The cordial relationships between humans and nations continue to degenerate almost on a daily basis resulting in wars and threats of wars among countries of the world even as natural disasters incessantly plunge the hitherto productive natural environment into the abyss of irredeemable ruin. As if these troubles were not enough for humans to grabble with, terrorism has equally been on the increase; a situation that leaves the world with so much to think about.
From the world powers like the United States of America, Japan, France, North Korea, Russia etcetera to some developing nations of the world such as Nigeria, there are unprecedented itch from countries to light the wick of war either as a show of force or to score some political points.
The discordant tunes emanating from the United States of America and North Korea following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang and a string of increasingly bellicose exchanges between Donald Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un is a case at hand.
North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear tests in recent weeks as it fast advances toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S mainland.
The war-ravaged nations of Syria, Russia, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Somalia and many more are reducing the economic sustainability of the world population and under-developing the human and material resources of human race.
Though the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) jihadist movement has failed to establish their caliphate in the war-torn Raqqa of Syria, the head of Russia Federal Security Service, Aleksandr Bortnikov, warns that the movement has resorted to forming a new terror organization to be known as International Jihadi Cause with a global strategic task of creating worldwide terrorist network. Al Qaeda, the mastermind of September 11, 2001 terror attack in the World Trade Centre, Pentagon, USA continues to ruin lives and property with reckless abandonment.
Nigeria is equally recording casualties owing to the activities of Boko Haram in the North East, the agitating members of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPoB) unrepentantly calling for secession from Nigeria and several herdsmen/farmers clashes are turning our nation into theatres of war, enthroning bloodbath and fanning the embers of blind ethnic hatred and wars.
The most recent of the skirmishes in the home front being the threat by IPoB to boycott the Anambra State election billed for this month unless Nigeria holds a referendum to determine if the South East still wishes to remain a part of Nigeria. The result of this uproar or agitation brought about the Python Dance which the army claimed was carried out to rid the region of kidnappers and criminal elements.
Many innocent lives were lost to the exercise with the military invading the chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Umuahia, Abia State; torturing some journalists while equally smashing their gadgets. Their constant visits to the home of the leader of IPoB, Mr. Nnadi Kalu resulted to his disappearance. In fact, Kalu’s home country, Afaraukwu has not remained the same after tasting the might of the Nigeria Army.
As if nature has joined forces with humans to finish off the human race, natural disasters have been on the increase the world over, claiming lives and properties and taking human developments 100 years backwards.
The all-powerful United States of America with all their sophistication have been at the mercy of hurricanes ravaging parts of Texas and Florida and now Puerto Rico. From Hurricane Harvey to that of Hurricane Irma and now, Hurricane Maria. The last one has left at least 26 persons dead with many still missing as the violent storm tears through the Caribbean just two weeks after the Hurricane Irma.
The wine-producing city of California has also been ravaged by wildfire that has killed at least 23 persons and destroyed 3,500 buildings. Also, more than 35 people died in wildfires raging through parched farmlands and forests in Portugal and neighbouring Spain.
In Nigeria, the flood that took place at Benue State is almost of the same magnitude with the widespread flood of 2012 which affected 30 of the 36 states of Nigeria; killing over hundreds of people and rendering over two million people homeless. In the Benue incidence, more than 100, 000 people fled their homes whereas at least 3,000 houses were submerged. The major streets of Lagos such as Victoria Island and Lekki where many believed could not fall for disasters like flooding where equally overwhelmed leaving most of the houses and streets submerged.
Considering the aforementioned incidents, one would not agree less with the biblical account in Matthew chapter 24:6 and 7 that these could be the signs of end time. “And you will hear of wars and rumours of war… “For nation will rise against nation…”
But before the world collapses in our very hands, let us play our roles especially in relation to taking care of the environment. It is always safer to desist from acts that would result in environmental degradations which in the end expose us to the dangers of natural disasters. It’s equally important we work assiduously towards mending the broken walls of our human relations by knowing that where one’s human rights end, another’s rights begin. Instead of resorting to armed conflicts, let us toe the line of peace, for it is always better to jaw jaw, than to war war.
–Odu, a public affairs analyst, lives in Enugu.