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Killings, killings everywhere


Everywhere in our country today the wind is moaning the mournful sound of suffering, pain, tragedy and death. Wherever we are in our rooms, kitchens, streets, footpaths or wherever we suffer the depredations of a hostile, unfathomable, mysterious nature. And one cannot but have the impression that our country is a jungle, a wild jungle teeming with killing croak-roaches more murderous than murderers.

There are killings in the land, there are killings, killings everywhere in Zamfara, Lagos, Ondo, Rivers, Borno, Kaduna, Benue, Anambra, Ebonyi, Katsina and other places. And we cannot but ask: what is going on in our country? Things have never been this bad and horrific in our country that is now, without mincing words, an immense, malevolent place and polity, a terrible desert of murderous rock where there is no buoyant, living vegetation. Things have never been this horrific in our country. And we have never been this divided in our country where we now cannot see the lines of harmony from any height or distance.

There are killings everywhere, killings, killings and killings everywhere. And I remember Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), English Romantic poet and critic, who wrote The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) of “water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.”

Even if a Nigerian Coleridge in the depths of his poetic mind and sensibility were to be writing about our country’s condition today would he call his poetic offering “The Rime of the Ancient Soldier” whose “shoot-on-sight order” is responsible for the killings, killings everywhere – killings, killings that are pointless and evil, and which have descended on our country like an atomic bomb?

When the ancient soldier and general, who in vain wants us to recognize him as a democratic “civilian” president, made all his pre-election promises four years ago, and this year of his “Next Level” politics, who among us, prophets and non-prophets, political analysts and pundits and non-political analysts and non-pundits, did not wish him well in his endeavour to tame the wild beasts in Borno State? But the wild beasts there have since been replicated from state to state of our country. And the ancient one of soldierly valour is obviously at a loss for the right tactic and action to contain the killings everywhere.

Unfortunately, for him, too, is that his “shoot-on-sight” order – which he issued just before this year’s contentious presidential election to our soldiers and security agencies he commands – has inseminated the killers everywhere in our present-day Nigeria.

The wild beats everywhere, the wild bears everywhere, the wild ones everywhere have since hearkened to his killing order, which they have appropriated as their inextinguishable murderous order, which rages and rages from morning to night everywhere in our country.

The storms of murder flood everywhere in our country, and our compatriots, young and old, boys and girls, men and women are drowned in them, in the bullets of the murderous storms. And the humanity of the political leaders is tested and called to question.

None of them has been reported in our newspapers to visit the respective places of the killings in the land. Let us take Zamfara, for instance.

Did our president pay an emergency visit to the place, comfort the people who have lost many loved ones? Even if our president, our GMB, is austere in his emotions, could the killings there not have compelled him to imbue himself with the spirit of peaceful love and feelings to help to prosper the sufferers? It seems it is too difficult for General Muhammadu Buhari, our GMB, not to oppress or depress us with his austere type of humanity.

Let us also take the case of the subject of this column last week, I mean the case of Kolade Johnson, the football fan we lost in Lagos to a beast and a bear of a policeman. That incident was melancholic enough to melt the heart of a stony individual. But neither the governor of Lagos State nor the Inspector General of Police let us have a glimpse of their humanity.

No statement emanated from either of them to soothe the anguish of Kolade Johnson’s family and loved ones. No visit by or from the Lagos State governor was made to Kolade Johnson’s family.

Of course, the Lagos State commissioner of police issued words of condolence to the family, and in fact paid the family a condolence visit, but a lot of difference would have been made if our president and his retinue of humanists committed to displaying genuine emotions of loss in circumstances such as Kolade Johnson’s had surprised our fallen young compatriot’s family with a visit.

In truth, that perhaps would have been enough to soften somewhat the edges of our harshest thoughts and pains. I do not need to over-labour the point.

But it should be clear to us by now that if our president lacks the tactic and art to halt the killings everywhere in the land, he should at least provide us with the right emotions that will be good music to our crying, agonizing hearts – until the coming one comes or will come to halt the killings, killings everywhere. You better believe me, for what must be must be.

This is good enough to soften somewhat the edges of our harshest ears in our anguished solitudinous solitudes. In any case, we are approaching the time of and for indestructible questions which shall be answered in the exact ways that they must be answered.

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