The finality of death can be terrifying. But death is the ultimate leveller. It is a debt everyone must pay regardless of age, race or class. Indeed, when the Grim Reaper calls, it respects no one.
Like a virtual friend posted on his Facebook wall, death is a sermon on our mortality. But no life deserves to be terminated abruptly, even with the certainty of death. Everyone has a right to live. This explains why the killings by Boko Haram elements, bandits and kidnappers have sparked outrage among well-meaning Nigerians.
No day passes without one reading chilling stories of our compatriots that are sent to early graves by the lethal weapons of the merchants of death across the land. Without doubt, it is clear that there is a resurgence of insurgency in the beleaguered north. Like Abiku ( a Yoruba word for a child that dies only to be reborn), it has resurrected after a seeming hiatus before the presidential election, depositing sorrow and tears in homes and agony in our bones.
Despite the rising spectre of violence in Nigeria, there appears to be a consensus of denial among the men of power. If President Buhari is not bragging about successes of the military in tackling Nigeria’s monstrous security challenge, his media aides are telling Nigerians why they should be grateful to Buhari because our security situation is not as bad as it used to be under former President Jonathan. Hear Buhari’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina: “We know what the situation was as at 2015 and we know what it is today despite the reversals in security, it is still not as bad as it used to be in the country.” Oh, really? Well, right thinking Nigerians may not agree.
In spite of the braggadocio about the successes the present government has recorded in the fight against insurgency, available statistics show a government wallowing in self-delusion. The 2019 Global Terrorism Index, for example, shows that Nigeria is the third most impacted country in the world by terrorism after Iraq and Afghanistan. Now, wait for this: Nigeria has retained the unenviable position since 2015. According to GTI, 2040 died in 2018 due to terrorism, adding that the figure rose by 508 from 2017.
Only some weeks back, the European Union condemned the recent upsurge in violence against ethnic and religious communities. The body observed that “progress has stalled in the fight against Boko Haram, ISWAP and the increased occurrence and severity of suicide attacks and direct attacks against military positions.”
But, who needs the European Union or America to tell us the grotesque realities of our situation before we know the insecurity in the land has precipitated sorrow and tears across the land, making us slaves to our fears on our roads, homes, markets, farms? Not even religious houses are spared.
Ladesope Ladelokun, firstname.lastname@example.org