WARNING: The piece you are about to read is highly sensitive. It contains strong depiction of violence. And can be considered OFFENSIVE to some people. Readers’ discretion is advised.
I woke up feeling gloom. The last time I felt this way was the morning after 9/11. Saying my morning prayers was a difficult task. I had too many questions in head, with answers few and far fetched. I mumbled through my prayers half-heartedly, without feeling any better afterwards (obviously my mind wasn’t in it). I needed answers! No, I need answers! This has definitely gone too far.
Staring at the gory images from Bayero University bomb blast and gun attack on my laptop, no fewer than 14 dead and many injured. A female body lay on the ground, the head area covered in blood, and a piece of bloodied white clothe dumped over her to conceal the nakedness (or what is left of it). Other injured people with varying degree of burns, lay helpless in dirt. Two university Dons met their untimely death in this attack, leaving behind grieving families. I wondered how and when it got to this point for us in Nigeria? How more innocent lives are we going to lose before this is over? When would this be over? Would it ever be over?
I don’t care whatever boko haram motives are (if there is any). How can you claim to be fighting a government by bombing a Christian gathering in a university, an institution for learning? Nobody does that, even in a war! I remember one of the safety drills during my service year was that in case of crisis and riot breakout, the places to run to for refuge are the churches, and army barracks. But the former is now deemed unsafe. A one-time refuge (both physical and spiritual), is now the focus of so much violence.
For our government, Bayero University attack has just being added to the ever-growing list of Unsolved Bomb Attacks in the country. It is no news that the government has failed us when it mattered most. With a clueless president, and a cast of corruptible public administrators that careless about the well being of the average citizen, you would agree with me that a lasting solution to the boko haram crisis must be sought elsewhere. Government cannot guarantee our safety.
Just so you get a grasp of how many innocent lives that have been lost, here is a quick run down of bomb blast incidents from December 2011 to April 2012 only. St. Theresa’s bomb blast on Christmas day in Mandala (35 died, over 50 wounded); Kano multiple bomb blasts (over 170 perished); THISDAY office suicide attack in Abuja; Taraba Police Convoy attack (just days after Bayero University. 11 died). This does not include the countless rampant suicide attacks on numerous Christian gatherings in the north.
And each time these things happen, we are quick to pray, “May their souls rest in peace”. For me, that ends now. I earnestly pray that their souls not rest in peace. May their souls (armed with vengeance) not only cry out for justice but also go out and get justice. May their souls rise and torment the perpetrators of the evil acts that ended their lives prematurely. May their souls hunt down every pot-bellied politician that is an accomplice to these wickedness. After their souls have done all these, after their souls have destroyed all that is culpable, then, maybe then their souls can rest in peace.
At times like this, I wish we lived in the days of the prophet (Elijah especially), when fire and brimstone is hailed upon the enemies of the children of God.
I am a Christian and my religion teaches me that vengeance should be left to God, but I am also human, and at times like these my humanity may just overpower my spirituality.
The picture is titled “Is this Your Legacy”. The work of Leslie Isah Williams… as part of a collection to celebrate the nation’s independence.
Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only. It does not (in any way) reflect or represent the opinions of the blog.