Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Naija: Daytime Nightmare

Almost 3 years ago, I blogged about the Boko Haram menace in Nigeria ( Back then, the situation was bleak, but right now it seems like we've finally managed to unlock Pandora's box. Nigeria is at war, our leaders refuse to admit it, instead they argue and point fingers at each other while the death toll keeps mounting. Back in 2011, I had my own theories and ideas about how to tackle the problem but right now my mind is blank.

How do you fight a daytime nightmare? Stay awake and resist sleep? Keep the lights on at night and seek the comfort of other people in daytime? Focus on pretty things and keep a positive outlook? You can only run for so long...Gradually, your eyes will grow heavy, your vision will become blurry, and as hard as you try to fight it, sleep will creep in like a long lost lover whispering soothing words in your ear. Eventually your eyes will close, your chest rising and falling slowly as you embrace the lullaby of dreams, whilst reality gives way to the hazy world of your imagination. When your eyes finally regain focus, there is no escape from the monsters that your imagination has created...

I've always wondered how the Nazi soldiers at the concentration camps during the Jewish Holocaust (WW2) were able to sleep at night. The heart of man is wicked, and it is shocking to see the depths people would sink to in the quest for power. I refuse to believe that Boko Haram is just a religious sect. The audacity and brazeness with which they carry out their attacks transcends the actions of "a religious sect". The sheer frequency and scale of their attacks are tell-tale signs of a well funded and sophisticated militia group. We are neither dealing with religious renegades employing guerrila tactics nor a band of fanatics intent on curbing western education. The moniker "Boko Haram" is just a ruse for the sinister monsters who infiltrated them to unleash havoc and run the country.

The Bible advises us to pray for our leaders, but I have to admit that I'm finding it pretty hard sending prayers to the heavenly hosts on behalf of our current crop of leaders. Campaigning for Goodluck Jonathan to resign is not an option, he is our leader, whether he likes it or not, the mantle of responsibility falls on him. If he steps down due to the pressure, then the message we are sending to the world is that we are a "community", not a nation. Nigeria is not a social club where leaders throw in the towel in surrender. A President simply does not step down because the job is "tough". He campaigned to be President, he has to live up to his role. It doesn't matter if he was "selected" and not elected. Mothers bring children into this world, the infants don't have a say in the matter. But when the child gets to a certain age, he/she can make his own decisions regardless of what his/her parents say. So our president needs to man up, no excuses.

As for the monsters behind this menace, time will tell...

For concerned citizens, I don't know if there's much that we can do except to keep asking the leaders we voted into power to step up to their responsibilities. The only other option is to take up arms and chase shadows.

Also keep praying, something has to give...

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