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Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter: Nobody Likes A Snitch

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As the youngest child, I’d constantly give my parents the scoop on things that went on around the house when their backs were turned. It wasn’t long before I learned that I suffered more from telling than from keeping my mouth shut. With cousins and siblings studying at the Nigerian Military School, Nigerian Defence Academy & Command Secondary School, I was treated to all sorts of special military type punishments. Imagine the kind of cruelty that would have thought of “Angle 90” but with a Technical Drawing board on your outstretched arms… loaded with Ababio, PN Okeke, and Modern Biology. I quickly learned to adopt the posture of a mute, with a worst case scenario being “I didn’t see anything. I didn’t hear anything. I wasn’t there. I was sleeping”.

For the past 5 days, my neighbours have been having a jamboree of some sort. The jamboree starts around 11pm. Children squealing, adults laughing and singing along to equally loud music. On Friday, I noticed they had installed an extension to their front porch. The extension was decorated with garlands and blue electric lights. Ah, that probably explains all the noise; it’s a wedding. So all weekend, I bore the incredible night noise with quiet resolve. But something happened last night. It became unbearably loud. It was like being in bad, loud Karaoke at 2am. They were yelling along to all sorts of music. I tossed and turned. ‘Make them stop. Let someone get tired. Let a fuse blow. Something, anything to just give me peace’. It didn’t happen. So, I reckoned, why not go there and have a nice chat with them. You know, like in the trailer of that movie Bad Neighbours. So at a little after 2am this morning, I went over there to knock, just to say, ‘Please keep it down a bit. I’m trying to sleep. Early start on Monday’. That sort of thing. I knocked, knocked, and knocked. No juice.

I went back to my room to try and sleep, but the noise was unbearable. So, I called the police. 20 minutes after, the problem was solved. But, I woke up this morning feeling like a snitch. Did I really report a misdemeanor to the police? When did I become one of those old women who reports noise making?

Then, I wondered again why reporting was such a bad thing. In light of the Abuja bombings this morning, I’ve had cause to think about this method of identifying the source of our problems. I mean, these bomb makers have neighbours, they have cousins, friends, relatives. Surely somebody somewhere knows they’re getting up to no good. If your son was building a bomb in your backyard, would you report? Or are we so terribly scared of the consequences that we’d rather not say anything?

This morning, someone who would have gotten to her office, turned on her computer, read Atoke’s Monday Morning Banter, is dead. She is dead because someone knew that there was a plan to take explosives to Nyanya park, this morning , and didn’t say anything.

One wonders if we should be more proactive by snitching. Maybe we’re not because we feel it’s not going to yield any rewards anyway. However, I strongly believe in the trickle down effect. The dominoes rule. Like a house of cards, one tip and it sets off a chain of effect.

Please share your thoughts with us this morning, because we need to be able to do something. Not everybody can be an FBI field agent, that’s why there are Confidential Informants. If as citizens, we can do something, then maybe we should. If we’re not, then why? Maybe there’s something else we can do in our own capacity. Something other than prayers – because we’ve been praying since 1960 and we still aren’t making progress.

Have a lovely week ahead, against all the odds. It’s such a grim Monday. Keep your head up.

Peace, love & cupcakes.

Toodles!

Photo Credit: thefiercelane.com

_________________________________________________________________________________________
Atoke – Writer | Lover | Noisemaker. Twitter – @atoke_

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website atoke.com for more information.

39 Comments

  1. Que

    April 14, 2014 at 11:07 am

    Nigeria de tire for body shaa…. #tooweakforfullcomment. Good morning everyone.

  2. Que

    April 14, 2014 at 11:12 am

    BN pls be done with all d changes, its confusing havin to type details everytime for every comment, its till I see a strange avatar I realise I’ve made an error… Good morning.

  3. TA

    April 14, 2014 at 11:15 am

    Atoke dearest. Smile ok?
    If you report crime or misdemeanour of any kind that is not snitching now. It is simply a report. In my books,snitching is when you participate in the deed and then you go ahead and report as if you were not part of it. If you participate in making a bomb and tell the police about it ,then you are a snitch (a good one though). 🙂

    Just learned that one of our cleaners in the office got severely injured in yesterday’s rainstorm in Lagos state. Its a grim Moday really,sad news all round…but hey! we are still here. Alive and well, so chin up!
    Have a pleasant week y’all.

  4. Motun

    April 14, 2014 at 11:27 am

    Such a gloomy monday… Honestly, it’s time we Nigerians stop this “it’s not my business” attitude because it actually is.

  5. Splendid

    April 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

    Prayer can never be enough. we can do other things as well pray because the Scripture says heaven help those who help their self.

    • Sassy Soul

      April 14, 2014 at 8:57 pm

      Actually, there is NO scripture that says “Heaven helps those who help themselves”. That is typical ‘Man’s wisdom’

    • Bleed Blue

      April 15, 2014 at 11:45 am

      WORD!

    • Atoke

      April 15, 2014 at 11:57 am

      I have missed you. 🙁

  6. naana

    April 14, 2014 at 11:28 am

    no snitching. you deserve some peace.

  7. Splendid

    April 14, 2014 at 11:37 am

    Prayer can never be enough, we can do other things as well pray because the scripture says that heaven help those who help their self

    • Blessmyheart

      April 14, 2014 at 1:51 pm

      I’ve always wanted to know what part of the Bible says that (assuming it’s the Bible). Could you help with a reference?

    • Atoke

      April 14, 2014 at 1:53 pm

      It’s not a Bible passage. It’s one of those things people started saying and attributed to the Bible. Again… one of our problems. Lol

    • SpecialK

      April 16, 2014 at 11:17 am

      ”Faith without works is dead”

  8. cozygal

    April 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

    When I was young, I was so scared to report my Brovas that I willed myself to forget what they did, so I dint av to report anything. talk of selective amnesia. several years ago, my brother’s on holiday to d family house gave my mum d load down, and I was there with wide open eyes asking ‘seriously u did this and this’, my Elder brother looks at me and says- ‘ u played ur role doing this and this in our scheme, don’t u remember?’
    hmmm. as to the issue of national security, yes, we need do more than pray.
    most people are awfully scared of what myt happen to them for reporting. but as a retweet on Twitter said dis morning- ‘if we talk, we die. if we keep quiet, we still die. so why not talk and die!.’
    I hope that we become more courageous to speak up when we ought to. amen

  9. Lamideeee

    April 14, 2014 at 11:50 am

    God bless you Atoke. We just had this conversation this morning. I absolutely agree with you. We can’t keep up with this mind your business attitude and keep saying it is well until we are all dead and our children start saying it is well too. What are we doing to help this situation. Innocent people are being killed everyday. Life is suddenly meaningless in this country. The people who died this morning, didn’t die because they forgot to pray to God’s for his protection before leaving their houses. They were in the right place probably at the wrong time which is no fault of theirs. This could have been me, and we don’t even know where this wicked people are heading next. Well, while we wait we will keep praying but we need to start backing it up with actions. Our security agencies can’t even fight this sophisticated war alone.

  10. iyke

    April 14, 2014 at 11:50 am

    Due to Nyanya Motor Park bombing this morning, not in the mood to read and comment. I am mourning. RIP to those who lost their lives.

  11. Somebody

    April 14, 2014 at 11:51 am

    Hmmn. Point 1 – I have always wondered at those stickers in London that plead with people to report anything suspicious. What exactly is suspicious? Is a muslim muttering constantly under his breath on a train suspicious? Cos he might be saying his last prayers before bombing the train. How about the Sikh who ‘forgets’ his suitcase on the train? He might get off to go detonate it. The one time that happened to a friend he didn’t even think the guy forgot it, he hurriedly got off at the next station. Why didn’t you report it to the police I asked? Well, he was concerned for his own safety, all he could think of was getting off the train.
    Point 2 – Atoke what do you think the Nigerian police would do if I picked up my phone, called and said my neighbour was building a bomb? The Nigerian Police o. The ones who come after robbers have finished raiding your house. The ones that would tell you they don’t have fuel in their cars. The ones that would tell you to write a police report if you walk into the station to report it. And this is solely based on the Nigerian movies I watch, God forbid, maybe even arrest you sef. Your neighbour is up to no good? You sef are probably up to no good. Oya, you are under arrest!

    • The Beautiful Eagle

      April 14, 2014 at 1:48 pm

      Have Faith that things will change for good……..May the souls of the departed Rest in Peace.
      Have a blessed Week Friends…..THERE IS HOPE IN JESUS:)

  12. lorenz

    April 14, 2014 at 11:51 am

    I feel really inspired by this write-up, especially the way Atoke started. We all are responsible for others; cos someone’s bad actions somewhere would eventually affect us directly or indirectly.

  13. Berries

    April 14, 2014 at 11:59 am

    How sad…what an untimely death..??? I cant even do anything at work. May their souls rest in peace..

  14. Neo

    April 14, 2014 at 12:05 pm

    You know what? I came on here thinking i’d read my Atoks monday morning banter and be instantly cheered up but even Atoks cannot lift this heaviness in my heart. The saddest part is that I am not as sad as i used to be by such news. I remember when people lost their lives in the Ikeja cantonment bomb expolsions, i was so sad for days. Nowadays we hear of massacres and bombimgs and we rant for a day, put up candles on BBM dps, gist about where we were when we heard and as soon as we ascertained that our loved ones were not involved, we move on. That’s what life for us is like now, bcos these killings have become part of our reality. We live with it, most of us “shielded” in our safe havens. But today I’m just tired of it all, the worst part is knowing that the government at least has a handle behind the people involved and wont take action for some poliical bullshit reason.

    I dont know anymore, i havent seen anyone making bombs in the backyard. The people who know who they are and wont snitch on them are just as bad, even worse than those who push the detonator. And these BH people have no agenda! What exactly do they want? what did people struggling to make ends meet do to them? People jumping BRT bus to work on a Monday morning, how will they help your cause? This isnt political or religious or tribalistic anymore. PDP supporters, APC supporters, Christians, Muslims, Northerners, Easterners all died today. So who the hell are these savages and what do they want?

    • Sols

      April 14, 2014 at 12:59 pm

      Well said. It is just profoundly sad that we live in a country where life means absolutely nothing. Our president is “saddened” by it and that’s the extent of it…until it happens again. Each time it gets closer and closer.

    • Ufuoma

      April 14, 2014 at 1:32 pm

      1000likes for your comment thus us exactly how I feel,this issue is weighing so heavily on my heart,it’s time for all of us to stand up to this boko haram and all of them hiding behind this mask of religion otherwise they will wipe all of us of the face if the earth and we will stay here and keep praying! Oh and I just saw in Linda’s blog that blood donations are needed in asokoro general hospital for the surviving victims please if you are in or around Abuja please go and donate and help out!

  15. Katriel

    April 14, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Good Afternoon Atoke. Thank you for your blog. I understand where you are coming from about feeling like a snotch bt with all due respect you did try to approach neighbours and no response hence why you had to take action to call police and get your beauty sleep. I probably would have done the same.

    It is such a pity to hear what has happened in Abuja this morning and the only way they can be stopped is to be exposed. I totally agree with you that some people might know/suspect but due to fear wil not reveal and I wonder if those people would feel the same wway if one of their loved ones became a victim of these crisis sue to lack of communicating of suspicions to the authorities.

    In order to have a revolution unfortunately there needs to be some some kind of sacrificebut the question is are people up to the task to do that ……. hmmmmm

    Food for thought.

    Have a great week.

  16. Deedee

    April 14, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    Thank u for the write-up Atoke, my heart is heavy dis morning, because whenever am in Abuja, i usually visit some family and friends around Nyanya/Karu axis and so frequent that bus park, i was just wondering that, it could have been me in that bomb blast….God, please expose these evil perpetrators and publicly disgrace them, may they have a shameless end, am just in tears.May the souls of the departed rest in perfect peace..

  17. Deedee

    April 14, 2014 at 12:32 pm

    *may they have a shameful end

  18. fifi

    April 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    Na soo,in nigeria u snitch u wud be arrested along with the people u r reporting, or be called a false witness and jailed.i pray for peace in our nation and I pray that those who don’t want us to have peace be purged out by Holy Ghost fire and die horrible deaths

  19. Limoges

    April 14, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    Hi everyone. National security is everyone’s business. We need to work on overcoming the fear of “what if” and make those reports…even if it is anonymously.

  20. mrs chidukane

    April 14, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    The reason people don’t talk is because they end up dead. A neighbor reported a neighborhood terrorist to the police and what happened? They informed the guy and he went to the man’s house and shot him dead. Policemen have been known to act as informants for kidnappers .My cousin was kidnapped with police guns.Nobody trusts the Nigerian police. In fact, they have been known to collaborate with highway robbers,im not reporting hearsay. They just want money,they are not remotely interested in their job. As for Jonathan, if he knows he doesn’t have the answer, he should import professionals who can contain these terrorists before Nigeria gets to Iraq level because it won’t be in anyone’s interest for that to happen.

    • b

      April 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm

      nobody in the world has the answer….only God does..everywhere in the world has their problems. America has not been able to solve the issue with guns. Malaysia is still battling with several other countries to find their missing aircrafts…and so on and so forth…me I dey tink say na God kingdom be the solution oh because this one pass all of us..abi no be true i talk?

  21. Fatimah

    April 14, 2014 at 1:50 pm

    Maybe if they dedicated an outfit to reporting suspicious activities anonymously like it was done back then in NAFDAC during Dora Akunyili’s tenure, it might work but with the current setup. Mba!

    I am sorry, I can’t call Nigerian Police that would come when the suspects have moved and then turn around to arrest me for false alarm, mbanu.

  22. Blessmyheart

    April 14, 2014 at 2:09 pm

    Thinking about the issues in Nigeria creates an unexplainable heaviness. RIP to those who lost their lives this morning. I’d rather not have any thing to do with the Nigerian police so reporting may be problematic. Please do we have avenue for anonymous tips? Even if we did, would anyone act on information provided?

  23. divea

    April 14, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    my day has been filled with sadness…i can’t help but weep. i can’t even concentrate at work as my mind still remembers. RIP to all those who lost their lives and condolences to those who lost their loved ones.

  24. El patron medellin cartel

    April 14, 2014 at 3:18 pm

    Omerta-code of silence! See nothing,hear nothing,speak nothing!

  25. Adaeze

    April 14, 2014 at 4:13 pm

    Today’s news is so sad. May the souls of all the faithful departed rest in perfect peace. Amen.

  26. chicadimples

    April 14, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Hmmmm Atoke my sister, I tire o.
    The pix I saw dis morning eh, chai I was just shouting ni, and pls dos who know these bombers should pls report them, this is getting out of hand.
    May their soul Rest In Peace!

  27. Bird's Eye

    April 15, 2014 at 4:59 am

    So much is going on everywhere but let’s all find positivity in everything. Let’s not worsen already bad situations by being down and depressed about them.

    Meanwhile years in Nigeria have made me scared to report. I feel like the people will come for me later. Does anyone have any advice for me?

  28. A snitch does so for reward. Tell the snitches they will be paid and they will sing.
    mytestimonys.blogspot.com/

  29. DOO

    April 16, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Thanks Atoke

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