by Chioma Obiekwe
I had followed the news, seen the pictures and read the broadcasts.
There was a crisis in the North over the elections and non-Northern National Youth Corpers were victims!
It’s not the first time we have seen this kind of thing – everyone knows how volatile the Northerners can get, so I shake my head and go about my daily business. After all, I have never known any of the people or corpers that have died from the many uprisings of the northern people.
After a while the news will die down… The victims will be mourned and buried, we will forgive and life will go on.
What about those who do know these victims? What about their families and friends? What about them? What about the lives they would have lived?
What has become of this nation NIGERIA?
Are we really so different that we cannot live in peace? And are our cultures and religions so diverse that it breeds hatred and violence.
Will this ever stop?
Should we take this?
Is there nothing that can be done?
As all these questions race through my mind, as I sit here, feeling so helpless, knowing that all I can really do now is write this short note to the world, trying not to hate Mohamed, the mallam across the road, hoping that this tragedy will not be swept away again like many others, I can’t help the feeling that there is more to come…
Because there is no question about the solution which is ‘We live in peace or break apart’ but I have a feeling that for either to happen, Nigeria will pay a price too unnecessarily expensive to conceive and too painful to imagine.
I mean, I only stumbled across the Facebook page of one Ukeoma AikFavor [search for him] who unfortunately was one of the victims of 18th April 2011, and I just can’t help the sadness that has taken over. I did not know him personally but he did not have to die. He did not have to die.
His last Facebook status update was posted on 17th April 2011:
Na wao! This CPC suporters would hv killed me yesterday, no see threat oooo. Even after forcing underaged voters on me they wanted me to give them the remaining ballot paper to thiumb print. Thank God for the police and am happy i could stand for God and my nation. To all corps members who stood despite these threats esp. In the north bravo! Nigeria! Our change has come.
On the 18th his friend Vivesparkle Emmanuel posted this on his wall:
Pls U all should pray for Aik. As @ ystrda, some angry mob were shooting guns around them.They were able to take them later 2 d nearest policestation only for him to call that the mob were threatening to burn down d place.We’ve lost contact with him cos hes phone has been unreachable. Kindly pray for him & others in the same condition. Tnx
It’s sad that he was never seen alive again
[moment of silence]
And while he is right that ‘Change has come’ I know that this change has to be tackled from the very foundation, the core of the nation, and this may not be possible without breaking a few walls. And, for the sake of Nigeria and many Nigerian lives, I pray we have made the right choice of leadership. I pray the Goodluck Jonathan government will have enough wisdom to go around this as peacefully as possible, because we just can’t continue like this. WE HAVE TO CHANGE!
Ukeoma AikFavor and many more victims just cannot have died for nothing.
It is the job of those of us still alive to see to that!
This piece first appeared in ‘Running On 6’, Chioma Obiekwe’s blog. The original post can be viewed HERE.