Just another story?

by Lakunle Jaiyesimi

For anyone who is either a visitor or an alien to the ‘Heart of Africa’ (irrespective of wherever in the world such may be resident), news of repeated bomb-blasts, arson and assorted onslaughts must have become amusing judging from the frequency and nature of attacks, since the time the Islamic fundamentalist group – the Boko Haram, especially, turned the act of civilian (and military alike) targeted bombings into a playful Christmas-like detonation of adult bangers (their real name – Adult Bangeres)!

However, to those who claim ‘ownership’ of the Heart by the tag ‘CITIZENS’ (or if you don’t mind, ‘NAIJA’ going by the common street parlance), such news have become annoying, nay, diabetic lesions on a leper’s leg that refuses to go.

How else can it be viewed? The chauvinistic mouthing of air-tight National Security Policies by the Powers-Dat-Pee (Pee-Dee-Pee) as championed by the Inspector Gauntlet (IG) of Protectors; and yet, the IG met with one of the adult bangerers (who aim so high that settling for less is not a possibility). The adult bangerers returned the favours by escorting the IGP to the National Headquarters of the Protectors, protecting him and his convoy of cars from any untoward harm until they got to the premises of the Headquarters, where the former marked the day with special fireworks. Nothing real happened afterwards, in spite of the fact that the IGP himself only managed to escape being a casualty (they actually claimed he was the target) by the whiskers!

Months before this, while the Heart of Africa celebrated the 50 years anniversary of her glorious independence (there may be more comfort with the phrase ‘JUXTAPO-HIS-TORY LIBERTY’) at the Eagle Square at the nation’s capital city, the adult bangerers made sure of their presence to brighten up the place with fireworks. There was, afterwards, the usual report of minimal number of casualties and short-lived outcry. What mostly went unnoticed and dangerously protracted is the grief experienced by family members who lost their loved ones.

Sometimes in-between and after the fireworks at the Protectors Headquarters, there had been numerous other fireworks targets and their attendant casualty figures. Many of these events, as quickly as they happened, went down as just one of those stories that constitute the foundation of a thick democracy. “No developed nation started to walk on the same day she was born,” observers are wont to say . “Every nation must go through her developmental periods and this is ours. One day, it will become history. Placated history!”

A story…just one of those stories!

When the Independence celebration was bombed with nationalists dying and some injured, news about it became one of those intriguing stories.

When a market in Abuja was bombed, killing traders and unsuspecting patrons, people talked about it as if it was a tale from a book of fiction.

And after the Head of the Protectors escaped being bombed into ashes, even he must have made an entry in his diary. Something to reminisce and smile over!

The most recent is a most unfortunate one as it was a direct attack on the most international of all international organizations in the country. How on earth could the first and most basic layer of security – national security, be broken and yet, the secondary layer provided by the owners of the building – the United Nations be shred into thin slices of security by ‘mere civilians’? Would this go down also as one of those stories, just another story?

With this recent attack on the United Nations building, one may attempt to say apparently, it has to be the last. The hitherto peaceful international waters have been troubled and there is a furore that heads must roll.

Family members, who jubilated when they got informed that one of their own was appointed as a member of staff to work with one (or the other) of the departments or agencies of the United Nations, were now swimming in misery as they searched through the rubbles looking for their loved ones (breadwinners, maybe). The hospital beds and the morgue were sequentially the last places they searched. Some were found and others were not! Some of those who were found were already charred beyond familial recognition. Heads were blown off their necks, legs broken, arms dislodged, eyes blasted off their sockets miserably, intestines jutting out and blood was everywhere.

Is this typical of one of those stories…that constitutes the foundation of every great democracy? Shall this also be overlooked and deliberately prevented from going into the history books as resolved? Well, I doubt!

Especially, now that it is quite obvious that our world will never remain the same under the huge burden of what many call global terrorism and others feel the pain as death and more deaths. No one is safe under the current security system of the country. The world immediately at large is also experiencing her own downsides – when the Security Council of a United Nations cannot secure the lives and properties in member nations and with the obvious history (now, that is) that there have been more than 60 wars after 1945 (the end of World War II).

The world will never remain the same again and the Heart of Africa will also never remain the same. Not now that the Head of the herd has said it may be the turn of the Heart to experience this heartache of terrorism. One will never stop wondering and yet, another will never stop laughing. O ma se o!

It keeps happening again and again, without any possible end in view.

If we are to pretend not to know what the real causes of the unrest, upheavals, death, cries and outcry is, we will concede the fronts of Boko Haram up-north fighting ‘purposelessly’ (which many do not believe to be true) against a western education that many of them have benefited from; the Niger Delta Militants down-south protesting the mismanagement of revenues obtained from the exploration of the crude oil in their territories and the despoliation of their environment; and lastly the OPC and unnamed firebrands in the south-west intellectually fighting (if by socializing and speaking fire to the heads of the non-convicted corrupt leaders, we mean fighting) and sternly warning against any orchestrated mishap by the up-country agitators in their own country if they must remain as conservative as they are.

Every group has taken up positions as if the country were not really a one-united edifice. Why not drive home the points and let’s say it!

Parents will beat up a hungry child that refuses to speak up until he died (If hunger, and not malnutrition, could kill one). ‘He died foolishly!’ they will say.

The South-West constitutes a large percentage of educated people, much more than is obtainable anywhere else in the country and this is one asset the people there are so proud to flaunt any day, any time.

The North is made up of highly conscientious people, adroit in their endeavours, ubiquitous in presence. They constitute the majority in the Military and, in the event of war, what they are capable of is better imagined. No wonder the violence was as it was after the 2011 presidential elections.

And the southeasterners are obviously money-makers. They understand what matters the most and they give in their all to make it.

All other regions have their inclinations too and it will be a disaster for all to be judged on the same precincts.

It’s only natural therefore that everyone comes to a round-table to make presentations on how best she wants to be governed. This is second to none, if we must honestly look at our crises in the face and tell the raging storm to remain calm. The alternative may not be a choice!

Nigeria: quo va dis?

Mr President: Whither from here?

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