It’s no news that crime is applauded in our society. Our society is that which tends to accord honour to selfish riff-raff. Gone are the days when moral decadence is termed an abominable deed. Nowadays, some individuals are allowed to display their beautiful lunacy while oppressing the masses. Gone are the days when criminals were faceless; now their open shame is out to see like the Yoruba adage “Afefe ti fe a ti ri furo adiye”.
There is no gainsaying that the self-proclaimed patriots called “louts” exhibit their uncouth behaviour in public without any obstruction whatsoever. I find it distasteful that hard-working citizens, with their families to cater for, will have to submit to the bidding of “louts”. It is significant to say that the reward for hard work is progression and not retrogression. However, the reverse is the case. Each day passes with unquenchable anger in the hearts of noble citizens who go ahead to carry out menial jobs to sustain their families.
On the one hand, commercial vehicle operators are harassed daily by the self-proclaimed patriots who do nothing but collect their ancestral dues “our money” in a bid to fulfil all righteousness. These uneducated sects inject psychological stress into the challenging lives of citizens, especially the masculine gender. On the other hand, these vehicle operators are beginning to accept the new normal which I term “a helpless defeat” of the harsh reality of life where they are not given any means of resistance.
Moving on, the rate at which louts “Agberos” exhort money from drivers is increasing daily. Strikingly, as well, recruits are being added to these sects on a basis of joblessness. These are youths who refuse to do anything noble but subject themselves to subjugating their fellow beings. These louts do not only see this act as a necessary obligation but also deem it fit to collect without restrictions even at the expense of health situations.
Contrary to this, the income which is supposed to be enough for the survival of a family is now being shared with lazy louts who see it as their right. They feel they are obligated to it and even go ahead to determine how much they receive daily. Quite unfortunate, I must say. This is a menace which must be stopped at all costs irrespective of the existing trend.
In addition to the aforesaid, there has been a case of an ill driver who could not work effectively for two days but had to withdraw to his home for health issues. On resuming duty, he was directed by one agbero who forcefully collects money from commercial vehicle operators “Korope drivers”, to pay for the days he missed at work.
This is, however, a display of inhumane treatment as the driver barely fed his family in that state and was quick to resume work so his family will not die of hunger. There are many other cases of these so-called louts harassing truck drivers in a bid to dominate their financial status quo. Some of these confront have led to physical assault, accidents, vandalism, road obstruction, et cetera.
In conclusion, egocentric displays of patriotism by louts should not be treated lightly. They should be paraded as criminals as no one is above the law. Furthermore, hardworking citizens should be applauded and incentivised. They should be free to exercise their rights as citizens of this country which includes freedom of expression and freedom of dignity as humans.
Nora Kenneth writes from Lagos State University.