Many things had constrained me from writing for a long time, and as I sit back and observe life, especially as lived in my nation, I learn a lot. In these days of massive killings and murder of human lives for one reason or the other, I feel compelled to address (not the current leaders of the nation, because I know they will not hear me, but) the future leaders of tomorrow in this Nation (if there be any future).
I will still speak personally to individual hearts of Nigerians, maybe in a subsequent post, but may I use this opportunity to say to you. Be calm in your soul, God is on the throne. I may not stop you from being agitated concerning the things happening in this nation. I am too, and I hope that as the election year approaches (if God permits us), I may be more vocal in calling out the massive range of injustice, insensitivity and wickedness in our land, especially our current leaders.
However, there is one thing that bothers me in this nation, especially concerning our current leaders (though it has been so in the past seasons in the soul of Nigeria), there is no respect, honour and regards for the sanctity of human lives. There are bad people in this land (and there will always be) who do not see anything in taking the lives of others in cold blood. It happens everywhere- USA, Europe, Arab, Asia, etc. No country is exempt from such breed of wicked men who can easily life up a destructive weapon and take the lives of their fellow men- provoked or not provoked. So, the issue of men getting killed is not the point- no security arrangement can totally stop that (because it has its root in the wicked heart of man).
However, as inevitable as murder of human lives may be, every sensible human government on the face the earth, ought to have as its official policy- the sanctity of the lives of its citizens. This makes sensible nations go out of their way to protect their citizens, even those who are abroad in other lands. However, here in Africa, and especially in Nigeria, the reverse is the case. We have got so used to men being killed, that our government no longer cares. Just like we have the case now of many people killed by Fulani herdsmen in Benue, and all the president is interested in is those giving perceived “hate speeches”, and the need to accommodate herdsmen.
See, no amount of provocation from any man warrants the taking of lives. One human life is worth more than a thousand cattle. The government of this nation ought to be clear about that. We do not care for cattle as much as we do for humans. That will be an anomaly. Even if someone rustled your cattle, look for legal means to seek redress, but that does not give you any right whatsoever to take any man’s life. Every man is precious, with God’s breath inside him/her. It does not matter the religion, ethnicity, class, etc., every life is precious, and must be treated as such.
That you insulted my religion those not give me the right to kill you. I do not understand it when people get killed for religious reasons, and the government in power is only telling people to be careful how they speak on religion. There is freedom to speak for Christ’s sake! The most important personality in my life is Jesus of Nazareth. He is my Lord, my King, my Saviour and my All, yet, I do not have the right to kill you because you insulted him, or did a derogatory cartoon on him. Even He will send me to hell for doing that.
There is no reason, I repeat no reason to take any man’s life. But the current government seems to find reasons to ‘understand’ the plight of those who kill others. What is the meaning of that? Now the government is talking about hate speeches. What hate speeches? Telling people to defend themselves in the face of any attack from any people, knowing fully well that the government will not do anything to help them, is that hate speech? Should people just die for nothing, when those avowed to make the nation safe are not doing anything about it. See, we all know that you cannot control everybody in the nation, but once any report is made of lives killed, at least the government should show concern. They should cut off every other engagement (national and international) and pay a visit; they should get angry, they should fume, they should breath fire and brimstone. Even if at the end they could not do much, at least let people know that your government stand strongly against the killing of lives.
I am pressed to remind us again- EVERY LIFE IS PRECIOUS; and this should be the official stand of every nation’s government concerning its citizens home and abroad. I pray that God will help our current government to rise above ethnic sentiments and do the right thing. I pray they should be more vocal, and speak out more against these things. These Fulani herdsmen has no justification, whatsoever, to take the lives of others, and we must be clear and unequivocal about that; otherwise, we are tilting this nation to the brink of war; as people may begin to take laws into their hands to defend themselves.
GOD BLESS NIGERIA.
IN HOPE OF ETERNAL LIFE
J. M. OBODOZIE