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A call for national mourning

By Ukpong Chuwang Daniel
18 January 2022   |   3:51 am
Sir: The killings and kidnappings in Nigeria are fast becoming commonplace while the leadership of the country snoozes without demonstrating sufficient concern nor showing respect to the concerned masses whose people...

Hadiza, an internally displaced person from Baga local government area in Borno State in Nigeria, poses with family members on July 21, 2019 in Markas (Photo by FATI ABUBAKAR / AFP)

Sir: The killings and kidnappings in Nigeria are fast becoming commonplace while the leadership of the country snoozes without demonstrating sufficient concern nor showing respect to the concerned masses whose people are taken hostage or murdered in cold blood. We need to stop such inhumanity by showing all concerned that we have conscience and will not let them turn us into people who condone what our values do not permit.

Following the massacre of over 200 persons in Zamfara State on January 7, 2022, I am hereby calling for a 24-hour national mourning to show respect for the departed souls cut short without committing any crime. On the chosen date for the mourning, I call on all Nigerians to not go to work but stay at home to mourn those massacred and pray for the nation for a turnaround in fortune. That such could happen to 200 persons in Zamfara State means it can happen to anyone in present-day Nigeria.

While we are mourning, everybody should not work but stay at home for 24 hours. Such tragedies or even lesser ones warrants national mourning and holidays in better climes. However, in Nigeria, our leaders only keep on promising to “bring the perpetrators to book,” whereas such perpetrators actually never get arrested nor punished. We do not want killings and kidnappings to continue in Nigeria, and should it happen, our leadership should not go on attending weddings and other ceremonies, which we know would have been suspended had such attacks involved highly placed public servants. The lackadaisical attitude of the government to security issue is borne out of the fact that people in government already enjoy security privileges over the masses thereby creating impression that some lives are more precious than others.

It is unfortunate that news of people being killed no longer moves people in some quarters, as it is fast becoming the new normal. No, we must not let our leaders turn us into who we are not. Stand up to say: “No more killings!” and “No more partying or any ceremonial gatherings afterwards, in the event of some such happenings, by the leadership of our land as though nothing happened.”

Aides to the political class should fully partake in the national mourning by refusing to serve their bosses in any capacity. That you are with them today does not mean you are safe from perpetrators of such evil. You and your relatives are not being given special security and the very people you are serving, seeing how human lives have become nothing to them are only interested about their personal security.

We need new leadership with value for human lives and not this opaque generation that lacks strength and fresh ideas on how to tackle insecurity and other issues crippling our dear nation.

Ukpong Chuwang Daniel wrote this article from Cross River State.