The Nigerian Armed Forces have over the years garnered lots of Local and International recognitions. At home, they are held in high esteems. Abroad, they enjoy great regards and respect. They have been adjudged by all standards one of the bests globally in ground battles. They have aided many countries in Africa and beyond in stabilizing their polity especially when rebels pose a security threats to the peaceful existence of the citizens of those countries. We all remember vividly the role they played in bringing normalcy a country like Sierra Leone. The peace and stability in Liberia today would be attributed to the heroic outing of Nigeria forces in that country.
Despite the threat of Boko Haram which almost ruined this perennial reputation, Nigeria Armed Forces have continued to record feats in surmounting the dare-devil Boko Haramanians. Events that unfolds daily has to some good extent revealed that the purported inability of the Nigeria Arm Forces in overcoming BH was largely due to the previous authorities’ inability to do the right thing. Money meant for harms were allegedly diverted and our heroic team in the battle field were neither motivated nor provided with enough arms to confront the menace. Today, BH is almost becoming a history. It is still believed that the new menace that is springing up in the form of Herdsmen would as well be confronted and decimated whatever their objective is.
Despite these feats Nigeria armed forces have recorded, the authorities of Abuja Environmental Agencies and possibly the echelon of Nigeria Armed Forces have continued on the path of dishonouring our Military, Naval and Police men. It has become the height of ridicule watching a combined team of Navy, Army, Police, Road Safety Corp, Prisons and Nigeria Civil Defence officers loitering about the city of Abuja in the company of the Abuja Environmental Protection Agency personnel chasing armless hawkers around. This is absurd and has consistently brought public condemnation for our glorious armies whose place remains the barracks or the battle field.
During President Buhari’s ‘War Against Indiscipline’ which saw Nigerians changing from a once carefree people to a people willing to assimilate the virtue of sound morals, the job of enforcing ‘street discipline’ was left more or less in the hands of outfits like Nigeria Boys Scout.
The job of enforcing street discipline should be left in the hands of the Civil Defence Corp and possibly Nigeria Police. In my opinion, the chase should not incorporate the prestigious Nigeria Armed Forces. They’re too trained and respected to become street men chasers. Combining a team of Nigeria Army, Navy, Police, armed Unit of Nigeria Civil Defence Corp, Road Safety Corp, VIO and Prisons just to chase the hapless hungered traders in Abuja Streets is not only laughable but a waste of resources in terms of fuelling the queue of vehicles used in the unholy chase.
Who truly wants to trade on the street? Who do we think takes pleasure sitting under the scotching sun and getting drenched under the rain just to trade by the road side? All these happen because the people who legitimize the power the elites wield have continued to be at the receiving end of every social injustice and negligence. They are only needed to avail their votes to the few privileged elites who upon climbing to the topmost rung look disdainfully on those who they once dined and wined with when votes were being sought. It is obvious that if the government have provided these hawkers a place to display and sale their wares, none of them would want to risk his or her life on the road side under the scotching sun. What we see as social vices most times are the offshoot of injustice meted out.
Street trading is not peculiar to Abuja streets alone. Elsewhere in other distant shores, I have seen and bought from street traders. The only difference maybe that they dress better and act better.