By Prince Charles Dickson
When you see a snake, you kill it first and set up a committee, you do not set up a committee first to kill the snake…
The very few paragraphs that I will write , I have done with deep grief and plenty emotions, I cannot say that I am in the best state of mind, if one thought that the Xmas day Blasts were bad, it gets only worse by the next attack and sadly a case of who knows where next.
Like, the UN suicide bomb, the Independence Day bomb before it, the Mogadishu barracks, and all the Yobe, Maidugiri, Niger and Jos bombs many have been blown away. Wives, husbands, brothers, sisters, children, loved ones and friends all lost, even those one may have hated, I doubt any sane person would wish an enemy such death.
Lives cut short in their prime, killed for no faults of theirs and reasons they never would comprehend. No ode, condolences can bring back all the dead in Kano, no songs, and certainly not a government that blatantly would lie about figures of the dead or a government that does not know the difference between 7 and over 100.
We have gradually and steadily become a nation like many others ‘ruled’ by strife and shame because what we have now certainly does not pass for governance.
The government that promised security and was mandated by the constitution to ensure that all are protected despite creed, faith and location has failed woefully at each time of asking. If that was not bad enough, we are saddled with a group that have lost a consciousness of shame.
Such that it is common to hear such shallow defence that, it started before them, its one group against the other, governors, and traditional leaders should do this and that, while innocent citizens die. Painfully the sad reality is that terms such as embarrassment, dishonour, disgrace, inadequacy, humiliation, and chagrin have become alien.
I never met with Jonathan and doubt I want to meet him, never met Inspector General Hafiz Ringim, do not want to meet him either, but these men represent what is wrong with this nation, a lack of shame.
A nation that sets up panels of inquiry to issues that already have answers, issues that we know the solution. They set up committees looking for roads were rocks are idling away.
We do not need to meet leadership to meet shame, and the actions of those in authority in recent times nay all the time have brought us face to face with derisive public shame and opprobrium.
The kind of shame that makes us depend on a voodoo chief for security when trillions in taxpayers’ fund go into security. The type of shame that sees a government helplessly and in alarming manner accede to the fact that Boko Haram is now everywhere you go.
Now we live in shame that rings in the ear with fear, one that sees David Mark beg Boko Haram, while CAN president says protect yourselves and Southerners say to Northerners leave our place and vice versa.
It is no shame that no single top security personnel from the police, SSS, DMI, and the entire ‘S’ we have has resigned. Certainly not, who will resign with the billions of naira around to play with while citizenry are killed by all manner of insecurity.
No head has bowed in shame, no head held accountable. In Borno residents refer to bombs as knockouts, a regular phenomenon, in Yobe the mass exodus continues, in Bayelsa, we got a sampling that the dynamites are still ready for use, while kidnap, robbery continues elsewhere.
Eyewitness accounts of the Kano blasts call it a real live movie better imagined than experienced.
We are watching the bells of shame ring dangerously and cart away what is left of our innocence staining generations with a vicious circle of retribution, while leadership hide in a false safety net.
While the government shamelessly pursued imaginary ghosts in Lagos, tear-gas men old enough to be their grandfathers, BH taught them who the real enemy is, displaying crude co-ordination leaving tears, pain and sorrow in its wake. And shamelessly we are still hearing the word palliatives, I dare ask, palliatives for whom?
Is it Subsidy for the over six scores dead, or the subsidized government figures, or a man I simply call Mr. X, he could have lived if he had fuel to buy at N65, but he spent hours in the fuel station before he could buy, and at over a hundred and he ran into the ‘movie’. He never made it out alive.
By the time this was coming off the press, many 24 hours have passed and all that shakara oloje of “I give you 24hours to bla bla bla…” has shamelessly passed the IGs head is still Ringim, his legs ringing without even as much as an apology to a nation hurting.
It’s no news that over 48 hours just like the Madalla episode, no strong worded speech, and safe for a carefree, one sided, misinformed press release by the president’s spokesman. How do we know these guys understand the import of their inaction except Boko Haram start to visit them personally?
The words of empathy so drab from the once upon a man without shoes, no shoulder for nation to lean on and cry instead we are beseeched with subsidy and maladministration.
“I know how to pound and I know how to marsh” is what causes pounded yam made with wateryam to be lumpy. Knowing it all can be disastrous. This house must not collapse. Jonathan needs help.
I conclude by say that we do not have a Northern problem, it is not a southern issue, it is not just about a citizens docility or leadership folly. It is more, more of a case of playing with shame, like the snake time will tell.