Why are the streets normal? Why are we going about our business as usual? Why has nothing changed? Why is life moving on like it always does? I had thought I would wake up to see red skies like eyes, shedding blood red tears and weeping over Nigeria, mourning the lives of the 29 innocents killed in Yobe State. I had thought I would wake up to see groups of people standing in corners, discussing in hushed tones the pure wickedness, heartlessness, callousness and inhumanity that would make human beings roast young children alive. I thought there would be an uproar, I thought fathers, mothers, brothers, sisters, human beings with any sense of humanity would rise to condemn this wicked act, but alas, I saw nothing!
The newspapers reported it as statistics, “29 children killed in Yobe State”. A bystander looks and says “29? Thank God, it wasn’t more!” We fools! We have become totally uncaring of atrocities and abominations that ought to horrify us! How do we roast our future? How do we kill children who need to live to sustain our nation? How do we equate lives to numbers and statistics? Pray tell me how a human person can sit and hear the cries of innocent children, screaming, struggling to escape and hail himself for a job well done? Explain to me how wicked you have to be, to murder sleep? How exactly pray tell, do you see children running away from death and slit their throats, returning them remorselessly to the fate they sought to escape?
I thought I would wake up to outrage. I thought I would wake to a clamour for justice. I thought I would wake to see right thinking individuals demanding security from its government. The paramount thing a government owes its people is security, safety of their lives and of all they own. Any government that cannot provide and ensure this, is NO GOVERNMENT at all!
I went to a federal school myself. I went to my school with pride, I announced proudly at every given opportunity that I was a student of Federal Government Girls’ College Onitsha. Federal schools were the only places to be back then. Parents clamoured to send their children to any unity school. It didn’t matter where the school was, north, east or west, it was probably still better than the local schools in their states of residence. Federal schools were for a long time the only hope the normal Nigerian family had of standard education for their children, it still is. Nobody ever imagined abductions and killings in those exalted institutions back then. So many leading individuals I know attended unity schools, my classmates at federal, awesome girls all of them, making giant strides in their chosen fields. It blows my mind to think that it could have been any of us.
Many students still pass through unity schools, students with prospects, with talents and abilities to excel in various fields and cause change in society. Tell me, how does one lock all this in a room and burn it? How do we break the hearts of Parents who thought they had given their children their best? How do we turn gifts of love to death traps? How do we commit these evil acts against God and humanity?
I thought I would wake up to see a people demanding and insisting on change. I thought I would see people demanding for sanity, for justice, for action! Alas I saw nothing! I saw people going about their normal businesses, leaving battles that God has asked us to fight, back at His doorstep. I saw a people counting human lives as numbers and forgetting that they could be numbers too. I saw a people who thought they were free from harm, who are still unwilling to do battle, to demand justice and claim their right to life, not just any kind of life, quality life.
I saw a people whose future had been roasted in 29 parts, ignorant of the fact that their silence would lead to a total incineration of the lives of their children!