The past few days have been very traumatic for us a country. To put it in better perspective the past one year has been very tragic in different parts of Nigeria.
Where do I start from? Is it the numerous terror of bombings and killings that the faceless group, Boko Haram have perpetrated in different parts of the Northern Nigeria? Do we even need to count the number of lives that have been lost to numerous avoidable road accidents? What of the number of people that the security operatives have sent to early grave with no just cause? The events of the weekend of June 1-3, 2012 threw Nigeria off balance and revealed the level of doom in which we currently live.
The calamities of those days started with the accident that happened on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway which left at least 24 cars burnt with several people losing their lives. One can only imagine the horror those commuters went through before death caught up with many of them.
It was reported that a tanker truck carrying petrol got involved in an accident by another broken down truck. This resulted in the tank full of petrol to be punctured while the content escaped as the truck continued to move. No one can tell where the flame that ignited the inferno came from we only read about the catastrophic damage. An eye witness told me that never in his life has he seen fire burning like that even the roads got burnt terribly.
Hardly have Nigerians come to terms with the horror and terror resulting from the death as well as the resulting traffic jam from the happenings on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway when another disaster struck – we heard about a Church that has been bombed in Yelwa, Bauchi state. Official sources reported that 12 people were killed in that terrorist attack leaving numerous wounded and fighting for their dear lives in different hospitals across the state. How wicked can people be? Why bomb people who have converge to worship and pray to God according to their faiths and beliefs? Nothing can ever justify those killings and bombings. I repeat NOTHING!
As if we haven’t grieved or suffered enough horror and while we were still giving condolences and sympathising with the victims of the bomb blast and their families the whole nation was thrown into another horror as a result of the Jetliner belonging to Dana Air that crashed into residential area of Iju, Alagbado in Lagos state. No one will ever know the real number of lives lost to this air mishap but it has been established that none of 153 passengers aboard the plane survived. I still cannot find the right words to describe the pandemonium, devastation and grief that followed.
If travelling on road is not safe due to road accidents caused by bad roads and faulty cars and travelling by air has shown that safety of lives and properties is also questionable as well as staying in your house when you are afraid to go to Church because of bombings where else can one seek safety in Nigeria? I used to have the belief that Churches and Mosques were meant to be Sanctuaries wherein one finds safety, tranquillity and serenity but recent events in Nigeria have proven otherwise.
The lives of some of Nigeria’s best, finest and brightest have been cut short not only in the recent plane crash but in many avoidable and unnecessary man-made disasters that have happened across the land. Indeed these are trying times for Nigeria and Nigerians. In times like these we are all reminded that the disaster could have befallen anyone of us and this also remind us of how truly we are all connected. Hardly have I seen someone who doesn’t know someone involved in these disasters or maybe knows someone who knows another person that knows the victims. It could have been me or you, my mother or your father, my brother or your sister. It could have been your friend or any of my family members.
Thankfully it wasn’t but guess what if we do not start acting now I could be the next corpse to be carried and that does not exclude you nor does it exclude any of our collective loved ones. It is sad but that is the naked truth.
I watched with disgust the Senate plennary session during which the recent Dana plane crash was discussed. I can only conclude that those lawmakers did not disappoint me as I was not expecting anything from them. However, I still find it incomprehensible that a federal legislator can come out to say he used to know Dana to sell automobiles how come they are now airline operator. Hypocrisy!!!
The liberty of social media networks have been misused and abused especially considering the dissemination of inaccurate or better still false information. However, what I have not been able to understand is the fact that a lot of the recipients of those misleading messages do not even bother to verify the accuracy and authenticity of the information they get before broadcasting them. You could be saving an impending disaster if you would just take a minute to verify the messages before you disseminate them.
There have been allegations and counter allegations. I have seen and heard the blames being traded around. Yes, because of our emotions we say somethings in the heats of the events but what happens after? We all move on with our lives as if nothing ever happened. This is very appalling and very insensitive of us all. There is no amount of blame game that can bring back the ones we have lost so let us stop that hypocrisy and address the real issues.
Now to the real issues!
What has gone wrong? Where did we miss the turn? What are we not doing right? We can continue to ask the questions but the won’t go away until we start to find the answers and addressing the issues raised in the process.
Someone asked me “what’s going on in this country?” And he finished with “we don’t deserve all these wahala”. I answered that “those who have lost their lives to avoidable disasters do not for any reason whatsoever deserved to die or be killed in the manners they have. I honestly cannot fathom what is going in the land but perhaps we brought these things on ourselves”. He looked at me as if I was mad but I can understand why he did.
Let me quickly establish something strange that I have found out about us, Nigerians. Let us assume that Dana Airline’s licence had been suspended a week or two weeks before the crash I’m most certain that many Nigerians would have looked for some reasons, political or otherwise to castigate the authority for the suspension. Hardly had the plane gone down when we began to see different messages as to why the aircraft should not have been in the space in the first instance. Why did the people with the information concerning the air worthiness of the plane not go public with it before the crash? If only they did we maybe would not be where we are right now. Just maybe.
Indeed, one has come to understand that it is not only our leaders that are our problems even though we know that leadership is totally flawed. We, the led are also a major part of the problems and terror we suffer through our actions and in-actions. We are also in one way or the other responsible for killing ourselves.
If we do not reject this let-us-manage-it sense, I-don’t-care attitude or how-does-that-affect-me way of living we would continue to die in our thousands. It is not a curse but obvious fact. We keep cutting corners and doing things without taking time to think about the effects of our decisions. What we fail to realise is that every time we decide to use substandard products or compromise on quality we have, directly or indirectly signed death warrants for some people – ourselves inclusive.
Yes, the government have failed us on numerous fronts and as such many have lost confidence in the leadership and the apparatus of government in the land. Why should the people trust a government that promotes corruption in every facet of the economy? Why should we entrust our lives to these sets of leaders who ordinary do not care about our welfare? Why would people trust a government that comes out to lie to its people even when the truth is so glaring? Why should we trust a government that has consistently failed to honour its promises? I can continue with the questions but it’s not enough to ask we must ensure we get answers because we deserve the answers.
Who are these people we refer to as government and leaders? They are humans and not spirits. Does that not include you and I? If we all agree that the government has failed I want to say that we all have failed as a people because we are also partly responsible for these problems because we have relegated our responsibilities to the background while we chase selfish plans when are supposed to be united against a common enemy – the corrupt politicians
Can I ask why you would want to put that vehicle on the road when you know very well that it’s not road worthy? Why do you want to put another man’s life in danger just to line your pocket? The same way a builder will build with substandard products and eventually kill people when the structure collapses. Why would all these not continue when the only thing a typical Nigerian thinks about is how to beat the system in order to gain undue advantage. Everyone of us is as guilty (including yours truly) not because we perpetrate the evils but we fail to speak against it enough but when is enough truly enough?
In saner climes where honour, dignity as well integrity are respected virtues one would have expected to hear or read about the resignation of top officials for failing on the oath of office they sworn to but not in my country because politicians here are bunch of shameless and insensitive self-centred corrupt people. I would not put all the blames at the doorstep of Mr. President (although the bulk stops at his desk) because there are other able bodied and supposedly rightful thinking men and women that have been assigned to different ministries and agencies responsible for the socio-economic development of the country but what did we get? Rubbish upon rubbish due to their sheer incompetence and absolute disrespect for the people and the offices they occupy. They take their eyes off the ball and fail to perform on the duties assigned to them allowing many innocent citizens to suffer and die in the process. When is enough going to be truly enough with all the funds they have mis-appropriated, embezzled and siphoned?
It is very shameful that while agencies are lacking in their core duties the respective heads of such agencies walk about freely without even having the courtesy to be remorseful about the shabby and disgraceful performances they show up. Starting from the Security operatives to the Road and Traffic operatives, the Emergency Management agency, the Fire Service, Civil Aviation Authorities and so on every one of these government parastatals have failed in the discharge of their duties and my question is when do we say enough of the disgraceful incompetent performances are truly enough?!
We cannot continue to lose our loved ones or watch fellow Nigerians die as if they are less human than we are! We must begin to act and reason in ways that truly depicts that we have truly seen enough of our fellow compatriot’s blood used to increase some bank account balances. And it is because of the foregoing that I ask when is enough truly enough?
You can also find me on twitter: @bisiogunwale