You see, I maintain that our society still has a long way to go where value for human lives is concerned. When we were jealous of how the whole world rose up and showed up for Paris, it did not occur to us that we barely spend a second pondering on our own losses at home, talk less of escalating them to an international audience.
The government and the press are the most complicit. I’ve been watching TV all morning. No TV station investigative team has been sent to Zaria or even Kaduna to continuously interview folks on the streets, speak with victims and witnesses, bring out the human side to a bad situation, etc. Also, no team of legal and security experts have made this a focused issue on air, beyond the usual news bit opinion. All because they want to remain on the good side of government with regards to getting PR work, etc. Anyone noticed how we do not have figures for the injured and casualties, etc.? Has it not been mostly speculative?

Imagine same scenario in France, England or the US? I remember following the siege in Waco Texas at the Branch Davidian compound in 1993. From the original raid on February  28,   through the initial fatalities on both sides and the long standoff that followed, up until the final tragic showdown in April 19 and its aftermath. It was a period of great learning for me. Watching the various interviews, background reports on the prominent figures, justice system deliberations until no less an entity as the attorney general gave the final order for federal agents to re-enter the compound and engage, using requisite force. It was a live movie. All this while they were going back and forth and relating it to the similar situation that happened with Reverend Jim Jones’ religious group at Jonestown, Guyana in 1978. It was an eerie feeling seeing the sign leading to Waco, Texas on a road trip to Dallas from Houston, 15 years later. It sparked up a new discussion between me and my wife as we shared notes from the past.

And our government? They’ve not changed their cloak of lack of empathy, even with the new regime. You will hear excuses like a press blockage to calm down nerves and not to compromise “investigations”, etc. All inexcusable.

Now this does not change my position on how sensible and safe behaviors could have prevented this disastrous outcome.

At a more opportune time, we shall discuss the root causes, security/legal aspects and recommendations.

May their souls rest in peace.


Suggestions for further reading:

  1. David Koresh and the Branch Davidians
  2. The Guyana Tragedy