Last week, videos emerged of some Nigerians allegedly beating distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremmadu, for not addressing the killing of his constituents by alleged herdsmen.
In case you missed it, catch up here.
As the video became viral, opinions flew, with some Nigerians disparaging the group fingered for this incidence, the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB). This group was designated a terror group in Nigeria, but that’s about that.
Whether the IPOB beat the Senator or a group of angry Nigerians did, the issue on ground is that the German Police called in on Channels Television to state that there will be no investigations on the matter since it is designated a protest, which is well within human rights.
“There was nothing much about this senator from Nigeria that came. About 30 persons demonstrated against him and the police were called and they calmed the situation down and the senator drove away in his car,” said the spokesman of the Landespolizie in Nuremberg.
Now, some Nigerians are amazed, shocked and some, disappointed because, in such a typical situation on Nigerian soil, at least 5 people would have been in their own pool of blood.
Germany is not a perfect society, but is there anything Nigeria/Nigerians could learn from their handling of this ‘protest’, re-Ekweremmadu?
- Yes, Human Deadass Rights!
As funny as it is, maybe Nigeria needs to learn basic human rights from Germany. Seems after Hitler’s escapades, the European country took all-night classes on Human Rights in Harvard.
Three years of civil war, many years of military rule, various coups and counter-coups and the country still likely treat humans worse than cows? In a democratic setting, a group whose mode of protest has been adjudged peaceful is cracked down upon, with live bullets.
Do you think Nigeria should learn basic human rights from Germany? of course yes. How soon? Yesterday, please.
2. Right to Assembly is a Human Right Too
Yesterday, Femi Falana SAN, alongside the Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka, was locked out of a venue where they were slated to speak on insecurity in the country. Don’t Nigerians have a right to assemble and even protest if need be?
Two days ago, 1.7m people in Hong Kong marched peacefully for democracy. Though there has been a series of violent encounters with the police in the past, they were not stopped from holding peaceful protests.
But it seems like there is a ban on peaceful protests in Nigeria, except maybe you are pro-government. Nigerians assembled at Nuremberg and protested bad leadership, according to the German Police and yes, there will be no investigations or arrests because the right to assembly is human right too.
That is indeed something to learn from Germany, No?
3. Knowing Your Right is Not Enough
If you watched the video, you would hear one of the protesters saying, “I am not afraid of the Police.” While this is as much a show of defiance, as it is a show of confidence in the application of the rule of law, it would not likely fly in Nigeria.
Imagine heckling a top shot in Nigeria with a SARS van packed and you’re shouting, “I am not afraid of the police.” You will be lucky to complete the sentence before being slammed to the floor.
It is not enough to know your right in Nigeria if the rule of law and the principles of democracy are selectively applied. Maybe Nigeria can learn rule of law from Germany?
4. Fighting for What You Believe In
“They are killing your people and you are here eating yam,” said the narrator who is clearly agitated at the distinguished Senator for eating yam. Honestly, if you do not want people eating yam, speak out.
In a democracy, you are free to protest someone’s choice of yam over bread. You are also free to protest the President’s choice of suit color, re-Obama’s tan suit saga.
If a Senator is not working hard enough, even if he/she is the best amongst all others, protest!
5. Less Bureaucracy, Quick Response
When there is a communication gap, there is likely confusion. On so many situations when the Nigerian police seemingly commit atrocities against unarmed citizens, people wait for an official Police statement usually, to no avail.
However, the PRO of the German police was on Channels Television just about 2 days after the ‘protest’ to diffuse the tension. Now, the PRO has cleared the air, people who were already flying propaganda about the arrest of the protesters, are left possibly jobless.
The Nigerian government, its military, police and other agencies must learn effective communication skills from ‘West Germany’.
6. Finally, the Police was there to Protect
In the viral video, you would see a police van blaring its sirene as the protesters raised voices against the pro-Ekweremmadu ‘New Yam Eaters’. As obtainable in every democratic setting, the work of the police is to protect citizens during protests.
Even when some people get violent, the police has protest gears for a reason. In worse case scenarios, the police usually use rubber bullets to disperse the protests. Is this the case for the Nigerian Police? Have they been able to protect protesters?
In the above tweet, Frank Donga, a Nigerian comedian, was careful not to mention names, given the rate of disappearance of purported government critics.
Indeed, there is a lot to learn from a post-Hitler Germany, including the non-dissapearance of supposed government critics.