BY KANMI ADEMILUYI
- The Challenge to the authority of the state takes a frightening dimension
ACROSS the country, there are profoundly disturbing recordings of breakdowns in the very definition of the State. The treaties of Westphalia and perhaps even more important that of Utrecht laid the basis for the concept and accepted definition of the modern nation state and its incontestable monopoly of the means of violence, intimidation and arms as its bedrock.
The monopoly of the State over the bedrock is now contested in many flashpoints. Two posts on facebook this week by cerebral astute analysts clearly states the magnitude of the crises. The highly respected director of programs of Rave FM, Mr. Thompson Taiwo wrote that, “Thugs are the new government in Osun. They place levies on residents. The government knows them but is not ready to confront them”.
With the harsh lessons of history in mind Peter Oshun gave a forewarning about the consequences of turning a blind eye to the rule of the mob and their control of the streets. “The street gangs in the words of Alan Bullock (author of the defining “Hitler: A Study In Tyranny) seized control of the resources of a great modern nation state, THE GUTTER HAD COME TO POWER”. As it has often being stated, the Germans had themselves to blame. The people of this country are already paying a high price for the conniving abdication of responsibility by constituted authorities to street gangs, mobs and enforcers. As with Germany in the 1930’s when the chickens eventually come to roost, a duplicitous self-seeking establishment will end up in the belly of the tiger. The government of the State of Osun and other conniving state governments will do well to embark on an historical excursion.
The Gutter has taken over and it did not happen by accident. The unfolding implosion was well worked out craftily with German type precision engineering (the pun is deliberate). Uninterested in sustainable development the Nigeria establishment have created a low skills, low wages economy resulting in mass dependence on gratuitous crumbs triggering off a state of anomie. Such a situation is unsustainable. Sadly, the grim warnings arising out of the #EndSARS debacle has been ignored. Predictably so. The same establishment ignored the foreboding of the 1982 Judicial panel of enquiry into the Maitatsene riots. Because of this, Nigeria is today spending 20% of its annual budget on security. The establishment in Nigeria like the Bourbons of revolutionary era France, “learnt nothing and forget nothing”. This of course negates the principle of self-preservation necessary for the elite to survive and hold on to its privileges.
Governments should stop this reckless abdication of responsibility. Crime and criminals have to be confronted and not molly coddled. Fundamentally, as the British Labour Party once campaigned on, “we must be tough on crime and tougher still on the causes of crime”. We should be very careful about the consequences of the sordid seeds we are planting today as anti-democrats are being unleashed effects which will further endanger the prospects for sustainable development and eventually become a persistent existential threat to the rule of law and democracy itself.