Demola Rewaju: Even if we win the war against Boko Haram, we have lost already

by Demola Rewaju

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Let those who would rant at Mr. President for not mentioning the twenty abducted girls do so from an angle of humanity not the political angle because when we lose our humanity, we are lost forever. I will light a candle this week and as it burns I will walk with the victims as they stared death in the face.

In the midst of the daily reportage of the massive loss of lives in Borno last week we lost something that remains the bedrock of every civilisation since the advent of humanity. We seem to have lost our souls and reduced the death of a human being created in the image and likeness of God to a squabble over who is at fault and who is not. Some of us are more likely to throw the weight of our conscience across twitter into the laps of the president forgetting that he may have more political power than us but he is not more of a human being than the rest of us. We’ve lost sight of who to blame and now we blame ourselves – Kashim Shettima the Borno governor admits that leadership has failed his people yet sleeps comfortable every night surrounded by what I imagine is a good number of security agents.

Uncle Bola was a Rosicrucian and in the tradition of that mystical order never failed to ask us to light a candle in the memory of the dead and for as long as we can meditate on the passage of life from one realm to another. As the candle burns, we were to imagine what it would be like to be violently turned from your home and have your throat slit moments after watching your elder brother suffer the same fate. Imagine what it would be like to look into the eyes of soulless human beings as you heard your mother shrieking in fear and your formidable father wet himself as gunshots rang all around your family then the raising of a knife, a chant of adulation from your would-be killer to a god he doesn’t understand and he strikes the bloody metal into your throat and you pass into nothingness…

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We’ve lost our soul, Nigeria and the wealth of the worlds is nothing compared to the value of a single life lost in cold blood. What makes us human is our ability to mourn the dead; that single cord that binds us to those who once lived, who once had dreams of greatness that were cut short by madness. When we talk about those who have lost their lives anywhere to this bloody menace, let us remember that they too were human and their fate could easily befall us but for time and space or let us never talk about them because the more we discuss these issues without passion the more we infuse the air we breathe with a nonchalant selfishness that numbs us into an unfeeling passion – heartlessness.

It is even more important for my generation than the president because it is our generation that will reap the fruits of this bloody seed we are sowing. Their bloods will cry for revenge against those of us who speak about them without a care or thought for them, those who could say something but never did, those who could send just a thought of comfort to their family members as surely as it would cry forever in the families of those wicked Boko Haram members whose destiny will forever be written in blood. This land still cries out for revenge over the blood of those killed during the Biafra war, during the Odi and Zaki-Biam massacres, and all those we’ve killed by not caring throughout all the ages – this generation will pay the price when we come to national leadership and mark my words not because I am a prophet of doom but because I understand that law of Karma, that immutable cycle of sowing what you reap.

We must stop blaming government and henceforth do all we can to curtail this Boko Haram menace. What we can do is limited but let us never lose our individual humanity. Let us take a moment and think of humanity everytime we see those screaming headlines. Let those who would pray do so loudly – for the victims dead and the victim living. Let those who would not pray take a moment to meditate on what it means to lose a single life and how much more to lose thousands we’ve lost since this madness started. Let us tear down this imaginary divide of “shebi it is only in the north?” and imagine it was happening right in our backyard.

Let those who would rant at Mr. President for not mentioning the twenty abducted girls do so from an angle of humanity not the political angle because when we lose our humanity, we are lost forever. I will light a candle this week and as it burns I will walk with the victims as they stared death in the face. I will send thoughts of courage and hope to those who now live in fear of when the next attack will come. I will hope that this government finds a solution to this menace but I will never lose my humanity because the day we lose it is the day we die and even if we win this battle but lose our soul, we would have gained the world that cannot be compared to a single soul lost as Jesus the Christ said. Most importantly, I will never talk about this problem without putting my heart into humanity because to do so would mean that I have lost my part in this war against Boko Haram which beyond the physical effect is a demonic battle to reduce us to nothing more than people without souls, a lost part of humanity.

Even if we win the battle, we would have lost if we lose our humanity.

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Demola Rewaju blogs from www.demolarewajudaily.com

Op-ed pieces and contributions are the opinions of the writers only and do not represent the opinions of Y!/YNaija.

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