As the clock wound to 12:00 am the 1st of January 2015 regardless of whatever timezone you lived in there was a countdown of the last few seconds of the last year and an even louder chorus ushering in the new year. There were fireworks, knockouts, parties, eating and drinking and all the usual gaiety that accompanies celebrating the new year.
You see, we could have all been forgiven for those few moments of bright optimism. Those moments when we thought 2015 would be a NEW year and maybe, just MAYBE things will be different.
For 2000 citizens of Baga the new year festivities (if there were any at all, going by the spate of attacks in that community) lasted exactly 7 days. Until Boko haram rained literal hell upon them in their worst massacre yet.
I’m consciously not going to talk about the Charlie Hebdo incident that took place on the same day because more than enough has been said about it already.
I will not talk about it because 20 people lost their lives over the course of 3 days and the hashtag #JesuisCharlie became a worldwide trend meanwhile 2000 people perished in ONE day in Nigeria and the joke that is our news media failed to even give it a mention.
I will not talk about it because the inept moronic mad-hatter we have as a leader condemned the attacks in paris as “dastardly” (let’s give him bonus points for his use of exotic english) but kept mum about the equivalent of 100 deaths that happened ON THE SAME DAY in his domain WHILE he was campaigning. He probably doesn’t believe it even happened the same way he didn’t believe 230 girls had been kidnapped by this same band of bloodthirsty mongrels.
I will not talk about it because Nigerians jumped on the #JesuisCharlie bandwagon and forgot their own people; because well, white lives matter more than that of blacks right?
I will not talk about it because as significant as #JesuisCharlie is, #IamBaga is even more.
2000 dead women, children, men and women, old and young deserve to be marched for; deserve to be petitioned about; deserve to be cried about; do not deserve to be relegated to the background because we as a people have become inured to violence and bloodshed.
Where are the Chibok girls? What happened to #BringBackOurGirls ? When the west lost steam, we lost steam too. But when theirs happened we fell over ourselves identifying with them.
This brings me back to another target of my ire today. I usually avoid anything that has to do with politics, anyone who knows me personally knows that. Because I hate the rigmarole of politics, I hate the fact that it’s all shades of grey and hues of black and especially where Nigeria is concerned it generally represents evil.
But I’ve just about had it. February 14th, elections for the next president will hold and apparently there are only two candidates running (if you know the others please let me know because I don’t). Goodluck Jonathan the incumbent president and General Buhari, former military head of state. Over the last few weeks twitter and facebook have been riddled with campaigns for both men; buoyed by accusations and counter accusations, “facts” and “figures”, name calling, pros and cons for voting for and/or against both, conspiracy theories etc. It would have been hilarious had it not been nauseating.
In my opinion Nigerians this year are stuck between the devil and the deep blue sea. President Jonathan’s present as the Head of State and Buhari’s past as Military Head of State. I will however say Jonathan has got to go. All the “things” he has done have been outlined for me over and over again but no cigar.
Has he built schools? Yes, Universities? Yes, Roads? meh. I’ve even been told he bought trains, haven’t seen any yet though. But all these things hold no water against National Security. Because in the entire duration of his reign, the climate of religious bloodthirsty violence has ensured that NOTHING else matters.
That’s without mentioning the two heads, six horns, and seven and three quarter legs that corruption has managed to evolve during his administration; Without mentioning our non existent foreign reserves, the new depths to which the Naira keeps on plunging, the appalling power supply etc.
Who gives a flying squirrel’s ass about schools built for almajiris when boko haram will likely not let them attend it?! Wiping out villages faster than the bubonic plague?!
Oh, and someone had the effrontery to mention that we won the Under 17 world cup under his administration so that’s a reason to vote him in! I am speechless at such depths of foolishness.
Leadership a lot of the time is addressing the issues right in front of you, not beating about the bush, especially in modern day politics where the politician is making decisions based on how such decisions will keep him in power. Even Jesus got the people’s attention with His miracles. Then the Word came.
Take Obama for instance, his re-election was far from smooth sailing. But 2 things swung people’s opinion in his favour; Osama’s death and his successful drive for gay rights. Obamacare was a failure, he has so far been unable to completely withdraw troops from Iraq, has been unable to shut down Guantanamo bay, oversaw one of the worst economic recessions in world history, America’s debt to China is in the trillions. Yet those two things got people over to his side, giving him time to maybe fulfill his other promises.
That’s what our current leadership has lacked. They have no idea what the pulse of the nation is. As big and bloody and throbbing as this pulse has been for the last 5 years. Maybe in the coming years we would begin to enjoy the benefits of all the other things President Jonathan has supposedly done, but in exhibiting impotence against the elephant in the room that is Boko Haram, he has failed to address the nation’s biggest issue.
Does that mean I endorse Buhari? No. He’s saying all the right things and so far has been largely politically correct, but I have reservations about elements of his past as military president and some of the people he’s got backing him in his party .
In the end only the will of God WILL prevail, regardless of any “agendas” or “conspiracies”.
Let me end with a personal revelation. When Jonathan ran for office at first, I was all for it. For one thing he was NOT a northerner, he made all the right promises especially with regards to Boko Haram at the time, he was a “christian” and didn’t have too many skeletons in his closet.
His kid gloves approach to this religious sect has especially stung because for me it’s personal. I lost a cousin to injuries sustained from one of the many bomb blasts aimed at churches a couple of years ago. I hadn’t seen her in years but she was family and it hurt.
2015 is already looking like a year for hashtags, here’s to positive reasons for such hashtags.
#IamBaga #JesuisCharlie #BringBackOurGirls #2015
images courtesy of getty images
posted by Ariel Ugorji