The economy is bad. For the average person, maintaining head above water in Nigeria of today is an on going battle. Even for the well off, things at not as rosy as they used to be, due to years of governmental mismanagement of the economy.
For this reason, we are having an unprecedented level of crime. From hold ups (stick ups) inside traffic, to interminable abductions and kidnaps, to pervasive rape, to bank and home robberies Nigeria has become one dangerous society to live in, almost rivaling South Africa in notoriety.
Violence begets violence. You can’t fight violence with peace. It takes two to wrangle…these are all sayings that courses through my mind as I contemplate how to stay safe in Nigeria.
While there are commonsense approaches to prevent, or minimally mitigate the likelihood of falling prey to these crimes, the truth remains that there are things absolutely beyond one’s control. What can someone really do, if while stuck in traffic on Apogbon Street, Lagos, some hoodlums rap on your wound up car window with a snub nosed pistol, motions for you to wind down and orders you to hand over all the valuable things in you possession? ? Absolutely nothing. You simply comply, unless you are in a bullet proof car, or you have James Bond tendencies for risking your life foolishly. Or, you are armed with something yourself. We are in a society where everybody around you would move rapidly from the scene, rather than offering any kind of help.
This situation logically leads to the next saying..
“heaven helps those who help themselves.”
There are notorious places in Lagos and Abuja where you can not pass at seven o’clock in the evening without getting robbed, or raped. Perhaps you are coming back from a hard day’s work, and can not safely get to your house? What is the solution?
In the era of the Cold War, at the height of the nuclear arms proliferation, there was something called Mutually Assured Destruction (MAD). The idea was that, if you have a destructive nuclear weapon of mass annihilation as a country, as long as other countries also have similar weapons, that fact would keep everybody in check, because a strike by any country ensures that the aggressor would also suffer significant or comparable casualty. A mutually assured deterrence for all and sundry.
My point here is, it would appear many of these ubiquitous crimes happen because the aggressor knows / assume that you don’t have the requisite capability to resist his attack. Look at this, would armed robbers go and attack the house of a soldier, or someone known to be well armed? Would that robber in traffic be that brazen if he knew people around and his targetted victim all have guns as well?
Water flows to the level of least resistance. Clearly, any armed robber loses his edge once he is not the only one in possession of a killer weapon.
I am confident many of the “big men” in society have public / private guards, and are also personally armed. Clearly, the Lawmakers too. Does it then mean that one life is more important than another, based on class.?
What does the average person do to protect his life in the absence of adequate state protection?
We already provide the basic things of life for ourselves as citizens. Electricity, water, etc, etc. Perhaps it has become imperative to grab hold of a gun [(il)legally] and put yourself in a good position to defend yourself … since the state is powerless / unable to perform its statutory role in defending you)? On a wider scale, perhaps it is time to pass a law legitmizing and democratizing gun possession? It is of course a matter of balancing the initial resultant fallout against the long-term benefit of MUTUALLY ASSURED SANITY in society.
We copy everything from abroad. WHY NOT THIS?