- Posted May 29, 2014 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
I just remembered that today is the so-called “Democracy Day” in Nigeria. Wao!!! Young girls were taken from their school since April 14th by terrorists and they have not been rescued yet.
Just read that about the 51 people killed in Borno state yesterday and some of the villagers have escaped to Cameroun to seek refuge. Nigerians now flee to Cameroun for asylum because they can no longer sleep in their homes at night for fear of being killed or their houses burnt down while they are asleep. Consequently, they now seek refuge in the neighbouring Cameroun.
How the mighty has fallen. Who would have guessed that our beloved country will be reduced to this level? A country with enough resources to give her citizens the best security any nation can afford. I wonder what the excuse is. I keep hearing the federal government promising that they will rescue the girls and yet nothing has happened. All empty promises. I wonder what the president’s democracy day speech today was about. I have to be honest, I have not heard the speech but I am sure there must be one. I wonder what he will say to Nigerians especially citizens from the North Eastern part of the Country.
Honestly, I won’t be surprised if the issue is not even mentioned at all. I remember what happened on December 25th 2011, Christmas day, when these terrorists bombed a church in the North killing scores of Christians celebrating the birth of Jesus. I have to confess that I am not big on listening to presidential speeches past and present. If you are Nigerian you will understand why. But, this time around I waited for the notorious Jan 1, 2012 speech, waited for it because I wanted the government to explain to Nigerians what effort they are making to get these guys and stop further attacks. Lo and behold, my fellow Nigerians you know the rest. Our president speech was magnanimous to say the least. He explained to us how the government has removed subsidy from crude oil products and fuel and gas pump price were increased by over a 100%. I mean scores of Nigerians died on Christmas day and one week later, New Year day, Nigerians were still on holiday, this is what our president had to say to us. I mean, I voted for this guy so you can imagine how proud of myself I was. I stood under the scorching sun in Ikoyi, in line for over an hour and casted my vote for this guy.
Honestly, Nigerians deserve better. Nigerians are used to the corruption and gross irresponsibility of government officials but I think Nigerians deserve to be safe in their homes and towns and villages where they give themselves power, roads, social amenities etc. We need to live in peace in our own country.
So, any leader that cannot offer both security and safety to all Nigerians irrespective of the part of the country they come from should not be there. If you cannot do it, then resign and let other people try. There should not be any excuse. I mean we can excuse corruption, starvation, sycophancy, irresponsibility, stealing from the masses and any other kind of atrocity. Because despite all this, we are alive and once there is Life, there is Hope. If life is taken away, then we can no longer live to hope and have faith in God that things will get better. In my opinion, Hope and Faith are the essence of life, so no one, I mean no one has the right to take that away from people no matter the race, creed, social status, religion or even gender.
So, what am I implying? The fact that these young girls haven’t been rescued, that Nigerians in the North East cannot live peacefully in their homes, that they have to escape to Cameroun to find peace and security, then everyone in position of authority in my beloved country should be ashamed of themselves. They should not show their faces and say very insensitive things considering the fact that some parents haven’t seen daughters for more than a month.
The defense headquarters made a statement in response to the report that a village in Borno state has been taken over by Boko Haram and they have hoisted a flag with Boko Haram emblem in the village and I quote “I have read the report also, but I can tell you that military as security agency will not allow any strange flag to be hoisted in any part of the country”. Really? Are you kidding me? Haven’t the worst happened already? Well, my response to that is that worse things have already happened so why should that be a big deal after all Nigerians die every day and you have no answer to that.
I also just read that our able minister of information said, I quote again “We are busy spending money to maintain security in those states, what have they done about it? Because 90 per cent of all insurgency is in states controlled by that party, 90 per cent of those campaigning to bring back Chibok girls are members of that party.” For your information he meant the APC party, which may imply that members of the PDP party aren’t interested in rescuing these young girls depending on how you look at it. Do your own interpretation. Well dear minister, first of all, the money is not yours, it belongs to Nigerians. Secondly, the nourishing factor of any democracy is the opposition and that is the success behind any healthy democracy. They are meant to be there to keep you on your toes and are the same in any healthy democracy in the world including the USA. Having said that, if you have nothing important to tell Nigerians at this critical time, please shut your mouth. That includes the rest of you government officials, stop embarrassing Nigerians and adding to the pain of these grieving families. If you have no important or useful information to pass across to Nigerians about the issue, keep quiet and stop adding salt to an already bad wound. It is not only insensitive but very irresponsible to say the least. How could a minister of information, a civil servant paid with tax payers’ money make a statement like this when young girls have not been home with their parents in over a month? Yes, I know it is very easy for government officials in Nigeria to forget that they are civil servants because of the looting and all kinds of atrocities that make them so rich, but you are still civil servants and technically you work for me and every other Nigerian. This Boko Haram issue is like the worst calamity we have experienced since the civil war of the late sixties. It is like a cancer that has eaten deep into the fabric of our nation and our livelihood as human beings. And, the president and his ministers sound as if we just lost an oil well. Are we that deranged?
What happened to Freedom? What happened to Love and Unity that we sing in our national anthem? What happened to Safety and Security? Peace and Harmony that we were promised? What happened to the delicate nature of womanhood? Our presidents’ wife and our minister of finance sound like they are not mothers anymore? Why hasn’t Nigeria shut down and face this issue head on? Why has PENGASSAN not gone on strike so that the oil will stop flowing and all the nasty politicking will stop? Why haven’t they given the federal government an ultimatum to rescue these young girls? What happened to the human decency that Nigerians are known for? Nigeria used to be that country where life and peace always came first. It used to be instead any life will be lost let them have their way. Instead of lack of peace, let him do whatever he wants. I used to laugh over it. Whenever I watch the news about revolutions in any part of the world, I used to say all you need to stop that or any kind of strike action in Naija is to threaten to kill someone because Nigerians love life more than any other group of people that I know of. To think we took all that for granted. When our non-Nigerian friends and acquaintances ask us, why and how do we take all these disappointments from government officials, our response was always to let peace reign so that no life will be lost. That didn’t make us cowards but lovers of peace and unity which the core of human decency. Isn’t it why corruption got to this level in Nigeria because Nigerians can give up anything for peace and life? It used to be as long as people will die, let whatever it is be. And it always made me very proud as a Nigerian knowing that we value human life so much. When have we as a nation descended this low where dozens and scores of people die daily and it is business as usual. Is God no longer on His throne? I am disappointed in any union or group that has what it takes to bring the federal government to their knees so that they can take this matter seriously, so that this Boko Haram madness will stop and not reap us of all that we have worked and sacrificed for as a nation. PENGASSAN, NUPENG. NLC etc, what are we doing? Have enough lives not been lost? Do these lives have warranty? Are we getting new ones? We all are responsible and accountable for life in our great nation and no one has the right to take that away.
As our presidents past and present will always say “Happy Democracy Day”. Though, I always wonder what we are really celebrating. My beloved mum’s response to that was always “we are celebrating Life”. It is so sad some of us are not alive to celebrate or at home with our families.
Well, according to the great Chinua Achebe, may his soul rest in perfect peace, in his book “Things Fall Apart”. ‘When things fall apart, the centre can no longer hold and mere anarchy is loosed upon the land’. Pause and Ponder.
I love Naija and always will. For your information, the #BringBackOurGirls campaign will not stop and it will never be business as usual until those girls are rescued. So, those of you warming up for 2015 election and ready to campaign, do the math. Let’s see whose voice will be louder.
“Enough is Enough” as our past military head of state, Sani Abacha used to say.
On that note I rest my case.
Happy Democracy Day.