When one of my course mates during my Msc programme called Nigeria a failed state, there was pandemonium in the class that day. ‘Whaaaaat’? ‘How dare you’? ‘He’s so unpatriotic’. ‘Nigeria is a work in progress’. ‘We’re still under construction’ ‘He’s right’. I sat calmly looking at everybody, not saying a word. I was quiet because I didn’t see how such heated argument could help except aggravate my headache and frustrate me more. Some days ago, I remembered that day and all I could of was ‘was that guy right’? Is Nigeria a failed state? Wait! Am I actually asking that question? The answer is obvious, even to a blind man.
For once, lets forget about our social and economic problems. Its only a man who is alive that cares about what he’s going to eat. Lets secure our lives first. In one day, the cities of Abuja and Kaduna were bombed. I’d heard about it on twitter. I tweeted about it and registered my anger. The next day, I wanted to write an article about it and decided to actually read the papers and get the full story. I never wrote that article. I didn’t get past the first paragraph. When I started pictures, big fat tears rolled down my eyes and understood for the first time, just how gruesome it actually was. I saw the picture of a man (I will never forget that as long as I live) who’d sustained severe burns and I just couldn’t write anything anymore. I wept. That was when it hit me. That picture changed everything.
Nigeria is under siege, from within. We’re under fire. It doesn’t matter that its happening in the north, what matters is that its happening in our country. For those like me, who’ve got no other country to call home, its very scary. I’m scared. Very scared. I don’t want a terrorist group who do not even seem to understand ( I don’t understand either) what their demands are or why exactly they’re killing innocent people bomb me into tiny bits and pieces while I’m sitting peacefully in my house or going about my business.
Obviously the government doesn’t know what to do or is afraid as well. If the government becomes afraid of a terrorist group, what hope is there? One of the primary duties of government is to secure the lives and property of its citizens but all I hear are empty words the key players in our government utter from the comfort and security of their heavily guarded offices. Our security forces seem overwhelmed. If it wasn’t for the fact that lives are being lost on a frightening scale with no respite or solution in sight, I’d be inclined to feel sorry for them.
Abuja, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Gombe, Taraba, Borno and so on. Sometimes cities are attacked consecutively for days while government condemns them. They attack today, the government condemns as usual and they’re back the next day. The only thing Nigerian leaders seem to be good at is looting, thievery, embezzlement and disgracing the nation. Now, a report has come out in which the terrorists have listed some media houses as being on their target lists.
“The second group we will also attack soon are Punch, Daily Sun, Vanguard, Guardian, Nation, Tribune, and National Accord, which are all newspaper houses. There is also VOA Hausa radio. All these media houses we will attack them including their staff and offices, by God’s grace. VOA Hausa for instance have recently started campaigning for people to support the government against us by exposing us. The next group that are on the verge of joining this list who if they are not careful we will attack very soon include, Leadership, Daily Trust, Peoples Daily and RFI(Radio France international). There is an online medium known as Saharareporters who have their office in New York, and who have made their site as a platform for attack against Islam. So we are warning them to stop making their site an avenue for attacking Islam, otherwise we will find a way of attacking them too” (culled from premiumtimesng.com)
People in the North are already living in fear, for goodness sake. In their own homes! And now this! I can imagine how journalists are going to feel with this kind of dangerous announcement. We know by now that these people do not make empty threats and honestly, I’d relocate from this country if I could because I’m tired and I don’t feel safe anymore, regardless of my living in the south.
For the first time, peace tops my wish list for this country (It used to be stable electricity). I don’t even pray for basic amenities anymore, I just want peace. We have a right to live in our country. I’m not even talking about the thieves who loot our treasury. All I want is peace. I can’t stand these senseless deaths anymore. Lord, all I want is peace! Peace Lord, please!!!