By Elempe Dele, Edo.
This week, the boy that was shot dead in the eastern part of Nigeria was eventually laid to rest. Why was he shot? He slapped a policeman in retaliation. For me, it is was not his body, his lifeless soul or his remains that was buried, it was his human dignity. He refused to be humiliated even at gun point.
Today, after recovering from the shame of what happened in court between Sowore and the DSS before the whole wide world, I settled for the word ‘Dignity.’ Why should I settle for that human element and why should dignity mean anything to me? Why is dignity part of our social documents as civilized animals (not wild dogs)? From law books, manifestoes, cultures and even political struggles…Oh, it is even in the Declaration of Universal Right!
From history, the quest for human dignity had always been the reason for wars, civil disobedience, even human sacrifice like what the boy did in the East. No doubt, dignity is an intangible bequest even if it cannot be compared to food, housing, health, clothing…and other sustaining human needs.
As a human and a Nigerian, I feel bound by a measure of necessity to come in defence of those of us who feel deeply pained by the ceaseless tramping on our dignity. And I wish to ask again, why is Buhari taking away our dignity, without remorse?
Between the government and the people, dignity ought to be a product of their social interaction, and the government owe the people that responsibility to respect their dignity. When the government act the way it did in court with Sowore few days back, what it aim to achieve is to rob the victim of his inherent dignity. Sowore was not the one that was humiliated and taken away, to me it was only just symbolic. Something bigger than Sowore was taken away from us with that act of violation just like when Justice Onoghen was illegally removed as the Chief Justice of Nigeria.
It was not Sowore that was taken away, it was not Justice Ojukwu that was humiliated and frightened with guns, it was not just a bad unheard of precedent that was set by the government…it was our collective dignity that was whisked away, like every other human mockery under Buhari.