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Square Pegs and Round Holes

Date

January 23, 2016

Today Was a Good Day

The following describes a day in the life of some opposition bloggers and how they respond to  news.

“Nigerian troops kill Boko Haram fighters”

  • You frown. It can’t be true. They must be Cameroonian or Chadian troops. You zoom your screen and scrutinize their uniforms and tags…go check more weblinks. Off to EgbereTV for counter information…none found. You are sad. You find an old one on a bomb and you quickly share it. Nonsense! How can the army be winning? Mschew!

“NNPC Warri and Kaduna refineries closed. Escravos crude oil and gas pipelines blown by militants”.

  • Yes!!! Good news! Serves them right. I told you they could not govern successfully. They can’t even guard our pipelines! Just before you share the story, NEPA takes light and darkness distracts you. You go and pour your last four litres of petrol and start your gen to continue your gleeful sharing of the news. It did not occur to you that the gas turbine in the power plant serving you had to be shut down due to that pipeline sabotage…that was why your power was cut.

“New York Times says Buhari government monetary policy is un-effective and will damage the economy”.

  • More smiles. Quickly share the news story. Tweet it and go round all your friend’s pages making comments about how clueless the president is. Yet you do not bother to read the news report to understand the specific parts of the policy they have an issue with and use your advantage of local knowledge to judge to see if they are right or if their conclusion is one borne of our interest or of that of the foreign bodies they are affiliated to, etc.

“Iran warns Buhari about his treatment of Shia Muslims”.

  • See them. Iran is warning them now. If they like they should not behave themselves. When we told them the COAS should have turned back and come to pass another day, they did not listen. In fact I pray that Iran attacks us so they learn a lesson. Share the news one time. It does not matter to you that a warning from Iran on our internal matter, purely motivated by their affiliation to a religious movement, is an insult to our (collective) national psyche and sovereignty.

Aaah…you are tired. You plug your phone to charge. That was enough good news for one day. You got to post four big ones. You were right after all. This government is not working. Your gen runs out of petrol and stutters to silence. More darkness. Heat. Sweat starts. You swat a mosquito. You still manage to sleep…because you are happy. This country is not working under Buhari. You shall wake up to more tales of woe from EgbereTV, TrentOnline, Scannews, TheHerald_dotcom and the walls of your favourite Facebook grand cyclops and instigators…this thought comforts you as you snooze off.

 

SAN

Beasts of No Nation

  

You should see the movie. You will find out how quality of life quickly degenerates in a war. Maslow is proved right here. Survival takes clear precedence and gives love, self actualization and esteem a very wide berth on the hierarchy of needs. Man is reduced to his animal form. People die for no reason. Children grow up overnight. Boys become killers and girls are used to satisfy the needs of all kinds of men and beasts. You see, war is not organized sport. All manner of tactics are employed by all sides. There are no umpires on ground to blow the whistle and raise a flag for unfair play. 

Civil facilities and and infrastructure are destroyed and whatever is left is stretched thin. People die from bombs, mines, bullets, machetes, hunger, disease and other associated conditions. Populations are decimated and a whole generation is destroyed. Life becomes worthless. People lose their faith. Wealth vanishes. Society gets fragmented into unproductive bits. 

At some point, people forget the reason for fighting. But it’s too late. They will keep at it until everything is totally destroyed; and like a farm burnt after a harvest, regenerate for a new season. All these happen while peaceful nations, who have learnt from this experience, continue to grow, prosper and become beneficiaries of the foolishness of warring countries. 

Those that refuse to learn from the examples of others and plunge themselves into needless strife, are set back decades. They will come to find out that in war, everyone is a loser. They will become a burden on sensible nations. After “peace”, it will take years and commitment from all sides for them to properly come to terms with the devastation and be on the path to healing, reconciliation, rebuilding, self sustenance and growth once again. 

The stories will be told. Different versions from the mental filter of the sides involved. One’s hero easily becomes another’s villain and war criminal. Even that takes nothing away from the devastation and its remnant marks. 

In the end, people who live in progressive societies will say “never again…”

SAN


Image credit: Anon

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