By: John Eriomala
It is Sunday in Nigeria. Well, it was Sunday in Nigeria. Today is Monday, the 6th of June, 2022 and it’s been over twelve hours since Owo happened.
No details. You know. You watched a video or read a news report. You saw tweets from witnesses and observed them in real-time from a location within the boundaries of this contraption called Nigeria. And even if you were outside, you felt it.
The numbness that accompanies every ‘breaking news. Feeling nothing because despite all you can see your brain simply refuses to process the carnage. In a sane world, you should be in shock for quite a while; struggling to come to terms with the reality of such violence. But this is not a sane world. This is Nigeria and this is not the 100th of such attack that you know of.
And so you felt pain. Pain because you’re human. Pain because they shouldn’t have lost their lives. Pain because it’s not even sad at this point; it’s sorrowful. Pain for the losses that will never be recovered.
You felt anger. Well, you’re Nigerian so you feel this every day; but it’s different this time. You know that nothing will be done to apprehend these monsters. That the Government is complicit and that lives and properties are merely numbers for their electioneering and campaigns.
For some, it’s anger towards heaven because it happened in a place of His worship. Bile rises to your throat as you wonder why One who is everywhere, who sees everything, did nothing.
Disgust. You can’t help but feel disgusted. Towards the idiots who think this is the right time to preach the gospel of relocation. Towards those who remind you for the umpteenth time that these killers are everywhere but hidden, biding their time. Disgusted by media outlets who choose to coat news with lies; respect for the dead? No, not in their modus operandi.
Also, fear; but you don’t feel it, you live in it. You’re Nigerian so you go out daily having it in mind that today could be ‘it’ and that ‘it’ could happen in any way. You’re afraid for the safety of your family. For your uncle in Benue. Your cousin who is a youth corper serving in Kaduna. Your mother who has to shuttle between Lagos and Ibadan weekly; passing by swathes of possibly inhabited forests.
Afraid because the wrong statement could get you burnt with a tyre on your neck while the mob shouts for blood. But then, the fears written here barely even scratch the surface.
There’s more to this. There’s despair. Confusion. Doubt. Weariness. Dejection.
There’s more. There are emotions so dark that words do not and should not even exist for them. How do you describe the heart of the dear Mama who held her granddaughter’s lifeless body? Her granddaughter. Pure white gown soaked in blood as Mama held her. Argh!
As for hope, courage, and the rest; they might be felt soon. For some, it’s all that can be held on to for the sake of their sanity. All they have left as they watch this country ‘happen’ to them.
It was Sunday in Nigeria. To be honest, it is still Sunday in Nigeria. A day of bloodshed, loss, and nothingness. May the souls of the departed rest in peace.