The recent Uniben happenings have proven that a lack of sanity governs this country. It is not unusual for Nigerians to relish in the comic nature of the absurdity faced daily. While it is commendable to laugh through every crisis it becomes alarming when we discover life-threatening issues still elicit laughter instead of worry.
“Respect is reciprocal”, is the saying. This inverse nature of the attribute, respect states that an increased proportion of respect given would be mirrored and therefore returned. This is why in the situation of Uniben students versus uniformed soldiers, there is no right party.
No Respect was given, and therefore none was lost. The story of the clash as told by an eyewitness was a result of disrespect. The soldiers brutally and arrogantly bypassed a queue of angry students to get to the ATM.
They also ordered a female soldier to beat up a female student who was supposedly making videos of their display. This led to the wrong abuse of a soldier and the disrespect of his uniform.
Two wrongs cannot make a right and therefore the actions of both parties were despicable. Instead of handling the disrespect like a civilized organization, the army decided to retaliate savagely.
It is their job to protect civilians, but they seemed to be tasked with doing the opposite. The fault cannot even be shared 50/50 between the students and the armies. The Nigerian government and their recent cash policy take part of the blame.
When there is a scarcity of the basic thing everyone needs, frustration starts to alter the behaviour of people. Aggressiveness becomes more than passive and people would lash out at every opportunity gotten.