Opinion: To forgive, but not to forget…

by Temitope Fatoyinbo

We cannot pretend that these never happened nor can we assure the victims’ families of justice. Nevertheless, we can feel their pain and help bear their grief.

A wrongdoer is often a man that has left something undone, not always HE that has done something.” — Marcus Aurelius

I have always heard people use the phrase “forgive and forget” and have always wondered… If experience is supposed to be our best teacher, how do we learn if we forgive only to FORGET? Besides, forgiveness is not amnesia. It does not automatically erase errors, most especially ones that were committed against humanity.

Take for instance, the gruesome murder of the #Aluu4. Will the parents of the victims (who themselves are also victims) be able to forget even if by some miracle are able to forgive not only the community but also the police force whose officials looked on while their sons were butchered in the most humiliating manner then had the video posted on the internet for the world to see. An action that saw ignorance displayed at its peak.

Meanwhile, the whole nation seems to have forgotten. We have gone back to our lives. We have moved on. This is what Nigeria has become. The people have become numb to pain mainly from having suffered same blow repeatedly enough to take humanity out of them. All we now do is to make noise when issues arise or incidents occur but for a moment, then it all blows over and we go back to the status quo.

To add insult to the national injury, an Inspector-General of Police signed a press release that described his officers as incompetent. Telling obvious lies of how the police officers were unable to disperse the mob and were chased away with stones. Gun-wielding policemen, chased away by a stone-wielding mob?! How many more insults to our intelligence can we endure?

These things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: a proud look, a lying tongue and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, a false witness that speaketh lies and he that soweth  discord among brethren.–Proverbs 6: 16- 19

What has happened to Nigeria? Where are the nationalists? Where are the freedom fighters? Where is the sense of common humanity that bound us together? Is it that we forgive easily? Or do we just forget?

There are so many questions on my mind. What about the families of the departed souls? The families of the four unlucky  victims of #ALUU4, the massacred forty-something Mubi students; Lucy, the young intern at a photo studio in Apo, Abuja and many more that were not so fortunate to be in the news.

How can they be consoled? Justice is the only answer. The numbers keep rising and the apprehension of their murderers becomes a mirage disappearing as we move closer. I read a report on death-toll in Nigeria in the past week and realized that not a single day passed without a death recorded. The sad part is that most of these deaths occur from preventable causes.

The truth is; we cannot pretend that these never happened nor can we assure the victims’ families of justice. Nevertheless, we can feel their pain and help bear their grief.

We can assist by coming together to fight this rising menace of jungle justice.

We can assist by resisting the urge to take the laws into our hands and choosing to allow the appropriate authority to handle its business.

We can also assist by saying “NO” to injustice. Be it from our leaders or from our fellow citizens.

We can fight against bad governance.

We can prepare for 2015 from TODAY.

We can forgive the errors of the present administration but NOT forget them come 2015.

Your vote is your power! Do not forget that!

This is a call to action. We should remember: “The greatest of all faults is to be conscious of none. – Carlyle

And in the words of Martin Luther King Jnr… “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter’’

The time is now!


Temitope Fatoyinbo tweets from @topefatoyinbo


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

Comments (4)

  1. We obviously need more sensitization among our youths if real change is to be achieved, but the major question still remains how we will achieve that without redirecting scarce funds to a few old men with the help of the said youth in the name of NGO's and other associations, who eventually bore us with talks and no action.

    Seriously, we need so much more than just talks

  2. As a negerian am tired of saying it. When will it get better. Now 4 does dat av read dis n r still not concerned r just one of d people we r talking abt. We need to do sumtin to make a change so dat our lifes can b better n d future of our children too can b better. With tears in ma eyes I extend ma sincere condolence to all nigerians dat av in one way or d other been affected with d injustice of our givernment.

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