Welcome to Ezinne Arua Blog
I have watched countless movies, series and even read few books that were all themed around killings, murder. I have seen so many of them that its almost predictable how they will end; an investigation, killer or killers found, handed to the Police, tried, convicted and jailed. And you know one thing about knowing the end from the beginning, things simply get boring.
Well, that is in the movies and in the books. Worse still, they are foreign movies and books. But in real life, here in Nigeria, we have become accustomed to a different kind of predictability following killings; people get killed almost everyday and nothing happens. Plain and simple. No investigation, killer(s) remain unidentified and unfound, no trial, no conviction and needless to say, no one is jailed.
I wish this predictability would have been followed by boredom, but no, its followed by fear, uncertainty.
Many things are underreported in Nigeria, if reported at all, so whatever figures one gets to know about on the number of victims is likely to be understated. It is easy for people who we are supposed to hold accountable to claim the figures are bloated just to magnify the causality. But we would have fallen for that if not that some of the victims are people we know.
Just yesterday, it was reported that 72 people were killed in Sokoto State, a day before that, 50 were killed in Taraba, a day before that, 34 people were killed in Adamawa State. I don’t mean to be the bearer of bad news, but there is hardly any day that goes by without people losing their lives to violence in recent times, here in Nigeria. And it is not as if Nigeria is fighting a war.
Taraba, Sokoto, Adamawa, Borno may be very far away from you. But that distance should not give you any comfort. People in IDPs in Nigeria once had comfortable lives; homes, profession or occupation, family, school, worship centers and maybe even internet(some probably had social media accounts were they observed, argued and commented on any issue that interested them)until they were uprooted by violence, losing everything. Maybe they saw it coming, maybe they did not. Maybe they felt there were in a comfortable distance, just like so many of us feel today. Maybe they felt it would soon end. Maybe they did not have anywhere else to go, so they chose to stay till they lost their homes and then did not have anywhere else to go. Maybe they had heard of impending doom for too long and they stopped anticipating since the doom never came, well, until it came.
Peace is volatile. It takes only a few seconds to shatter the illusion of safety. It takes just one, highest two events to reduce anybody, no matter how highly placed, highly educated or highly guided to be reduced to a displaced person. You think I’m lying, try learning about the lives of Syrian refugees and you would be shocked at how “normal” people were reduced to people who are scrapping to survive.
Loss of lives maybe the ultimate thing that is lost to violence, but there are many great things that are lost to it as well. Poor farmers getting killed directly translates to drop in harvest next season. Reduced farm yield translates to minimal agribusiness and together, both translate to shortage in food supply. That would sure affect you wherever you are in Nigeria.
The killings mirror high level of insecurity and anybody with means would seek a safer place to work and raise their family. So workforce is lost also, or is reduced at best. The killings have proved to be indiscriminate. With people of all ages,class,religion, tribe,profession getting caught in it
Funny enough, there used to be a time that the highest evidence of insecurity was the days armed robbers used to reign terror. And we were helpless in those times. Insurgents have occupied parts of our territory and we are helpless to that too. Communities are being razed and scores of people get killed and we, our leaders are still helpless to it.
I have been a Nigerian for too long and I have observed that acts of miscounts committed en mass get swept under the carpet, no matter how grievous. Just look at it; corruption, insurgency, herdsmen killings and very many other misconducts too numerous to mention. The killing spree has continued and our leaders have urged us to pray. And we have been praying, for so long, yet things keep getting worse. Not to discredit the potency of prayers, but it’s clear the solution we need lies elsewhere, something practical and it’s up to our leaders to seek it(if they wish to).
Until then what do we do? What’s the way forward? Should we all seek refugee status in thriving countries and enjoy the safety the host country guarantees its citizens? Or do we all wait and continue to swell the statistics of people that have fallen in the senseless killings? Or should we take our own security into our hands(as T.Y. Danjuma suggested). I suppose no, as that would lead to anarchy. Instead the monopoly of violence should be left in the hands of people who our Govt cannot identify nor prosecute.
So we wait till the violence takes us(all), so we can win the jewel-crown of law abiding citizens in the afterlife. Is it impossible to nib the violence? How much gain are a few people making that they turn a blind eye to the loss the violence is costing other