Nigeria and the New Climate of Fear

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The Climate of Fear is a book I was reading recently by Wole Soyinka based on a series of BBC Lectures he did. You should definitely cop the book if you get the chance.

I had previously written about how we have been desensitized to bomb blasts in Nigeria. I wrote this before the Police Headquarters bombing I believe. Since the last time I wrote, we now have our first Nigerian Suicide bomber. Even weeks after, I still doubt the Nigerian-ness of this suicide bomber, check his passport! He might be from Niger Republic. But seriously, remember when people could swear that despite the violence that goes on in this country, no Nigerian would ever sacrifice his life for any cause whatsoever because we are pragmatic people or something along those lines. I guess we were all wrong. The Nigeria of today has gotten a little more dangerous. Many lives have been lost of recent including the death of 25 people yesterday in Maiduguri at a beer joint.

I can not claim to be an expert on Boko Haram but what I can say is that these people are indeed cowards who are selling something that has been in very short supply in Nigeria until recently, fear. It might be different in other parts of the country but here in Abuja there is heightened “security”. Its not as if the random car trunk searches will achieve much but I guess it helps to calm the people psychologically. Even mega churches have bought bomb-detecting equipment. I kid you not. Of course, I m not trying to say that people are running around like headless chickens screaming that the sky is falling (although a headless chicken no get mouth sha). What I am saying is that there is heightened sense of “we now have one more thing that could end our lives abruptly.” Add that to juju, rituals, armed robbery, road accidents, hunger, starvation, poverty, poor health facilities, the list goes on.

As recent as yesterday, A lady was caught in a church in Gombe with a bomb. She was apparently paid 500k and warned her mother not to go to church. Her mother didn’t take here seriously and went to the church. When she sighted here daughter, she alerted the pastor to search her bag and lo and behold a bomb was found. This story is not hundred percent verified but it does paint a picture. We have reached a stage where even in church, the person seated next to you might be carrying a bomb. I tell you if anyone leaves a bag near me and walks away, I would not hesitate to leave the place. Attacking police headquarters sends a message, “you are not safe.” The thing is when the source of fear or the enemy is not a visible entity, their targets can be anywhere: markets, churches, beer joints, nightclubs and even cinema.

I was recently warned not to go to the cinema a lot, as that could be a potential target for Boko Haram. Me? Once upon time, cinema was my second home. I love watching movies. Although nowadays I stick to my pirated DVDs. The point is and yes it took me a long time to get to my point is, don’t let fear rule you. No boko haram or man should prevent you from living your life. Yes we are under pressure of bomb attacks but since when has Nigeria been a completely safe place. Road accidents claim lives like hell. It is a fact that you can find an atheist with more faith in God than a Nigerian with faith in the police. Our government has failed time and time again to secure lives and properties so much so that we go out with only our prayers to protect us. Not taking a shot at religion but the bible says God helps those who help themselves. Our government has refused to help us in all sectors of our lives. If they had even made 50% of the effort they were supposed to book haram would not exist or would have been stopped. Aside from the rant, I suggest that this boko haram business should not stop you from doing things you want to do, If you want to go to church, please go to church.

One thing that both of the main religions in our country value is the fear of God/Allah. No man is greater than God and as such we should not fear man. We the people must refuse to live in a climate of fear. Of course, I know that most of us are going about our daily businesses as usual but it is important that we should let our lives be dictated by these cowards because if we do, we are encouraging them to continue like a spoilt child who gets his way whenever he cries for something.

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3 thoughts on “Nigeria and the New Climate of Fear

    dapxin said:
    June 27, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    You misunderestimate the complexity of the madness called boko haram.

    as it stands ? anyone can bomb anywhere and claim bokoHaram.

    the implications are scarier than you paint here…

      Sir Fariku responded:
      June 27, 2011 at 8:07 pm

      Indeed you are right. The criminal has discovered and learnt how to make bombs, we are indeed in trouble. God save us all.

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