I’m a believer.
I’m a strong believer in the existence of the Supreme Being and I’m a firm believer that God should not be a staple in our public life in Nigeria. I’m not advocating a nation of atheists; but I’m of the opinion that worshipping God as He has ordained within the confines of your home, irrespective of your religious affiliation, will make for a better society at large. I’m unaware of any denomination that condones abuse of responsibility as is entrenched in the Nigerian society. As such, a phrase I’m loathe to use is the ultimate expression of Nigerian resignation; GOD DEY. Earlier this week the country was plunged into the throes of yet another tragedy following the Dana Air plane crash in Lagos. We’ve subsequently clicked into high gears of the motions as we are wont to do.
You know the usual routine; the National days of mourning, the haphazard emergency response, the initial groundswell of social media outrage and sadly, heartfelt condolences to the families of the bereaved.
The pertinent questions, however, remain unanswered. Why are we here? Why are we left asking the same questions we asked in 2002 in Kano, in Port Harcourt in 2005, in Abuja in 2006? Now as we inevitably go down the ‘probe panel’ route, we ask, what has happened to all past panel findings? Who has been made to pay for this catalogue of human errors?
Our religious nature compels us to accept these unfortunate incidents as decrees of the Almighty. However, greed, disregard for human life and downright incompetence are more plausible causes. If stories making the rounds on the state of the Dana MD 83 that went down on Sunday are even remotely true then how did we allow this happen and who faces the music for it?
Granted, the failure of the system that allowed the flight to have been airborne in the first instance is symptomatic of the rot that runs through most facets of our national life. I’ve only referred to some of the air mishaps that have occurred since 1999, supposedly an era of accountability. Are there any effective mechanisms for ordinary Nigerians to voice out our concerns to our federal lawmakers? ‘Effective’ being the key word. Is there any way we can make sure the legislature look into this before the people responsible escape the country and justice? I’m no expert on law but if our turtle-paced National legislature stays true to type, can’t the Lagos state Director of Public Prosecution bring a case against the airline as emerging revelations point to them having a case to answer? Write your lawmaker today, write your senator. It might not get read, but I’ll write mine and put it in the mail, yes NIPOST mail. Our ability to take such tragedies on the chin, ascribe it to the Will of God and quickly move on has allowed our leaders all the leeway in the world to elevate their incompetence to, frankly, obscene levels.
All we do now is express pseudo outrage like we did when the poor girl in Awka was gang raped and relax after 2 weeks. Our tolerance has been taken for granted for too long.
All human life is sacrosanct but Boko Haram (and people disguised as Boko Haram) have been at it for months now, such that we are ‘getting used’ to such acts of lunacy subconsciously. If this is allowed to go away silently into the night who’s to say it won’t happen again; and GOD forbid, become another ‘accepted’ part of the daily Naija experience?
And this is my fear; that this disaster is another in a growing list of avoidable mishaps that gradually numb our senses into a state of total submission to the will of man, not the Will of God.
Can we please not let that happen? Let this be the straw that finally breaks our backs and propel us into demanding for a better Nigeria.