The pictures of the exercise at the state and local government levels are everywhere on internet and social media platforms. Pictures do not lie and seeing is believing. Beneficiaries of the palliatives which include the artisans, the downtrodden, the handicapped and others gave testimonies of it and commended Governor Ugwuanyi for the kind gesture and timely distribution. With all these evidences and instances of palliatives distributions in Enugu, why were the vandals and looters, hiding under ENDSARS Protest at Queens School, Enugu in search of palliatives, when no palliatives were hoarded by the state government there? What is the correlation or relationships between their initial hijacked ENDSARS Protest and the sudden search for palliatives at Queens School Enugu, if not that these boys are vandals, miscreants, looters and criminals that don’t deserve to be treated with kid gloves. It is obvious that their push to invade Queens School Enugu, where people’s children, daughters and sisters are schooling and living in the hostels was to satisfy their sexual desires, by raping these girls and not that they were in search of any palliatives. It is also for this their sinister motives that they adamantly refused to leave the school premise, even when the video of the empty palliatives warehouse in the school went viral, showing that there were no palliatives parked there as alleged. Not even the alarm raised and passionate appeal made by the school principal, Mrs. Chika Nweke for the girls to be spared, protected and rescued touched their heart.
Unlike the two days they had a field day destroying and looting Enugu city unperturbed, the security agents promptly waited, resisted and dispersed them at Queens School. If that was not done, they would have invaded the school, rape the girls and burn down the school, just to ensure that Enugu is in the news for wrong reasons.
Unfortunately and incidentally, one boy sustained injury from stray bullets and their supporters on social media platforms took to town with their emotional outbursts and falsehoods from the comfort of their homes that Enugu State Government and Governor Ugwuanyi were responsible for it without stating how.
This was the same people that never openly condemn the act of vandalism by these criminals and arsonists in Enugu for two consecutive days. I am sure that if their daughters or relations are teachers or students in Queens School, Enugu, they won’t react the way they reacted and still reacting on social media platforms. They won’t be purveyors and peddlers of falsehoods about events in Enugu in recent days. That is Nigerians for you. Hypocrisy is a culture and emotion is a tradition.
But one thing these people failed to realise is that no responsible and responsive government anywhere in the world condones rascality, criminality and illegality no matter the circumstances, not even government in the developed countries we are always quick to refer to.
With what has happened in Enugu recently, it is obvious that these looters and vandals, who are mainly from a neighbouring state, but reside in some parts of Enugu to do menial jobs have constituted themselves as security threat and time bombs in the state. If not monitored, fished out and tamed, they will wreck more havoc in the state in the days or years ahead.
They have associations, large in number, small in size, unassuming and deceptive in appearance, but very heartless, dangerous and mindless in their actions. Their antecedents and activities are well known and documented in their state of origin and beyond. Bestiality is their watchword. It is gladdening that some arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing. Soon their emotional social media supporters, sponsors and the world will be shocked by their confessions on how they organised and executed the wanton destruction, looting and vandalisation of Enugu city for two consecutive days.
Nobody supports killing of armless youths or anybody, but were those who wrecked havoc in different parts of Enugu for two day armless? They were not. They were up in arms and destructive. They destroyed properties and wasted human lives including that of security personnel. Genuine and armless protesters do not vandalise or destroy properties, they demonstrate or protest peacefully and always create room for dialogue. Youths should not constitute themselves as security threat by engaging in criminality hiding under the hijacked protests and needless search for palliatives. They have no legal right to block roads under any guise, considering that where their rights to protest stops, is where the right of others to freedom of movement starts. What have the vandals and looters achieved with their nefarious activities in some parts of the country, including Enugu in the last few days? Nothing except untimely deaths, conflagration, losses and destruction of private and public properties. Those claiming or saying that they are not looters and vandals, but hungry and jobless youths are not sincere with themselves. They were because their actions and inactions for the two days in Enugu potrays that. There is no justification for their criminal activities and deeds hiding under ENDSARS Protest.
Hunger and hardships have always been there. It is not a thing of today. It will continue to be there, having been part and parcel of human existence. Ignorance is no excuse in law. Nigeria is not yet a Banana Republic. Enugu remains part of Nigeria at least for now. It is not about Enugu State Government or Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, it is about protecting and preserving the peacefulness, symbol and significance of Enugu as Igbo’s common heritage and capital of the Southeast region.
Comrade Mmaduekere is the Chairman, Eastern Volunteers Mandate (EVM)