If you scroll through Twitter this morning, or your explore page on Instagram, you’ll find videos of a crowd, most of them in black, standing idly. You’ll hear someone wailing, although you won’t see who it is. You’ll hear the question: Wetin happen?
Attached to the video, in a pic-stitch, is the photo of someone’s cheek, an influencer named Pamilerin. The photo of the cheek exists because it has been alleged that the influencer was slapped by DMW singer Peruzzi, for tweets made back in January.
One can only wonder what the influencer has done to earn the animosity of the Twitterverse, because the same people who collectively lament the abuse of power when it’s done by someone in a uniform somehow think it’s justified when it’s done by a celebrity.
Nigerians need to understand that because you dislike someone doesn’t make it all right for them to get assaulted. The belief that laws only apply when we feel they should, and that right and wrong can be interchanged based on gratification, is why what happens in our society keeps happening.
Perhaps it connects back to the normalisation of the abuse of kids by their parents in the Nigerian culture, but this casual approval of violence is something that has to stop. You don’t just decide to assault someone because you don’t like what they say about you. If that was allowed, our streets every morning would be filled with warring folks, brandishing planks and cutlasses.
Nothing screams abuse of power like allegedly getting your bodyguards to hold a man while you slap him. You have to feel bad for the bodyguards; imagine being paid to hold down a helpless man while your boss abuses him. What’s your self-esteem like? It’d be at least better if you were the bodyguard to some mafia boss – there’d be the proximity to absolute power to inflate your ego. But the bodyguard to a budding Nigerian musician?
See, if we want a society where things work, we need to draw clear lines, agree that it is bad when those lines are crossed. We can’t pick and choose when we want our rules to apply. What is bad is bad, and assault is a crime. Let’s hope Pamilerin seeks redress.