I’m glad that the siege is now finally over. And I pray that the souls of those who were killed may rest in peace. Amen. That said, during the whole siege (which started on Saturday), I saw so many tweets and Instagram posts from my fellow Nigerians being all shocked about what happened in Kenya. Even celebrities are on social media expressing utter shock about Kenya. People are saying things like, “Oh, how could this happen? ….” and “Please pray for Kenya …” and “I can’t believe what is happening in Kenya” … “I am shocked at Kenya” … “Na wa o, wonders shall never end” … “How did the gun men enter the mall?” … “I can’t believe all these people died” … What ….?!?!?!
Ehm, wasn’t it just a couple days before the violence in Kenya that almost 150 people were slaughtered on the highway in Borno State? Wasn’t it done by terrorists? In Nigeria? With about double the casualties as that in Kenya? And hasn’t this been going on in Nigeria for years with no resolution? How then is it shocking to Nigerians that a thing like this could happen when it is our everyday reality in the country we call home? Oh, wait. The North isn’t technically part of Nigeria? It’ll never happen in Lagos (because Lagos is the only part of Nigeria that is Nigeria)? Once upon a time, we never thought that a terrorist attack could happen in Nigeria either. After all, Nigerians like chopping life. They don’t want to die, especially just to make a point. Never. I remember after 9/11, we had so many jokes about why 9/11 can never, ever happen in Nigeria.
It’s not at all that I don’t feel sadness or sympathy over the violence in Kenya. Anywhere and any time people are killed – whether it’s one person or ten thousand people – it’s sad and unfortunate. And while I wish I had the power to make all this violence stop and make world peace happen instead, I just can’t. Only one person can. And for reasons best known to Him alone, He’s not doing it. But I am shocked that Nigerians are shocked at the violence in Kenya. I liken it to quadruplets being shocked that twins can happen. See where I’m going with this?
I know the many problems of Nigeria, but I’d be lying if I told you that I have the solutions. The problems of my country are a battle between the chicken and the egg: who came first? Which problem caused the other problem? Which problem is a result of the other problem? And which problem is a direct correlation to the other problem? Which one should we fix first, and how should we go about it? Should we fix people’s way of thinking first? How can we change the mind of a hungry man? Shall we then provide food first? But wouldn’t it be better to give him a means to find food? Then we start with jobs instead? But employers need a thriving environment to hire and pay employees. How can they pay employees well when 50% of their profit goes into buying and maintaining their generator? Will employers not need investors? And will investors not need a safe place? So we’ll need to eradicate armed robbery and Boko Haram. But armed robbers are jobless people, so we must first provide them with a job.
And who will stop Boko Haram? You or me?