May the souls of all those lost to terrorism in this country rest in peace and may the perpetrators of these acts face justice in this world and the world after (should it exist). As sad as the deaths in Abuja yesterday were and how close to home they came to many of us (Most Nigerians have at least one relation or acquaintance who stays in Abuja unlike Borno for instance, people can go their whole lives without knowing anyone who lives in Borno), it is key to note that weekly almost daily Nigerians are dying. People in the Northeast are dying from this or that attack by the boogie monster of the current Nigerian and Arewa reality, “Boko Haram”, people are also dying from “Fulani” attacks, this is not to discount the regular preventable deaths people in this country face due to poverty, crime, road accidents, poor health facilities, ignorance, and the list goes on.
It is sad that the deaths of people in the Northeast of Nigeria carry less weight to many Nigerians than the deaths of people in the nation’s capital. We have become a nation desensitized to death, we look at pictures of torn limbs and blood flowing and do not flinch. We feel a momentary anger, sadness and outrage which inevitably subsides because guess what? Thank God we are alive! The sentiment does not rub me the right way. In some sense I think people are trying to imply that they are better than those who died which is a shame. The Nigerian condition is such that you can die at any time any where because when you think of it random unscheduled events like a group of cultists fighting in your neighborhood and a stray bullet hits you to good ol’ armed robbery not to mention pothole inspired death by accident. Some people take the fact that this misfortune has not befallen to mean that God loves them. To them I say, get your head out of your ass. You are statistical anomaly in a failed system that cannot secure the lives of its members.
Another interesting sentiment I heard in the aftermath of this tragedy is that the country should divide and let the north go its way with its wahala. This is a sentiment often relayed by a sentimental biased jingoist idiot who has not fully formed his/her thought to realize that the failing of the Nigerian system will carry on into whatever divided form Nigeria takes. It might not be terrorism but we might see a power jostle between ethnic groups for power and resources that can turn equally deadly. Dividing Nigeria does not negate the Nigerian ways to die (Accident, Crime, Juju). Such sentiments show a lack of recognition of the humanity of the people who dying from terrorism in this country. I do not begrudge those who want the country to divide over other reasons or to restructure the country under federating units but if the reason is to allow a section of the country to go up in flames then I shake my head at such a thought process.
In terms of solutions, I think it is time we sit down as a country and brainstorm solutions to the problem. This brainstorm should be both at a local, regional and national as well as international level. There is no way the terrorists in these country are not getting some sort of support from outside the country. We need to ask questions such as where do they get their money and weapons from? Can we stop their supply? Perhaps we need to CCTV the whole country? Or have plainclothes officers undercover at every public gathering to keep watch for suspicious behavior. Perhaps we might need to tear the whole Nigerian system of thought down and work it from the ground up. Maybe we need a more disciplined and incorruptible security apparatus? I have no idea. I get a headache thinking of my country and it saddens me how cynical I have gotten in my young age.
Rest in Peace to our departed brothers and sisters who have fallen to the rise of terrorism in Nigeria. What do you think folks? What can we do to stop the growing normalcy of death by terrorism in this country? How desensitized are you to death? What do you feel about these tragedies that seem to occur daily in our nation? Let’s hear your thoughts