I stand in solidarity with the people of Lagos and Nigeria. I think President Buhari should immediately stop the violence stand down and resign. There is little chance of that now. But President Trump, who has already killed 222,000 people needs to join him.
I wrote about the political climate both here and abroad being more akin to 1968 than 2020. In “What Colored People Should Do To Vote -2020 Edition.
In the streets of America, as in the streets of Nigeria, the lives of innocent people are being lost whose only crime is to claim basic human rights against a corrupt government.
According to her heart-wrenching New York Times Opinion Piece by feminist writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie: Nigeria Is Murdering Its Citizens, (from whom I borrowed my title) Ms. Adichie gives a historical perspective that puts the current Nigerian crisis into sharp perspective-
For years, the name SARS hung in the air here in Nigeria like a putrid fog. SARS, which stood for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, was supposed to be the elite Nigerian police unit dedicated to fighting crime, but it was really a moneymaking terror squad with no accountability. SARS was random, vicious, vilely extortionist. SARS officers would raid bars or stop buses on the road and arbitrarily arrest young men for such crimes as wearing their hair in dreadlocks, having tattoos, holding a nice phone or a laptop, driving a nice car. Then they would demand large amounts of money as “bail.”
Young protesters first took the streets almost two weeks ago after a video showing a brutal police shooting went viral. They demanded the abolition of this very same notorious and corrupt SARS anti-robbery police squad, days into the protest, Buhari ordered the unit disbanded.
Nigeria’s political culture is steeped in state-sponsored thuggery. Politicians routinely hire thugs to cause chaos, especially during elections, and many people believed that thugs had been hired to compromise the protests. On social media, videos that attested to this — of thugs getting into SUVs that belonged to the government, of hardened and hungry young men admitting they were paid to join the protests and become violent. Still, the protesters persisted. — Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
But protesters, who had heard similar promises before, said they wanted prosecutions and an end to corruption.
So, the protests instead grew into the largest Nigeria has seen since the 1980s, when people took the streets to denounce military rule. In some recent days, Lagos, a metropolis of 14 million people, came to standstill.
The conditions that kindled this current crisis are familiar to many other peoples uprisings. Like ours in the United States. High unemployment, particularly among students, authoritarian regimes & blatant government corruption are historically a recipe for disaster.
Nigeria’s unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 27 percent; the underemployment rate is just as high. The pandemic then delivered an already ailing oil economy another blow. A huge proportion of young people — many of whom are college-educated — have been lingering at home without any prospects.
Now under the thumb of an oppressive and brutal autocrat, it’s all boiling over.
The frustration that has built up has come to a head. What started with the young quickly spread throughout the population Nigerians from across the country joined the protests, they became about everyone’s frustrations.
This uprising has evolved to become so many things for so many Nigerians, It has become a stand against bad governance. It has become a stand against unemployment in the country. It has become a stand against the Nigerian government refusing to operate as a democracy.
Much like ours.
Many hoped these protests could bring about meaningful change in Nigeria. But, now, that hope is gone. The government of Nigeria said it was ready to draft reforms. But as the sun rose Wednesday on Lagos. Hordes of young people set the Nigerian Ports Authority building on fire; others ransacked the palace of one of the traditional kings of Lagos. Across the city, cars and federal buildings were set on fire.
To Nigerians familiar with how Nigerian politics work, the government incited the violence, that this was the work of hired thugs or agitators to give an excuse to crack down on the protests that threatened President Buhari, to the extent he had his own citizens brutally executed in the streets to send a message.
Now after this bloodbath, the violence is spreading and as of my writing, President Buhari of Nigeria has yet to make any statement other than unleash his forces upon his own citizens with no peaceful resolution in sight.
“Play it down” Trump admitted hiding the threat of coronavirus.
What is happening now in Portland should concern everyone in the United States. Usually, when we see people in unmarked cars forcibly grab someone off the street, we call it kidnapping,” said Jann Carson, interim executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, in a written statement. “The actions of the militarized federal officers are flat-out unconstitutional and will not go unanswered.
The political theater, deceit, propaganda and duplicity from President Trump and USAG Willam Barr had nothing to do with public safety. I believe in my heart Trump just wanted to see how far he’d be allowed to go in shredding the Constitution this summer. In my opinion, Trump had a “dress rehearsal” for a “Guerra Sucia” Argentina’s “Dirty War”.
The correlation between Trump’s actions in American cities against citizens and that of brutal dictatorships like that of General Jorge Rafael Videla. Should give every American pause.
For decades, women have been advocating for answers about what happened to their loved ones. It’s a question shared by the families of up to 30,000 people “disappeared” by the state during Argentina’s “Dirty War,” a period during which the country’s military dictatorship turned against its own people.
The “Wall of Moms” in Portland hoping to shield protesters being maced and brutalized was an eerie doppelgänger to Argentina’s Mothers and Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo
The president failed to lead this nation. He knew a deadly disease was threading the lives of American Citizens and he not only ignored it, he actively worked and continues to work against his own government’s Pandemic response.
His “Law and Order” talking points are only racist dog whistle “Willie Horton” bogeyman election tactics to frighten the “White Suburban Mothers” he so underestimates this election cycle, with desperate pleas for them to “like me” and boasting about “I saved your neighborhoods”.
How? How EXACTLY did Donald Trump save anyone?
His unidentifiable troops were in downtown districts protecting federal courthouses when they weren’t “disappearing” citizens illegally.
Governors have direct authority in the states they serve and the majority of them neither asked for nor needed his federal goon squads making more trouble in already tense situations.
Meanwhile, his own super spreader events continue to murder more of his own constituents than any invented brown criminals or roving bands of immigrants he can conjure up.
Like my 11-year-old observed when Trump threatened to ban Tik Tok after many of its young users pranked his campaign, supposedly reserving tickets that pumped up attendance numbers to his infamously low attended Tulsa Oklahoma rally – “He’s just mad because nobody went to his dumb rally that killed his friend Herman Cain”.
THE REAL DANGER
The biggest threats to American democracy come from Trump’s own constituents.
A 14th person has been charged in the alleged domestic terrorism plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, according to the Michigan attorney general’s office.
As you watch tonight’s last presidential debate, don’t forget the first where Trump refused to disavow White Supremacy and actually calls on the Proud Boys to “stand by”
These yahoos are his answer to “state-sponsored thuggery & hired thugs to cause chaos” that Ms. Adichie claims is used by President Buhari.
We’ve got sitting Governors targeted for kidnappings by Right-Wing Terror Groups. In America. in the year 2020.
That wasn’t on my Trump Scandal bingo card, but perhaps it should have been?
Iran, China & Russia continue to hector our elections. And it’s a sad state of affairs when you’ve got a sItting POTUS who’s damaging financial issues shed doubt on his loyalties to his own country. Can you imagine the GOP heads exploding behind the discovery of a secret Chinese Bank Account of Barack Obama?
What kind of “Banana Republic” are we on the road to becoming? If you don’t see the danger of this unprecedented political climate Trump is fomenting, then you are a) complicit or b) simply aren’t paying attention.
I know plenty of “White Suburban Moms” I’m married to one. They aren’t buying what Trump is selling.
The facts of this matter are as clear as they are inconvenient for Republican lawmakers dereliction of duty to our nation. Today. New U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surpass 60,000 for the Second Day.
More than 62,000 daily infections bring the total reported in the country to more than 8.33 million.
President Trump admitted he knew weeks before the first confirmed US coronavirus death that the virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus,” and that he repeatedly played it down publicly, according to legendary journalist Bob Woodward in his new book “Rage.”
This is deadly stuff, — Donald Trump February 7.
In a series of interviews with Woodward, Trump revealed that he had a surprising level of detail about the threat of the virus earlier than previously known. “Pretty amazing,” Trump told Woodward, adding that the coronavirus was maybe five times “more deadly” than the flu.
He deployed federal officers to patrol the streets of Portland and other cities in a blatant abuse of power by the federal government. Shooting protesters in the face with rubber bullets, snatching American citizens in unmarked vans by unidentifiable state-sponsored agents? All while infections continue to climb as of this morning dwarf records set in August.
How different is the blatant misuse of authority and brutality in Nigeria compared to Officers from the U.S. Marshals Special Operations Group and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Border Patrol Tactical Unit sent to Portland to protect federal property during the protests against rampant racism and police brutality while hiding the truth, misinformation about masks, politicizing science and threatening career scientists at the CDC condemned hundreds of thousands of American citizens to a slow, painful death from a disease who’s virulence was known about since January and left to burn through our population unchecked?
Understand, the scale and size of the police brutality and government response currently in Lagos is unmatched, a crime against humanity, and far worse than that of what happened to unarmed protesters in Portland.
I’ve seen the footage and was sickened by the casual brutality of it. If you haven’t, you should. Don’t look away. The world needs to see and hold President Muhammadu Buhari accountable for his crimes against humanity.
But President Trump, who is a fan of authoritarian regimes, (some of his best friends are dictators) has been trying plays from their tyrannical playbooks on American citizens, he must be watching and I dare say taking notes, on what’s occurring in Lagos in real-time. Here is an article on 100 American cities that Americans were tear-gassed
Trump turns out isn’t yet a remorseless and indiscriminate killer like Nigerian President Buhari, but the past is prologue, nothing about this man leads me to believe he’s unwilling to learn. I for one am doing all I can to ensure he doesn’t get the chance to graduate to become such a monster.
What is amazing to me is Trump is still allowed to hold office and not in the dock at The Hauge, the U.N. International Court of Criminal Justice, in light of the evidence of his crimes so well documented by Woodward in his recordings for the apply titled book “Rage”.
WHAT CAN I DO?
One of the most important things we can all do as global citizens is to stay informed. Daylight is the best disinfectant against tyranny. Despots can only be forced to account for crimes the world is aware of. This is why Trump hates a Free Press, the cornerstone of a healthy democracy so much.
Contact your Representatives
Pressure your Congressional Representatives and read all you can about current events, their policy stances, and importantly if their seat is up for grabs this election. They will pay attention if enough calls and emails come in about Nigeria. Flood them with calls and emails.
@humanrightswatch @humanrightscampaign @amnesty and @unicef any reputable agency committed to helping Nigerians through this current crisis. Please support the people of Nigeria. They are us, and we are them. #blacklivesmatter #yibambe
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