In geometry, space, sides, lines and angles are ingredients for understanding relativity. However, Grief Geometry is a different kind of kettle. It is here used in reference to the ceaseless adversarial violence with non-receding fatal consequences; resulting in despair, fear, shocks, wailing, lamentation, gnashing of teeth and other sorrowful expression of endless grief occasioned by widespread banal violence and generalized insecurity in the country!
Today, every space, side, lines and angles have become grief sites with people mournfully responding to stimuli of calamities that have become ubiquitous. Data of dastardly death, wounds and disaster are indicative of trauma web that Nigerians are entangled in. North is bleeding and south cannot find solace in peace.
A traumatic society with people frozen in fear of sudden disappearance, death and danger has come full circle. Incident of violent death recorded in April, 2021 alone according to Nigeria Mourn’s report titled ‘violent incident report’ was seven hundred and twenty three(723)persons. Also the data in the Punch Newspaper of December 14,2021, affirmed that three thousand, one hundred and twenty five(3125) persons were brutally killed in the last eleven month while two thousand, seven hundred and three( 2703) persons were abducted or kidnapped within the same space of time.
Despite this frightening data, it is absurd that there is little being done by the government to stem the tide of this descent to gross anarchy. While over sixty(60) children are still being held in Kaduna forest of a thousand demons for over 90 days now, it is sad that neither the Vice President nor the Senate President that found time to personally and al beit, officially attended the ‘turbaning’ ceremony of the son of the President under whose watch the terrorists are holding these children and many others captive, has found it desirable to visit the families of victims, leaving families in the solitary state of perpetual grief. How good a government is measured what happened to the least in the rum of society; the poor, the vulnerable, the unemployed and the disadvantage.
Governance is about closing the gap of inequality, expanding the frontiers of opportunity and creating just and equal environment for actualization of ambitions and self-fulfillment of all citizens with focus on promoting the happiness of greatest number of people. Happiness is now a rare commodity in our country because all ethics of justice fairness and equity are dustbin. We now have a society that is repulsive to care for others, repulsive to doing justice and repulsive to pro-poor policies; state deliberately sowing seed of hate, hurt and consequential violence.
Tragically, a complete anarchical state with attendant lawlessness has emerged. It is now full circle; the final stage of animalization is testified to by frequent flow of brutally shed blood that do not attract any consequence in the absolute state of anomie, typical of Hobbesian’s State of nature; where ‘life is short, brutish and nasty’. A nation driven by violence to two-way junction of; who is next and who is left, is already a borderless cemetery, worse still, if her king has been reduced to irritating sympathetic undertaker!
A nation where Governors keep on demolishing houses, built less than two hundred (200) so called low cost flats selling for over 10 Million Naira, collecting humongous yearly Tenement and land use charges yet, want landlords to give out their own houses on monthly rent. How normal is this in a country that continues to subsidize ruthless capitalist cement manufacturers at the expense of the people? Is it not another way of creating atmosphere between landlords and tenants? Issues that cause violence and insecurity must be patiently understood. It is the lack of such knowledge that has put us in the dire strait we are in. To get out of this quagmire, there must be a recognition that security issues must be addressed holistically with preventive and response programmes dealing with the array of poverty, protection and rights issues in tandem, rather than in isolated policy silos, and that to achieve this, sustained change in system building approach to reform is essential. Violence in Nigeria has gained increasing visibility as a critical human rights, social justice and human security challenges.
There will be no end to violence and irresponsible governance in Nigeria until those who are not affected are as angry as those who are affected; until those whose children and relatives are not kidnapped are as outraged as those whose children and relatives are kidnapped. No government no matter how loved should be allowed to get away with irresponsibility and incompetence that continue to expose people to avoidable risk and dire danger of insecurity. When situations get to a state of almost irreversible anarchy and fear filled existence, it is in the interest of everyone, including the failed duty bearers to demand for lawful dissolution of such government by putting pressure on officials to resign or impeached.
Never again must Nigerians wait for any irresponsible ruler to exit office and write any waywardly autobiography before taking them up. Accountability is key and of utmost importance, demand it from your government. The vortex of resistance following Chief Bisi Akande’s ‘My Participation’ is still fresh. A tale by moonlight by a brutally sincere apologist who knew political expediency of halfhearted truth, coated in pinch of salt but measured in dose of lingering historical bile brewed by identity crises that resulted from his tragic exit from Afenifere; a book like stone thrown at all trees of ancient and modern history, just to achieve public relations ends. A brilliantly carved cup of chaotic logics and historical confusion that could be handy for a veteran winebibber waiting for a sip of Emu Ila at Oragun boulevard! The book’s validity was threatened by enormous pressure of political desperations, including gaslighting others with what looks like a conspiratorial imposition of polyandrous god fathers on others with prospect of projecting them as prodigal ingrates. Nigerians must no longer allow those who threw them to employment market, those who have no history of job creation, development and achievements in while in power to benefit from the misfortunes that were visited on them in the name of governance. I know that Poverty has created society of slaves who see their chains as glowing diamond, their slave masters as destiny helpers and their liberators as interloping demons. I also believe like that philosopher that many are not enslaved because they are poor.
The like of this vengeful book, written with ink of anger with twin purpose of triggering political massacre of ancient foes while deodorizing an ambitious clay-footed modern benefactor whose hands are dipped inside the oily pot of portage is one of the ways bad rulers could be foisted on people. To end grief, Nigeria needs leaders who have answers to questions, solution to problems; a thorough bred competent persons with strength of character who are determined not to allow their country become example of monumental calamity. Nigeria is a beautiful country, serially cruelly violated by powerful mediocre rulers! How can grief end when the same people that elected a renowned tyrant is once again looking for a famous thief to crown? Oh Lord, let affliction not rise the second time!
Gbenro Olajuyigbe is the Executive Director, Emergency & Risk Alert