Let`s Talk Frankly, All Lives Matter! By Ogundana Michael Rotimi
You must have noticed that it has gradually become a norm that we almost completely overlook and feel very much less concerned when there is a terrorist attack or violence that claimed the lives of innocent people especially in some particular part of the country. For the government, all it does is to wait for about 24/48hrs before condemning the attack just casually and mildly sympathize with the victims or with their families and loved ones. For the people, all they say is- “Eh yah… Na wa o…” and move on. While those on the social media especially Twitter, continue their normal political racketeering and sides taking and showing fewer concerns for the victims of the incidents as long as they are not directly or indirectly a victim. Worse as it were, our media houses only report the attack like a flash. Like- “BREAKING NEWS: Boko Haram attacks Maiduguri”. And to me it appears like, don`t worry it`s nothing serious, people died though but no big deal…
Meanwhile, in a saner country, when there is an attack on a citizen, or a citizen is ruthlessly killed, it seems that every other event in the country is put on hold. Security operatives immediately swing into action and begin a full investigation trying to unravel the cause of the attack and strategizing on the means to put an end to it. At the same time, their media men and women appear on the spot and keep transmitting live, keeping the public informed of the happenings. Interactions on their social media platforms automatically switch to reflect a sense of humanity in the society. On the overall, one could see and feel humanity in play and everyone feeling deep sympathy for the victims involved.
Pathetically, just last weekend, like all other previous terrorist attacks without a sign of humanity from the government and the people, terrorists attacked the town of Dalori, a village few kilometers from the Borno State capital, Nigeria’s North East region. Residents of Dalori were thrown into panic over a gun battle between soldiers and suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
Sounds of heavy gunshots filled the air causing panic among residents within the university area and other residential areas closer to Dalori. The death toll in the terrorist attack on Dalori village in Borno State was reported and estimated to be about 85 while 62 others sustained injuries.
As usual, most media houses reported the attack like a flash. Those on social media were busy taking party`s sides and cared less about what happened. Men and women on the street far away from Dalori had no clue of what was going on and perhaps felt indifferent. The president himself, Mohammed Buhari prefers to visit Ogun State as it turns 40 than to visit Dalori to console and sympathize with the survivors. Perhaps, President Buhari may have visited if a different class of people were involved or a different location. Just may be! Also, it took the presidency, about 24 hours or even more before an official statement was released about the incident.
Finally, when the statement was released by the Senior Special Assistant, Media & Publicity to President Muhammadu Buhari, Mr. Garba Shehu, the statement reads thus: “Pres. @MBuhari has called on all Nigerians, to be vigilant & ready to work with security operatives in ending the war against the insurgency.
Reacting to the spate of suicide bombings in Chibok market, IDP’s camp in Borno State and the Gombi market in Adamawa State, President Buhari said the insurgents had suffered immensely from the sustained bombardments of their camps and hide outs by the Nigerian military and had resorted to using desperate measures to gain cheap media attention.
I urge all citizens wherever they live to own the war against terror and to be part of the fight because it is the only way we can finish the remaining work that needs to be done to make our country safe again.”
@NGRPresident said the terrorists had been rendered weak, confused and homeless after repeated bombings and ravaging of their camps and hide outs by the military, forcing them to find their way back into the society to wreak havoc, like the case of the Dolari IDP.
“Having lost the war, they are seeking ways and means to gradually find their way back into society.” @NGRPresident noted that the materials for the Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were locally sourced by the insurgents urging Nigerians to be more circumspect and report suspicious purchases and movement of unusual components in any part of the country, especially the North East.
President @MBuhari extended his condolences to all the people of Chibok, Gombi and Dolari who lost loved ones in the recent attacks.
President @MBuhari prayed that the Almighty God will comfort them and grant the injured persons quick recovery.”
Going by that statement, did you notice any empathy or humanity from the government? Your answer is as good as mine! That is the type of society we find ourselves.
You can`t see any saner country in the world where 80 of her citizen were killed and expect not to see their president live on the spot and on national TV, talking to the people with humanity and empathy.
You may wish to ask if the president have to do this at all times and whenever the terrorist attacks. The answer is YES! As long, as the president has not completely destroyed the terrorist group and put an end to the insurgence ravaging some parts of the country, he has to continue to address the people at all times such ugly incident happens.
A society that wants change, progress and development without building its humanity only exists in deceit.
We live in a society where every man is for himself. No one cares about the other. That is why when government comes and government goes nothing practically changes and no appreciable development is left behind. This is because, those that represent us in government like many of us that are being represented, lack humanity.
Humanity is the first step to change. There cannot be meaningful and sustainable development in a society where humanity is found wanting. If we want to build a just nation, if we want that society we so much strongly desire, we`d better start talking about humanity and acting it.
It is only a society where humanity exists that can work together to deliver justice, peace and development to the state.
Humanity tells public office holders that he/she is being entrusted with public wealth and should be utilized and managed effectively.
Humanity tells all that every life matters and no one should be made to suffer. And until we start talking to ourselves on this, we have only voted for “Change” but not ready for “Development”.
God Bless Nigeria.
Ogundana Michael Rotimi is a Nigerian Biochemist, Socio-economic & Political Commentator, and Public Speaker. He tweets @MickeySunny.