THE TUCKING AWAY OF THE GUILTLESS – By Amede Isaac
The mortal guilt is on Nigeria, its constituted stakeholders, both past and present, and their lackeys-profiteers who sold their conscience to unbridled greed when the divine call to right the Nigerian ship on its course was thrust before them. “This is not living”, Tupac Amaru Shakur once said. What prevails in Nigeria is incredibly unquantifiable absurdities from the top to the bottom – the leading and the led. One’s imagination is jarred when one attempts to cast a cursory glance at the life lived in this godforsaken country. How do we pretend to be sane in a land wrought in unspeakable absurdities? A way-out country where everything is acceptable?
How do we remain sane when the disconcerting news of how 26 Nigerians got drowned in the Mediterranean Sea in a most questionable circumstances filtered in? Where is our conscience? When and where did we lose our humanity as a people? How do we maintain equanimity or detachment when unspeakable tragedy befalls our fellow citizens, worse when it happened outside the shores of Nigeria? Where a government is dead to the plight of its citizens, it’s the moral right of the people to tug at the reins of the wayward power – but what are Nigerians doing instead?
The guilt belongs, not to the young girls on the life-and-death quest for a semblance of life in a foreign shore, but, to the constituted custodians who have brought Nigeria to her crippling knees in every facet of a nationhood. Despite a similar fate in most African countries, Nigeria is a perfect example of how not to govern a people, and how a people are not to be the led. How can a people not question in agitation the many atrocities oozing out of those we ironically elected into official redundancy? How do we merely grumble in the face of meted out drowning injustices against us? How do we stay our nerves and sanity when political mutants pervade and prowl our collective geographical space like slave-drivers?
Twenty-six Nigerians died in a most morally repugnant circumstances in another clime, and the conscience of a nation is not rattled awake into a sense of humanity. These hapless Nigerians are allowed to be interred in a foreign country (well, if reincarnation is a possibility, their fate is positively sealed) without a paltry show of dignity for the dead by our High Commissioners there nor their counterparts at home. These Nigerians were probably unidentified; their relatives were not present; no friends perhaps were there to pay a dignified last respect – phew!
When are Nigerians going to rudely shake themselves awake to the reality of the instituted inhuman treatment they are being subjected to? When are they going to apprehend the simple fact that it matters not what tribe, race, ethnicity, religion or colour, that we share common aspirations that are inalienably human – all human beings on earth? These political elites and their apologists-profiteers have mangled our collective destiny for far too long. How can a country, for years, be indifferent to the droves of youths leaving to other countries like refugees in a war-ridden country and not fix the remote causes of such bizarre reality?
So these guiltless twenty-six Nigerians whose dreams went with the surfs of the Mediterranean Sea were left to be tucked away in another country like war-victims. Twenty-six young ladies, who no fault of theirs were born in Nigeria, were driven out of Nigeria by a most economically repressive government. And the inexorably inexplicable disdain for its citizens was not allowed to end in its inhuman indifference of the plight of its people at home, no, the sustained disdain kept it away like the scorn and hatred for a ravaging plague from the victims.
What if I told you they would have got far less dignity if they had been allowed to be buried here? Did you see the wreaths or flowers on their coffins? Did you see the coffins? Did you feel the human solemnity in the mourners? Did you see the Catholic and Muslim clerics who prayed for them?