The social media went viral as a result of April 14 Nyanya-tragedy. Public discussions are still centered on the gory incident. More topical than the incident, is the huge, but impotent, judgment calls that have emanated from the public. Everyone is a jury on social media. The disturbing images from the scene are all over the social media, selling like a product on viral marketing. The polity is caught up in the middle of blame-game that has ensued between the two major political parties. This is not unexpected. The quickie conclusion (even from the Presidency) that Boko Haram was responsible for the Nyanya-tragedy in the absence of verified evidence is also not unexpected. We are faced with travesty of inhumanity where every protruded stomach has become pregnancy. Every loud sound in public is alluded to Boko Haram.
Following the Nyanya-tragedy was the abduction of female pupils in Chibok, Borno State, by armed men - who had been tagged Boko Haram, as usual. Though figures on how many girls were abducted differed from reports, it was certain that there were not less than 100 girls involved. Reports have shown that during the invasion of the school security agents were missing in action. It is not unusual from a country where issues of girl-child are treated with blatant apathy and laxity.
Party affiliation can blur one’s sense of reasoning such that one begins to see nothing endorsable in anything that comes from the opposing party. This is a growing syndrome that is eating deep into the substance of Nigeria’s politics, with cataclysmic effect on the unity of the country. Never in history has politics of calumny made a mark in the sand of time, but only well-thought-out actions. There is no doubt that we lack strong security institutions suitable to avoid the kind of tragedies that are becoming common. These tragedies are not natural disasters. They are man-made; we created them.
Our security institutions are weak because we have failed to shame those security agents we know to be on the take; because we have chosen to fatten their stomach and even help to massage their bloated stomach by offering them kickbacks at checkpoints or on highways; because we use our relatives and friends in the security agencies to oppress others we have problems with; because we connive with security agents to jump well-established due process; because we use our influences to force security agents to bend their rules to our favour; because we think and believe that becoming a security agent is not a calling, but rather by default; because we think and believe that security agents are better in facilitating electoral malpractices than protecting lives and property. Through our action and inaction, we are jointly responsible for the tragedies that are happening to us.
No amount of impotent blame on the ruling leadership will exonerate us. Our aberration should haunt our collective consciences- whether you are lower or middle or upper class- for every second that we are ready to be complicit with security agents to cover up our depravity. Any illegal money offered to a security agent is a motivation to abandon a combat.
It is quite religious and admirable to help the victims of an avoidable tragedy, but the help does nothing to stop the next avoidable tragedy. None of the bombings or kidnappings was an act of God. We let them happen. People saw the men in the alleged car used in the Nyanya-tragedy prior to the bombing; people saw the armed men while they attacked and abducted the school girls in Chibok. They did nothing, because it is easier to blame the government than take responsibilities. We did these to ourselves. They will still happen again because we are doing nothing or demanding nothing to stop them from happening again.
From the way the bombings and kidnappings are executed we do not need any sorcerer to tell us that the armed assailants are aided by insiders. The level of sophisticated arms and ammunition they use is a tell-all sign that they are heavily funded. Those who betray the prestige embedded in the uniform they wear by selling human lives for pieces of gold can do so shamelessly because we encourage them with kickbacks. Those who sponsor the insurgents can do so with much effrontery because we celebrate and honour them at public events. We give them reserved tables at our dinner tables. We worship them like demigods in churches and mosques. They use the funds stolen from our collective national treasure to sponsor attacks that slice our brethren like chickens and defile our young and innocent girls because we have created a society where people receive a pat on the back for looting public funds.
If the part of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended, that states that “the security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government” is anything to go by, then we should start demanding answers to questions like: why were security agents never available, when our churches and mosques were attacked and set ablaze?; when our schools were attacked and female pupils kidnapped?; when our youth corpers were invaded and slaughtered like chickens?; when our neighbourhoods were invaded and mayhem unleashed?. These things happened because those charged with the responsibility of preventing it from happening did not do their jobs, most probably because they were compromised with pieces of gold.
Human lives cost money these days. They are now killers. So are the people who paid them. Even those whose responsibility it is to launch inquiry into such failures, but decided to cover up. So are all of us who through our action or inaction encourage the culture that upholds kickbacks. We are all responsible. It is not right to kill.
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