There is no gainsaying the fact that Nigerians have grown used to receiving bad news virtually every day as no day comes to an end without the news of Nigerian citizens killed by either unknown gunmen or known gunmen (security agencies) whose primary constitutional duty is to protect Nigerians.
The ugly trend where Customs officers delight in pulling the trigger at the slightest provocation calls for serious concern among the populace.
While Nigeria is battling with the twin evils of economic hardship and insecurity; we have to come to terms with the fact that the latter is no longer caused solely by men of the underworld but also by the security agencies who are supposed to protect us from criminals.
Iseyin, a peaceful city in Oyo State that rarely makes the news when brigandage, kidnapping, and other vices are being discussed recently had its garment of peace torn by murderers in uniform.
Just recently, the media space was agog with the gruesome murder of innocent souls by the men of Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) whose nefarious acts have been a national issue for the past few weeks. This week, we learned that Customs officers in Iseyin, while trying to apprehend some alleged smugglers, jumped into a shop, carting away bags of rice and in the process shot sporadically, leading to the unfortunate loss of four innocent souls.
What should perturb sensible minds is the fact that these uniformed men flex their muscles and discharge their firearms with impunity whenever they engage unarmed civilians.
We cannot continue to be fourth-class citizens in our country, a situation where innocent lives are being cut short like this calls for sober reflection.
As William Shakespeare opined “there is no sure foundation set on blood, No certain life achieved by other’s death.”
Nigeria teeters on the brink of total collapse and the foundation of our hard-earned democracy may be torn asunder if the blood of innocent souls in their primes is continually shed by Customs operatives and other members of the Nigerian armed forces.
Well-meaning Nigerians must rise against this ugly trend as the monsters the dreaded SARS unit recently made out of Nigeria are still very much alive.
Ismael Taiwo T-COOL
Writes from Ado-Awaye