Whenever a serious incident breaks out in Nigeria, which is every day, I have mostly been slow in commenting on them with the excuse that smarter guys have written all there is to be said about them. This is a comfortable lie that I’m no longer comfortable with; it’s an apron on the creative outfit of one wallowing in laziness. It’s a statement on modesty for the sake of modesty which is bad modesty, something Chinua Achebe refers to as inverted pride. With due respect to smarter guys, you don’t know everything.
Another excuse I’m tired of mouthing is that no one cares about the writing. This is a lie, a few Nigerians care, and the writing in itself is not for the government to act upon or the people to ride on to a revolution. The president already has an ear infection and the people are too battered to lift a finger, so these channels are shut. We, as writers, remain, whether we recognise it or not, the conscience of the society, we owe it to posterity to speak out, to hammer and shame essences of a maddening crowd. For me, it’s like a call, an addiction. So far, I have sounded so angry it’s sometimes misconstrued as acidic and vengefully confrontational. No sir, it’s not true; what I do when I ramble, to paraphrase Marshall, is not a missile against any government, religion or people; it’s charged against evil, inefficiency and bullshit.
Talking about bullshit, last week, a poor woman was killed in Kano for blasphemy against Islam. The earlier report was that she was beheaded, and she might have been beheaded. Beheaded or not, no one deserves to die for any useless blasphemy. There’s no crime of blasphemy in our constitution. Muslims have come on social media to condemn the barbaric killing and deny such barbarism is supported in the Quran. I don’t care whether it’s sanctioned in the Quran or not. As far as Nigeria being a secular federation is concerned, no holy book is superior to the constitution. If you don’t believe this then you are the problem of Nigeria. And there are many of you and God will punish you accordingly because it’s people like you who have caused so much bloodshed since 1914.
This is the major crime of Nigeria, killing Nigerians. The government and Nigerians have been competing on who will kill more Nigerians. From Zaria to Onitsha to Asaba to Benue, to Taraba, to the Niger Delta, to Kano, the government have killed protesters wherever they see them, and evil Nigerians have killed Nigerians for grazing land, resource control, reprisal and blasphemy.
I will not be drawn into looking at these killings in general. I will remain on the case of Mrs Bridget Agbahime, being more direct, trying to understand one murder, using it as a tripod to all the senseless waste of lives that has been our favourite pastime here. Bridget was killed because of religion in Kano. Kano has been historically notorious for religious intolerance, always on the lookout to behead people for blasphemy. Most of these people they kill go unnoticed by the press. George Akaluka was beheaded in 1995, he was lucky to get press attention but nothing came out of it. Bridget is luckier that something came out of it. Two people have been “arrested”, but the whole process is a shame, exposing a handful of issues.
1, the police are useless. For hours the body of Bridget was battered and the police could not as much as fire a tear gas.
2, the police acted because there was an outcry on social media which drew politicians and forced their hand.
3, this is yet another incidence the police were on their bed until dragged to act by public dissatisfaction. Remember Ese Oruru saga where the police of the Federal Republic of Nigeria waited for the order of an emir before acting! The police have succeeded in saying, Kill whoever you wish to kill, break as many laws as you can, as long as there is no outcry, we will not do anything.
4, the police are useless. I think I have said this before but I will say it again. They are useless, useless, useless and the ruling class is happy with this status quo.
Trying to move on from that, I saw something heart-rending on twitter. It’s Ben Bruce, the common sense senator who feeds on the gullible of twitter. He tweeted asking Nigerians to retweet if they want him to sponsor a law over what happened in Kano. This is a shameful way of cashing in on a helpless woman who lost her life to terrorists. Why should a senator who’s paid more than the United States president require retweets before doing his work? When I saw this, 800 jobless Nigerians have wasted their time retweeting. I have no time nor energy for this bad farce. If Bruce will not do what he’s been paid billions of naira to do because he didn’t get enough retweets then let him not, let him hit his head on the wall. This senate is the most unlearned in the history of Nigeria. A senate that saw Gender Equality Bill as a fulcrum for prostitution and lesbianism isn’t to be taken seriously. Ben Bruce and the senate are a broken mortar and a bowl of rotten palm fruits. Little good will come of them. We’ll just countdown to 2019 and flush them out, if we can.
That’s by the way. The main issue here is that Nigerians are killing so many Nigerians and this must stop. You can’t be enduring Buhari hardministration and still have time and energy to kill people. It shows we are the most incurably wicked people on earth. And this is the way the world is judging us, as barbarians.
Forget attracting investors, no one will touch a poor country stained with blood, and full of bloodsucking talents that is also fantastically corrupt without light, full of illiterates (both educated and uneducated illiterates). Forget investors and think for a moment what this bloodshed is doing to us as a nation. I don’t care what you believe in, but I tell you this blood we are shedding won’t go unanswered. Blood is a mystery and it has a voice. This blood is testifying against us daily, against any progress we’ll ever make as a nation. It doesn’t matter who’s president, as long as we run a country on the fuel of blood, we’ll never make headway. I say it doesn’t matter who is president and the good ideas he has, and his integrity and body language plus a brilliant legislature and neutral judiciary, we will never make headway if we continually treat human life a little lower than a rat’s.
I am not making sense, and I really don’t have the inclination to spewing research from feudal and medieval Europe, Apartheid America, Nazi Germany, the middle east etc to prove my point. The point is, there’s no point to prove. We’ve come to a juncture in our national existence where we have to choose between moving forward as a nation or killing people up and down. It’s not too late to choose the former and reverse our fortunes but if we choose the latter, it’s over:
We’ll continually invest billions in education and churn out illiterates.
We’ll keep getting excellent rainfall on our eight largest arable land on earth and still import tomatoes.
We’ll have our rich forest and still import pencil and toothpick.
We’ll have our seas and rivers and still import crayfish.
Our airports will still remain like poultry farms.
Our economy will continue to be run on generators.
Strikes, demonstrations, retrenchments, protests, hardship, inflation, general dissatisfaction etc will incessantly knock on us. IF WE CONTINUE TO TREAT HUMAN LIFE LIKE TISSUE PAPER.
A word is enough for the wise. I’m outta here.