What a coun­try

Daily Trust - - VIEWS -

This is the sad­dest Easter Break I have had in all of my life. It is not about my life and my per­son. It is about the dev­il­ish man­i­fes­ta­tions that stare me in the face - bizarre hap­pen­ings which sug­gest that evil has taken do­min­ion of all lands and is ex­er­cis­ing its will phys­i­cally, me­ta­phys­i­cally, and spir­i­tu­ally not just in Nigeria, but glob­ally. I feel ut­terly pow­er­less.

How can a plane load of un­sus­pect­ing pas­sen­gers dis­ap­pear from the face of the earth in what is re­puted to be the most mod­ern air­craft? Then a ferry con­vey­ing hun­dreds of school chil­dren in their in­no­cence cap­sizes and for days, par­ents are star­ing the vast sea and can not do any­thing to save their loved ones? Daily all you hear is of the vi­o­lent death of people in hun­dreds to bul­lets, bombs and avalanches. How can law­less­ness get to the level that gun­men en­ter a school dor­mi­tory at night and sim­ply shoot and kill sleep­ing chil­dren? Worse, would hap­pen, for one could say the dead have no more wor­ries. But imag­ine that a band of men, pos­sessed, broke into a school and ab­ducted 200 school girls and sim­ply dis­ap­peared with them into the woods, what orgy of wicked­ness is on their minds and in what re­li­gious tenet did they find jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for this?

Men like you and I pur­posed in their hearts not even to take just one life but hun­dreds - in­dis­crim­i­nately and so packed a huge bomb whose mak­ing is now easy, and set it off at a park, choos­ing the peak early hour when hun­dreds would have as­sem­bled to go out in search of good­ness. Boom! Hun­dreds are killed. Hun­dreds are wounded.

And yet we also die nat­u­rally from hunger and dis­ease. Epi­demics of HIV/AIDS, Malaria, Cancer, Ebola just name them killing by the hun­dreds.

Now life is lived by the sec­ond. No one who goes out has cer­tainty of re­turn­ing home. No one who sleeps, has cer­tainty of wak­ing up. And the liv­ing live on, hur­riedly bury­ing their dead and just keep liv­ing on. In that guise, we see our Pres­i­dent mourn­ing bomb vic­tims in one mo­ment and in the next mo­ment, he is dancing at a party rally - some­thing the old time re­li­gion for­bade. What has hap­pened to the qual­ity of our lead­er­ship that in a mul­ti­tude of aides, not one per­son gave ma­tured coun­sel to mourn the dead and to speak anger to the ter­ror­ists.

And what are rulers and lead­ers of thought do­ing to re­turn us to our bear­ing? I wish I could put it in words. What do I say that they do not know? What has not been said? What has hap­pened to civic re­spon­si­bil­ity, good neigh­bourli­ness, hu­mane feel­ing called iman? What has hap­pened to our moral­ity? What has hap­pened to our pa­tri­o­tism? How have we de­railed from love of con­ti­nent, love of coun­try, love of com­mu­nity, and now only love of self only - greed and avarice is all we see from the street to the high places, hardly any­one is above be­ing com­pro­mised by money or the op­por­tu­nity to get it?

I am frus­trated and de­pressed and have prayed faith­fully and pa­tiently. In my an­guish I have come close to blas­phemy ask­ing

She has a name. When I learnt of the in­ci­dent, she was just a woman. Now I know she is called Ly­dia. The chil­dren also have names, tots both. Lorena and Lau­retta, loved of their fa­ther who I now know is Michael Lawrence. The trauma of the day has come to some tragic re­lief. Ly­dia was a woman trav­el­ling to Benin to at­tend a re­la­tion’s wed­ding. She was with her hus­band Lawrence, and chil­dren Lorena and Lau­retta. Be­tween Jalingo and Wukari, a band of vil­lagers halted them. She thought they needed help. In fact she reached out to the back seat of the car think­ing they needed wa­ter and she had some to spare. They were there and then forced out of the ve­hi­cle and right be­fore her and the chil­dren, they hacked her hus­band to death! Right there be­fore them, in a flicker of a mo­ment! No ques­tions asked, just blood let­ting. Ly­dia and the chil­dren were herded into a vil­lage. “Use your phone,” they told her. “Tell your people you’re in a house in Ban­taje”. And she did just that!

A team of se­cu­rity men have since raided Ban­taje and suc­cess­fully res­cued Ly­dia and her two daugh­ters. They were first taken to Mu­tum Biyu hospi­tal and treated for trauma. They have noe been

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