#DailyGarlicWithJohnAnusie (9) 07.06.2020

Nigeria: Habituated to Horror

Badits and Fulani herdsmen: Nigeria's killing fields and the government's complicit
Nigeria: Habituated to Horror

If Nigeria were to be a face, Kaduna, Zamfara, Katsina, Sokoto and Niger states — you may add to the list — would have the rather dubious tag of the axis of acne: areas prone to zits and messing with the pulchritude of an otherwise healthy visage.

You might wish to condone my winding analogy and the use of zits for the sporadic slaughter of innocents by “bandits” and “Fulani herdsmen” — or whatever name a bored public elects to call them.

The killings have become so regular and so intense that many have become habituated to them, concerned more about numbers than about the sanctity of human life. It is not out of place to hear people say, “Na only 20 people dem kill today.” In fact the president has made that markedly embarrassing slip in the past.

What is happening? How did we get here? How do we navigate this treacherous bend?

One life taken in cold blood is as gruesome as the millions that may go down in a pogrom. Let’s forget about number and talk about life.” These were the late Dele Giwa’s words, from his 1986 op-ed Don’t Forget Them, as I remember them.

Dele Giwa, then editor-in-chief of Newswatch magazine, would die later, blown to bits by a parcel bomb sent to his 25 Talabi Street, Ikeja, residence.

Mr Giwa’s words are still relevant today. We should be concerned that innocent people are being murdered and the government has been ineffectual in arresting the situation or, in the case of Kaduna, arrogantly complicit.  

I ask again, what is happening?

In the intervening months, I can only hope we rediscover, once again, the raptures of brotherhood, the blessedness of tolerance, the healing emollient of love, not forgetting good leadership, of course…

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Image courtesy Sahara Reporters.

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