Two years ago I protested vehemently when the Cross River State Government wanted to pass one fancy law to regulate and criminalize hawking in the State; some people thought I was being paranoid when I was shouting everywhere that Governor Ayade should not sign that Bill into Law; but sadly, the Governor who loves fanciful things, signed that fanciful Bill into Law.
Hawking became a crime… And today a State Government Agency has started killing hawkers summarily.
Michael. Poor Michael. He was not among the 5000 government appointees who were given big titles, who walked around doing nothing, feeling important and being paid from our Commonwealth. Micheal was hawking and in Cross River State that means he was committing a crime. No, he wasn’t stealing, he is not among those who recently kidnapped Gab Adah, no; he was simply hawking to feed his 4 children and his wife… But unfortunately he is from Cross River State where the Government has made poverty an offence and hustling a crime.
So, they came, they came for Michael; Michael the law breaker, whose offence was hawking to feed his family. They seized his wares. Michael begged them. They refused. They threw his things inside a truck and were about to zoom off. In one blind moment of rage, rage inspired by the hungry faces of his wife and children at home, Michael did it: Michael stepped in front of the truck, thinking that his action will stop them from moving the truck. Michael was wrong. Michael is dead.
The government officials were many. They could have easily stepped down from the truck and arrest Michael or remove him from the path of the truck. But why will they do that? Who is Michael? Michael is nothing. Michael is the rest of us. We are nothing.
And now people are asking Michael to rest in peace. Please Micheal don’t listen to them. If you rest in any peace I will not be happy with you sir. Michael don’t rest in peace o, don’t rest in peace o, don’t rest in any peace o…
Deal with your killers if you can, unless you can’t. And don’t forget those that are saying your death was a mistake, before you go to heaven, at least use like one year to appear in their dreams every day to ask them to explain to you how it is a mistake. Ask them to explain to you why we should even have a law criminalizing hawking in the first place.
Micheal I’m so sorry I can’t do much for you. I really wish you can do something from there. I really wish you can team up with all those bad policies and laws have killed in this country; I wish you guys can form an association there, let they appoint you the PRO, then you guys should come back and do something. I wish.
The truth is that you have 4 more days to be remembered. On Wednesday next week we will forget you. All of us. But don’t worry, we will forget you but death will not forget us; take solace in the fact that those who killed you and those who are justifying your death will die one day too… Maybe the way you died.
Michael, please remember, don’t rest in peace.
First Baba Isa is the principal partner of FBI legal and writes from Abuja
NOTE: Opinions expressed in this article are strictly attributable to the author, First Baba Isa, and do not represent the opinion of CrossRiverWatch or any other organization the author works for/with.
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