When They Bombed the Churches, By Peregrino Brimah
At first they bombed the Churches. We blamed the Muslims for it. For some, they blamed no one, but yet remained criminally quiet about it. Perhaps for some it felt alright. Then they went after the Imams. Because we had blamed the Muslims for it, we were surprised when they went after the Imams. But some of us just refused to notice. Some were quiet about it. For some it was good. And then some of us started blaming the Christians for it. And then by the time they had set us up, all questioning each other; all having blamed each other; all having eaten each other’s flesh and drank the blood therein; all having demonstrated our weakness, that our lack of humanity, our predisposition to clamor only when we felt it was one of ours, then the monster revealed its true blood-thirsty self and bombed and killed everyone.
But by that time we were already stuck in our sin. We were already sworn to our suspicion. We were already committed to our accusations. We had left the door open at night. We were already divided by our mistrust. Old wounds, old errors had muted us. We had seen killers and rather than call them killers, we sought an association with others we perhaps had reason to distrust, perhaps not. By then we had brimmed when ‘the others’ were killed. By then we had been silent when ‘the others’ were killed. By then we had become sworn enemies of ourselves, we were too ashamed to admit we were wrong. By then we had replaced the ‘what’ with the ‘who,’ and ‘where.’ Before asking, what was done, we asked, done by whom? Before asking, what was done, we asked, done to whom?
Now we stared at the monster and it was as hard as we stared at its alien nature that we stuck to our alienation. The monster had exposed us and revealed our true nature; we were too embarrassed to change, or perhaps we could no longer change. The monster had become us, or we had become the monster; or perhaps the monster was us all along.
Now we can no longer look in the mirror, for it is that black-lipped bearded one with many different faces, voices and demonic attitudes that we see. Or perhaps we enjoy looking in the mirror and seeing ‘Shekau.’ The ‘Muslim’ one who forcibly converts his captors to ‘Muslims,’ supposedly ‘his own,’ then keeps ‘his own’ prisoners and worse yet says he will sell these ‘Muslims;’ sell ‘his own.’ But this is merely our reflection, indeed; we too have become sellers of human beings. We have sold our own.
Defeated, we called, America, France, Israel, Britain, Lord, come save us from ourselves.
Dr. Peregrino Brimah for http://ENDS.ng [Every Nigerian Do Something]
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