Without a wave of mental vacillation or careless ambivalence it is tendentiously apt to say that the oppressor of the oppressed in Nigeria is the oppressed. And the curse of the oppressed in the Nigerian case is the oppressed. I know these seemingly cutting opinion lines may fire up the crimson dander of some Nigerians; whatever be the case, I ask for balanced and disciplined understanding and cogitation. However, objectionable this reasoning may be, the truth wrapped in it cannot be confuted.
Pointedly, in the stratum of the oppressed-the downtrodden- in Nigeria there are dichotomies or splinter strata. Each division in the profuse gob of the oppressed labour tirelessly to escape the thorny existence that characterizes its class with the wanton aim of further repressing and oppressing other victims of naked oppression. Again, the more powerful group in the class suppresses and oppresses other groups in the same class. That is, there is hierarchical oppression and oppressors in the stratum of the oppressed in Nigeria.
In addition, there is rebarbative disunity and disharmony in the class of the oppressed in Nigeria. In fact, it is a breathtaking and animatedly stiff struggle among the variegated groups of the oppressed. The oppressed cannot agree because there are internal, infernal crises within their ranks. Crises stoked by selfishness and ignorance. And contrary to the crises being externally engineered by the irrepressible oppressors, they are self created by the oppressed themselves. In this prism, the traditional oppressors are far removed from the shenanigans, intrigues and maneuverings in the decimated class of the downtrodden.
Basically, the common enemy of the sprawling categories of the oppressed in Nigeria is the oppressed. Inter alia, the classic struggle between the oppressors and the oppressed is obviated by the internecine genocidal tiff like struggle among the hapless people of the oppressed extraction. The oppressed distribute oppression imperiously among their unfortunate kith and kin. The oppressed themselves command oppression, obey oppression and give oppression. It is a raging battle in the brotherhood of the oppressed in Nigeria.
To put it in perspicuity, the oppressed in Nigeria have abandoned their original enemy which is the oppressors to exchange deadly shots among themselves. The epic battle now as it is, is between those oppressed people who want to leap out of the stinking hole of the oppressed, and those oppressed people who are helpless in their condition and are bent on keeping the “oppressed adventurers” away from joining the enviable league of oppressors.
As a matter of fact, the hypocrisy of the oppressed in Nigeria is implicit in their wholesale partaking in corruption. The oppressed are as corrupt as the oppressors. There is no shade of difference in weight between the two on the corruption scale. The oppressed enjoy the offerings of corruption just as the oppressors do. However, the only difference between the oppressed and the oppressor in the corruption ambit is that while the oppressors steal from the oppressed, the oppressed steal from the oppressed. In this case, the problem of the oppressed is both the oppressors and the oppressed. This is the grand nexus of corruption regarding the oppressed and the oppressors in Nigeria.
In a similar vein, the hypocrisy of the oppressed in Nigeria is visible in their reactions to national issues and oppression. Sectional interests and sentiments overwhelmingly condition and determine the reactions of the oppressed to oppression from the government or oppression from the oppressors. If an oppressor is from a certain ethnic group, the oppressed from that ethnic group are intricately bound to share insalubrious and perfidious affinity with the oppressor and as a result, meditatively blot out his sins even when they are execrably evilly. Ethnic sentiments liquidate and take precedence over cataclysmic government oppression in the case of the Nigerian oppressed. This underscores the discordance in the dome of the oppressed.
The Nigerian oppressed cannot come to an agreement to forge a united front to fight oppression from the government. This in turn explains the climaxing of government corruption and impunity in Nigeria.
By and large, the hypocrisy of the oppressed in Nigeria gives good reasons for the continued slide down the valley of oppression. In other words, the Nigerian oppressed too are responsible for their oppression. Oppression persists only when the oppressed are divided and do nothing to end it.
P.S. The writer has deliberately navigated away from the trap of categorising the oppressed and the oppressors. It is the belief of the writer that the oppressed know themselves just as the oppressors do too.
Fredrick Nwabufo is a writer and a poet. He writes from Abuja. Email:firstname.lastname@example.org 08167992075