The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny – Prof. Wole Soyinka
“808 people killed and 1,422 houses, 16 Churches, 19 shops, and one primary school were either burned, destroyed and vandalized” – The Catholic Archdiocese of Kafanchan.
As a responsible Nigerian, this is not a good time to keep silent. Kaduna tragedy is a metaphor for Nigeria. Nigeria, a nation in a state of self-conundrum. We have a very long way to go, unfortunately, there are no concrete plans on how to get there. Our journey has always been on a famished road to nowhere. We don’t know with contradictions, what we actually want as a country.
The genocide in Kaduna is another recorded national tragedy. President Muhammadu Buhari must rise to the expected occasion in this period of national crisis. Leadership requires prompt attention and re-assurance of the citizens in time of national mourning and adversity. The presidential assurance is imperative at this time to assuage or balm bruised nerves. The president’s efforts at degrading and destroying Boko Haram is gaining commendation in the international community. The wanton killings in Kafanchan, Kaduna state has punctuated the peace that was gradually returning to Nigeria. Commendation seems to be turning to condemnation now, this period calls for national introspection.
The death of one (not to talk of 808 lives) is too many in a country trying to re-define its place in national and global consciousness. It deeply saddens our heart that we record avoidable national calamity daily in our clime. We aimlessly wander in political wilderness. Meanwhile, innocent souls are either being maimed or sent to early grave through gruesome murder or avoidable accidents. Mindlessly, ignorant citizens are daily being used as weapons to fight, kill themselves and the innocent people for religion and political expediency. We have refused to channel a common ground to rediscover a new chapter in our lives as a nation. We seem to be existential threats to our own future. Few days from now, I bet you, Kaduna pogrom will be forgotten, and it will be business as usual in a beleaguered country.
Neocolonialism has annoyingly underdeveloped Nigeria through leadership’s hedonism and the followership complacency. It is a common saying that, good things fall apart, so better things can fall in place. This is not the case with our country-Nigeria. Our history is nauseatingly repetitious. Few days from now, our short memory will come to play, and it will be business as usual. Every calamity in Nigeria has never been by happenstance but by our nonchalant attitudes to reflect and right our man-made wrongs or disasters. I am deeply saddened and troubled by our repetitious history.
The number of avoidable deaths recorded through religious and ethnic strives each year are more than the number of victims of terrorists’ attacks in Afghanistan and Iraq put together; yet we pretend as if we are holier than Pope and more religious than Saudi Arabians. We always claim to be the happiest people in the world. How we correlate the state of our nation with our pseudo-happiness and value system is beyond human comprehension.
Some have questioned this writer’s unending avowed struggles for a better Nigeria in the face of intimidating discouragement and resentment, but the pessimists and the disgruntled minds should realise that, a flowing river cuts through a rock of Gibraltar not because of its power but because of its persistence and consistency. Those of us who believe in the possibility of a great Nigeria shouldn’t lose hope of a better tomorrow. If we stop talking, we are sadly ‘Noah-arking’ or building a collapsible future for ourselves, our children, and the ones yet unborn. Providence has given us the wherewithal to reshape our future, what we do with our abound opportunity today is a determinant of what the future has in stock for us tomorrow. As we lay our beds, so we shall lie on them at night for our tranquility or uneasiness. It is high time we untapped our potentials for an imagined future with possibilities.
In Nigeria, there is dwindling in conscientious activists to fight for the common people. Labor unionism has died long time ago. The periods of “Ali must go”, Frank Kokori, Olusegun Maiyegun, Omoyele Sowore, Malcolm Fabiyi and Bamidele Aturu have eclipsed. The country is spiraling into untimely abyss-dystopian society. No credible union leaders exist anymore! Political opportunism of the leaders and the grandstanding of the led are all we see today.
President Buhari must ensure that those behind this tragedy are brought to book. Government at all levels, the traditional rulers, religious leaders and other stakeholders must come together to discuss the new way forward for Nigeria. Nigeria needs urgent restructuring. The country seats on a keg of gunpowder. Emergency national discourse is imperative, it must commence now!
On behalf of the concerned Diaspora-Nigerians, we profoundly express our sympathy with the victims of this heinous crime in Kafanchan, Kaduna, Nigeria. We also commiserate with all Nigerians in general in this time of national mourning, and the untold hardship of the current recession in our lives. This recession is a means to an end, not an end to itself. Let’s use this period to rediscover ourselves for unity and peaceful coexistence among our people.
May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace.