This past week has been full of fire, fury and despair for most Nigerians, no thanks to the unfortunate ENDSARS protests and the many catastrophic, unsavoury scenes that characterised its chaotic aftermath.
This past week, violence reigned supreme in the land. From arson and thuggery, to burglary and nationwide looting spree, it was just (one hell of) a week to forget.
Amidst all the anger, the mayhem and the pandemonium though, there lie some absolutely ridiculous and comical images, incidents, scenes and scenarios.
And please don’t get me wrong, I am not endorsing criminality in any form. No! I am a law-abiding citizen who abhors lawlessness of any kind. But no matter how serious they seem or look, some things are just too hilarious you just can’t help but laugh.
Therefore, here are my top fifteen ridiculous moments of Nigeria’s unwanted theatre of the absurd, these goddamned and forsaken past few days of fire and brimstone…
1. A thug running away with the ‘Opa Ase’, the traditional staff of office of the Oba of Lagos, HRM Alh. Rilwan Akiolu. Where is the boy going with the sacred staff? Only the young man can tell! What a sacrilege!
2. Another hoodlum wearing a ruby-coloured royal footwear, also belonging to the Oba of Lagos, and admiring his foot while posing for the cameras. How despicable!
3. An arsonist wearing a judge’s wig and robe, shortly after playing a part in setting a court building ablaze in Obalende, Lagos. Even more ridiculous is the chap walking freely in his new judicial attire with a naked matchette in his hands! Is that his new gavel?!
4. A thug who, obviously had just helped burnt down a Police station in Edo State, donning a Police uniform and mimicking a cockish walk and a salute with the khaki on, while his fellow thugs repeatedly cheered him on with loud choruses of “DPO!…DPO!!…DPO!!! DPO indeed!
5. Some hoodlums in Agbor, Delta State brazenly looting a truck-load of helpless goats and live chickens and jumping onto motorbikes. Even more absurd is the sight of some commercial motorcyclists lining up to pick up the looters to their various destinations. For them all, Christmas has arrived already.
6. A young man looting away a whole State capital! Amidst the ensuing melee which threw wide open the gates of COVID19 palliative warehouses and stores in Jalingo, the capital of Taraba State, a young man uprooted the town’s signpost and proudly walked away, later displaying his spoil of war for sale. Jalingo people, you can’t say anything again, for you have been conquered and on the verge of being sold!
7. A young man walking away with a hospital bed from a Psychiatric Hospital in Calabar, Cross River State, after the hospital was vandalised and the entire patient’s reportedly set free! I am still confused as to who really is the lunatic here between the insane inmates and their rescuers, sincerely.
8. A man coming out from a looted shop, along side his son, while firmly clutching a box of king-size Indomie Noodles! Haba Oga, you don’t need to take that innocent boy along. Why destroy that kid?
9. Two young men looting a water closet from a Senator’s house in Calabar! What were they thinking here? Probably, they have never used such a luxurious item to answer the call of nature. These ones should be competing with two other Ilorin able-bodied youth, who bolted away with boarding house mattresses on their heads. These four have surely found their own “Next Level”!
10. Securitymen telling Nigerians to loot peacefully! What is peaceful in looting again? In my fourty-plus years of existence in this world, I have never seen this frighteningly bizarre moment from our security personnel. Guys, we are all in soup!
11. Rival group of looters putting their differences aside and uniting to dislodge an ATM Machine in Lagos. We haven’t seen how the loot was shared though, but amidst this incredible partnership in crime, you can not beat their unity of purpose.
12. Some Nigerians – majority of whom can’t even communicate to themselves – turning into seasoned speechwriters and communication experts overnight! This came shortly after Mr. President had delivered his long-awaited speech. Depending on where you stand in the entire ENDSARS hullabaloo, the consensus remains that not everyone can be a Speechwriter – especially a Presidential one.
13. State Governors putting up an unnecessary volte face of defending their questionable decisions to lock up COVID19 Palliatives in the midst of hunger and poverty. Come on, even if you have one million reasons as to why those items could not be distributed, wisdom should tell you that any attempt to defend that action will fall on deaf ears.
14. Edo Governor Godwin Obaseki giving inmates an ultimatum of one week – and adding another week – for them to return to their Oko Medium Security Correctional Centre. As at Wednesday, 21st October 2020, about 1,818 inmates were still at large, while 163 have been re-arrested and six have returned voluntarily. It will be interesting to see how many more will turn up again.
15. How about this last one: some Governors pleading with looters not to consume looted grains because they are seeds sprayed with insecticides and other dangerous substances; or begging the looters not to take some drugs because they have expired? Who cares about chemicals and date of expiry when people are hungry and poor? Now that is the mother of all absurdities.
By the way, in the wake of this unfortunate circumstances of looting and laughter, and of suffering and smiling, let us all not forget to say a prayer for Nigeria. May Allah, the Ultimate Healer, heal our fatherland.
Mr Abubakar writes from Abuja