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Audacity of climbing saga


A man in Yola, capital of Adamawa State, climbed a 40-metre-tall billboard hanger

Recently and interestingly, another climbing drama occurred this time around in Yola, Adamawa state. A middle-aged man, Lawan who said he was angry by the spate at which Nigerians complain of hunger, social injustice and killings; climbed a 40 meters tall billboard hanger and said till anybody not less than Atiku would promise him that the ruling party (APC) would be ejected come 2019 general elections, he will remain there for 12 hours to express his discontent and jump down if President Buhari fails to resign. He was finally lured and tricked to come down and was immediately arrested by the Jimeta Division of Nigeria Police in Yola. Lawan said he would commit suicide if Buhari does not vacate the seat come 2019, saying his actions was necessitated by extreme poverty in the land. Meanwhile, Lawan has been released from police custody.

Recall that last month, news of a 28 year old, Iliyasu, who climbed a telecommunication mast in Abuja to protest insecurity situation in the country. There were protest placards around the mast with inscriptions including unemployment and insecurity situation in the country. Iliyasu by name said he would not come down from the mast unless President Buhari resigns. He was accompanied by two other people who were immediately arrested by soldiers. This drama drew a crowd and created panic in Asokoro, Iliyasu was ready to go 7days hunger protest while remaining on the mast directly facing the Presidential Villa. Finally after 24 hours, he descended from the telecommunication mast after been convinced.

Incidents like these, while not been encouraged, make it necessary to note that government and citizens have contributed to the present predicament of our country. The nuisance value that is being added by leaders in all sectors of our economy is expected to be x-rayed. The government should pay attention to providing basic amenities and alleviating poverty. The unemployment rate is increasing by the day, so also is insecurity which has led to kidnappings and killings. All hands must be on deck to ensure effective solution.

I will be committing a criminal oversight, if I do not mention that all that is happening today in the society is a function of our individual homes where core values should have been instilled. I believe these young men should know the difference between seeking popularity and embarking on a suicide mission. While on the mast or billboard hanger, what if they had been killed by other miscreants, it would have been said that it’s the Nigerian government. They should have both conducted themselves in a civilized manner and also remember that where their right stops is where another person’s begins although some might be of the view that these act will make their cause even more popular. Some are of the view that it is their life, they have every right to protest the way they want but what if, in the case of Iliyasu, the act had distorted the communication of millions of mobile phone users, at that point, a lot of people will be singing another song. It behoves on us all to know that we must learn to operate within the confines of the law. Some are of the view that their actions did not in any way infringe on other people’s rights; but for young men with so much energy and vigour to engage in such an act, it is misapplication of time, resources and an apparent wastage of intellect.

For those on social media who were saying they should have been given money or a gift, everybody needs help. Nigeria is not Father Christmas, therefore those who are of the opinion that the federal government should have invited them and given them money or gifts are making a disastrous mistake and not helping the system. Otherwise another time, someone else will go and climb either another telecommunication mast or billboard or possibly an iroko tree to get attention.

The law is explicit on how we can exercise our rights. They have their PVC (Permanent Voters Card) to constitutionally exercise their right. Meanwhile Iliyasu and his two accomplices were actually arrested and arraigned in court and granted bail with an amount and a surety. Lawan has also been released from police custody. In as much as the magistrates tendered justice with mercy as a corrective measure. In addition, the government should also pay attention to further enhancement of security especially community policing, public utilities should be better policed and I also think Nigerians needs to be better sensitize to maintain public property. While caution should not be thrown to the wind by tempering justice with mercy on these young men, government should ensure stiffer measures are put in place to deter future occurrence of these incessant nuisance value.

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