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Published On: Tue, Mar 4th, 2014

Is this a new normal?

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By Osahon Uwagboe

The tragedy that happened on 26 February in a college in state, in Nigeria has revealed to us the depravity of the human mind, the depth to which human beings have sunk. The killings were so senseless and wicked that we have not only grieved for the children that lost their lives but for our own humanity; as we just cannot understand the callousness of such human minds this 21st century! The story of the attack and the pictures were absolutely unbelievable, spine-chilling and numbing. Yet our government does not seem to see it so.

There must have to be an extraordinary response on the part of members of society, and this, of course, would have to be led by the President. The goal would be such that we feel the enormity of the incident and thus respond to it with a countermand response. I mean, we would need to appreciate the magnitude of the devilry exhibited by those terrorists such that it does not pass as a new normal. Therefore, we would need a national moment where we would have sufficient time reflect on the matter; thorough appreciation on the part of the populace. One can just imagine what energy we would muster when the entire nation is made to feel the weight of such an incident.

We need to realize that the accurate response against such incidents goes far more that military might and statements since it from the inner resources that these guys generate the energy that they muster on us. Therefore it would take the same approach to get back at these people. It must start from our inner resource – the inner recesses our souls. This is where the energy that will go against such people would arise. But we have ignored this; we see this as nothing. But then it is the government that would have to take the lead. The President must see it as a national problem and ask everyone to get involved, he must make everyone feel important and realize that they have something to contribute. This is how we run a country, except he knows what the source of the problem truly is and is not speaking.

Regrettably, the President has, by his attitude, made us see that this is a new normal: The incident happened on February 26 but as of February 28, neither the President or his vice has not thought it fit to visit the scene of the incident. Moreover, the president needs to realize that what happened when the government forces ran away just before the attacks, reflects the case of hireling and the sheep, and that these ones would have to answer for their abdication of duty. It appears they feel the responsibility for the matter rests on governor of the Yobe state. Yes, responsibility lies on the government of the state. But the problem is a national problem! More importantly, this is where the President of the federal republic of Nigeria rises above the pack to show is fatherly role. I wonder whether they don’t know about the father of the nation concept.

I would have expected that several days of mourning to have been declared in the county in order for us to truly appreciate the gravity of the matter and not only that, the President and his team would have their clothing in black to truly mourn the loss of the children. Moreover, the centenary celebration would have been subdued, or perhaps all somber, as we are in a state of mourning. This is the only way we can really appreciate this incident- to truly show how serious the matter is. More importantly, we should have our flags flying at half mast, to indicate that something most terrible has happened in the country. This would make the populace fully appreciate the impact of that incident on our society, and see the need to reflect ,and then come up with ideas, suggestions on how to truly address the matter.

But the President and his aides have quickly moved on as if nothing had happened. They see it as a new normal. Now , consider the after the attack there is no statement as yet about carrying out a detailed investigation into what happened, considering that it was heard from the local people, that the security apparatus in that area was removed just before the attacks. If indeed this was so, then these ones would have to be punished for this. This is the way in which we can gain the confidence and respect of the people. I wonder where his advisors are? Clearly, if they don’t have such intelligence to tell the President this, then, they should leave, and stop, gulping up precious resources of the county. Otherwise, let them tell us whether it is the President who is not listening to them.

The implication is that this government is irresponsible. Just endure it. They seem to be saying. Nigeria is not the only country where terrorism happens, and he cites Spain and the ETA separatists, he cites the IRA in UK for us to see that we should expect perhaps a long drawn battle. And that he should not be blamed that the insurgency that is yet to be quelled. We have now been inured to this situation. See, the press does not seem to demand that the President mourn these victims. We must not allow this to be a new normal, if that is what they want. We should all rise up, and say no to this irresponsible government.

Osahon Uwagboe is on linkedIn


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