Friday, 29 March 2013

When Influence Becomes A Burden!


Below Are Excerpts from Ayo Akinfe's post on Facebook Yesterday:
Borno, Yobe and Bauchi States, the rest of Nigeria is losing patience with you guys now. This Boko Haram nonsense has gone on for too long
...If there is any more loss of innocent life over Easter, the government should just withdraw all its security forces from the three states and send in the F16s, Migs and drones...Boko Haram is only thriving because of the resiudual and passive support it enjoys among the people of the northeast, particularly the Kanuris. You people are harbouring them and I find that totally unacceptable.

...We have got to the stage now where the end justifies the means. Let us flatten those three states that are giving us this trouble. "If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out." Let us have a Nigeria of 33 states and 158m people living in peace. We can build a memorial in rememberence of those three states that became extinct...


 I read Mr. Akinfe’s post several times to be sure I wasn’t reading it out of context. A Nigerian advocates ‘flattening’ 3 states so the rest of us can have peace? Seriously?

The issue with that kind of thinking is not necessarily the thought itself but what it connotes. It brings to the fore the fact that as a nation, we have lost our humanity; the life of a man is as worthless as that of a mongrel dog. A nation that has to flatten 7% of its population for peace does not deserve to exist.  The end should never justify the means. Never.

I watched as Israel welcomed one of its soldiers home in 2011. He had been in captivity for years. Getting him back cost Israel 1027 Hamas prisoners. There is no greater example to demonstrate value for human life. We don’t have to go that far; a simple respect for the right of another human being to exist without fear or intimidation is a good place to start.

The people in those states are themselves victims of the system; more traumatized than those of us who have never heard the sound of a bomb blast; who live thousands of miles away and read the news of a new bombing while we sip coffee; oblivious to the lives shattered on a daily basis. Throwing away the baby because we don’t like the colour of the bath water reeks of shortsightedness. To punish the people for an apparent failure of the political class is like removing fuel subsidy because oil marketers steal the money-it doesn’t fix the problem. Let’s stop cutting the leaves of a tree as a cure for ailing roots.

If  we wipe them out then what happens? Will the groundnut pyramids return? Will we refine more palm kernels than Malaysia? Will it check the patronage system in Nigeria? Will our leaders begin to show some common sense? Will it be the end of kidnapping? Will looted public funds be returned and equitably distributed? Will it make me stop seeing you through the eyes of your ethnicity? Will Nigeria finally have peace?

Nigeria’s problem is the problem of every Nigerian; the sooner we realize that, the better. Every single person by our action or lack thereof have contributed to the embarrassment Nigeria has become. Let’s take responsibility and stop looking for scapegoats.

And to the writer who has been blessed with the gift of stringing words together; words that stir the souls of men to do good or evil.  Remember with the gift comes a responsibility; a heavy burden that should not be taken lightly. Think before you speak; stop throwing words around without sensitivity to the varied perspectives of those who dwell within our borders. If what you say will not inspire hope, cause men to seek nobler causes and bring about the kind of change we all seek; Be quiet. Things are bad already. We are approaching the edge of a precipice, please don’t push us over.

©Naomi Lucas


8 comments:

Ayo Akinfe said...

Brilliant analysis Naomi. Let us agree to disagree though.

Naomi Lucas said...

Disagree to agree more like. Nigeria is ours, let's not with our very own hands tear it to shreds...

Hassan said...

Brilliantly put Naomi. As for Mr. Ayo, the people of thwarting north east have one through so much trauma already. Your post is only insulting their losses and sacrifices further.
There is another way to build our Nigerianness and that is by building mental or physical memorials to those who have died needlessly in all of this and not to call for more needle deaths.
The other day I asked for the names of those who died during the fuel subsidy protests. I am yet to get one. You know why? We have forgotten them and their sacrifice. You can imagine if I ask for the names of those killed by book haram. Nigeria die everyday and the rest of us call them hausas or ibos or yorubas and distance ourselves thereby from their deaths or even callously 'not give a damn' GEJ style because they are from the same ethnic group as the perpetrators.

Rosemary Nimma Lekman said...

We are so quick to point fingers as to who destroyed Nigeria when in actual fact, we are all guilty. Nigeria can not get better if we all dont change. Very powerful write up Naomi.

TOPE FASUA said...

woo... God bless your heart for this piece... Naomi... with your way of thinking, one is hopeful that the youth of this country will seize the day. this contrasts with the statement by ex anambra governor ezeife, who said the government should issue igbos with guns in the north, so that they defend themselves against 'bombings'? how do the posession of guns stop bombs.,? if bombs explode, how does sporadic shooting stop anything. so i called him out on that one, and i was very angry, some said i was insulting him. i think he lost his elder-hood with that brainless statement. we have many extremists on both sides, who are not helping the situation. akinfe above, is an extremist. he even quotes the Bible!

Naomi Lucas said...

Thanks Hassan for your comment. It's sad how we are continually blinded by ethnicity and feel the problem doesn't concern us as long as it doesn't happen to our kinsmen...

Naomi Lucas said...

@Rosemary, thanks. We are all guilty, sadly, most of us won't agree...

Naomi Lucas said...

@Tope. I read what the ex Anambra Governor said. And your argument was my thought exactly. We need more critical thinkers in leadership positions in this country...