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The three types of political Thugs in Nigeria

by Isqil Najim
Based  on my observations for many years, I have come to conclusion that there are three groups of political thugs. Though most of the times we tend to see only one group, which is the weakest of the three, as thugs. The other more vicious groups of thugs are somehow, spared from scrutiny.

1. The hired thugs we see on the streets. They are minority in term of influence but they are often the major physical  focus of violence. They are paid and they will deliver and that is it. When election is over, they are back smoking together and fighting for their survival. You can call them contractors! They are just loyal to those who are leading or paying them. 

They do not initiate violence and may not end it either. They do not control political events leading to violence nor they offer solution. They are like pendulum bob. They have no power or force to create or dictate the motion. They just swing on the strength of their weight along the path created by the machine and the thread or /rod. Without these two, the Bob will not be of any visible in the activities.

2. The second kind of thugs are the activists. These are the thread/rod holding the bob.they are the trigger that created tension in the land and magnify every issue, rightly or wrong. They are thugs because of their approach. Unlike the first type, they are often found pressing issues and sustaining agitations along ideological path. while they claim to be non violence, they instigated crisisband provided the pathway toward violence eruption. 

They can be on the side of government or against.  They can manifest this in form of protest and then graduated to the first category and mingle with them. This group also include the so called commentators and social critic. Every crisis that spill to the streets comes from them. And contrary to the position they try to maintain they are also paid like the street thugs but in different way. While the street thugs are cash and carry violence executors, this group of thugs are investor. They get more than the streets thugs in every way. But they feel they are professionals. 

For instance some work for future or immediate political appointment. Some will do so for contract and some will do so to attract donors to their organisation.. these money run into millions unlike street thugs that are content with 2k, 5k, 10k etc. Their weapons may not be cutlass and cudgels, but more powerful . They deploy propaganda,fake news,lies, confusion, ideological warfare etc towards instigating the first category..this is why they are more dangerous. They don't attack the bodies they attack the minds and the spirit of their targets.

3. The third category of thugs comprising the media! By media, I do not restrict them to newspaper and bloggers but also to media advisers and political propaganda machine. Like the second group, they attack the minds and souls of their target through ideological violence that eventually spill to the streets. They are highest paid category. They are like the pivot on the pendulum. Which is powered to move the rod in a regular rhythm and dictate the movement of the thread/rod and subsequently the Bob.  

All these three are thugs and are used regularly by politicians. The first one is sincere. They don't pretend..the last two are more deadly and dangerous. They are the green snakes under the green grass. They're among us online and offline and thinking of themselves as reformist whereas they are nothing than expensive and  sophisticated thugs. They hid behind their education and pen to unleash violence against our minds and target the root of our existence. They love sound like gentlemen who care for the country, they blame the footsoldiers,  they used as the thugs that need reform. Go and fight for your right! 

If you want to remove violence from elections or stop thuggery in Nigeria, the best place to reform are the second and third groups of thugs. That is where our problems lie and not the streets thugs.

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