Role Reversal Protest in Nigeria: Soldiers Still the Boss? A Behaviouralist Inquiry into the Incessant Soldiers-Police Violent Conflicts in Lagos
Today's world is used to all sorts of inter-group violent conflicts, but definitely not the type in the post military Nigeria where soldiers and policemen fatally combat each other; soldiers claiming superiority over policemen who, in turn, want to seize every opportunity to act that in a democracy, they, no longer the soldiers, are the boss. This is a “role reversal protest” triggered by, first, the bossy and ‘save our souls’ Nigerian soldiers who had controlled political power until 1999; second, the inability of the post military government to make adequate provision for the management of soldiers, thereby exposing them to regular contacts with civilians. The third factor is the high handedness of some Nigerian policemen in the process of enforcing the law. In an exploration of the situation, this paper asserts that such role reversal protest is inevitable in most post military rule societies, but is pronounced in Nigeria owing to the given reasons. The paper canvases appropriate policies and practices to manage the protest in order to prevent degeneration to institutional rivalry between the military and the police: a development that can crush Nigeria’s avant grade democracy. Some policies are suggested based on common practices around the world. Also, the role of the civil society is emphasized.
Key words: Role Reversal Protest, Post military Soldiers, Inter Group Conflicts, Partisan Ruling/Dominant Class, Military Privileges
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