Boko-Haram and questions for Ohanaeze
Monday, February 06, 2012

It is a reality, even before the advent of the murderous Boko-harass, or whatever they would like to call themselves, Human Life in Nigeria, like every other essential commodity – currency, water, food, light, security, health, shelter – has been grossly abused and devalued by the various governments, military or civilian. In fact, our leaders have so much dehumanized the personality of the Nigerian to the consistent ridicule and caricature of the amused world.

This is country with every potential and where resources, human and natural, are in quantitative, still qualitative presence, yet, bastardized, shackled, manhandled and mangled by all manners of greedy politicians, plain opportunists and adventurists, right from the Local Government administration to the top of Federal Government in Abuja.

The negative fallouts and upshots are clear: our politicians and their hangers-on, in tandem with those who Fela called “government people”, continue to be stupendously rich; the rich economic countries infest the country like plague and expectedly, reap the harvest of corruption while paying lip service to the issues affecting the life of the populace. The Igbo people have it, “ala adighi mma bu uru ndi nze”, (when misfortunes befall the people, the kingmakers get merrier). For corruption feeds the corrupt.

It is, thus, on the foreground of these painful realities above that could prompt and facilitate any abominable group of kidnappers, robbers or terrorists like Boko-harass to easily cause mayhem and indescribable fright on the citizens of an already mismanaged country. This is unacceptable! But who says it? Everybody, including the President, whose Goodluck, Nigerians at home and in Diaspora are wondering when it would eventually come, and in all honesty, we are presently losing the only Patience remaining in the inner chambers of our wounded heart as a people.

Yes, the issues didn’t start with President Jonathan. But when will it end? Bob Marley asked. Mighty Sparrow went a bit further, “is this the beginning, or is it the end?” These times are the opportune moments for our governments to proffer answers to the above questions regarding the existence of Nigeria on the blood of innocent citizens in the North. It was Chief Odumegwu Ojukwu, the Lord rest his soul, who once said that the political entity Nigeria, as presently constituted, is not worth a spill of any innocent blood. Of course, he meant any Nigerian of whichever group, tribe or belief.

However, President is not of military extraction – and doesn’t need to – to be firm and decisive on issues as serious as boko-harassment. In killing and maiming Nigerians, these heartless killers are ipso facto harassing and killing him. In the unfolding dangerous drama of internal revolt, external aggression, religious war, ethnic cleansing or whatever name you could call it, the Igbos in North, once again, are the targeted victims. Their life savings and businesses are looted and destroyed while their lives are hunted for sacrilegious oblation. So, the question of Bob Marley, ‘when will it end’ begs for a right-now answer. No sentiment is enough for any shed blood.

Preachers keep on preaching. But no graveside pastor or reverend knows or feels the real pains in the hearts of families that have lost bread winners, wives, children and worst still, the sorrow of a woman who had lost husband and children in a single swoop. Man of sorrows wrapped in everlasting grief, becomes the song of this woman. Preachers keep on preaching. But the same Jesus tells us that his primary reason for coming to take flesh, his incarnation, is so that we might have life, not just the sort we have in Nigeria, but abundantly (John 10:10). He died that we might live. Before him, did the book of Wisdom not tell us that God didn’t create us so as to destroy us?

Because, at these times we need more than the pulpit and the graveside sermons, I call on Ohanaeze Ndi Igbo, The South-East Governors Forum and Massob, to rise up against this terror. take concrete actions! What do I mean by this?

It is unfortunate that these groups of people, who pride themselves as custodians of the Igbo soul, including the members of the Federal Houses of Representatives from South-East not doing much. writer in The Sun, January 23, 2012, articulated painfully, “The South-East governors who have remained silent on the recent killings in the North rose from its meeting in Enugu on Sunday and said it was time for them to take a stand on the matter.” What a government? What a sham? representatives? What a medicine after death? Leaders who could protect and defend them?

Rev Fr Igirigi is a Nigerian Claretian Missionary in São Paulo, Brazil.

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