The Horrors from Jos

Adeola Aderounmu

I have seen images of the recent mayhem in Jos. Children were slaughtered like goats. Women were pierced and chopped into pieces. Men and their families were massacred without mercy. I don’t know the animals that carried out the massacres but those slaughtered were Christians. It’s easy to infer that they were killed by irate Muslim mobs.

Shame of a failed nation

Nigerians and the world at large are now used to these scenarios of religious riots and counter-riots especially in Northern Nigeria. Jos is the capital of Plateau State in the middle belt region of Nigeria. But it is a little bit tilted to the north.

The riots that took place over the weekend of 6-7th march is definitely not going to be the last of it. There are reports of tension and likely retaliation from the affected group. Let us not forget that the Christians defended themselves the last time they were attacked early this year. As a matter of fact their assailants were shocked by the defense mechanisms that the Christians put up, even in holy places of worship.

This would explain the nature of the recent attack which came as a surprise and the Christians were defenseless. But how long will this mice and cats games continue? How long? What is the origin of these crises? What has the governor of Plateau state done to end the crises? What is he doing on short and long term bases?

The Map of Nigeria

Some of us have argued that Nigeria is a failed country. We have been labeled as unpatriotic. But how does one reconcile the killing of innocent children and women in Jos with the pretension that Nigeria is not a failed country? It’s hard, isn’t it?

Nigeria is a complex country. The recent madness in Jos has heightened the call for the segregation of the country. But we must not forget that our country is not only complex but interwoven. There will not be any easy way out of the dilemma that was imposed on us by the British amalgamation of 1914 when Northern Nigeria was merged with Southern Nigeria. There will not be any easy way out of the message brought by the missionaries from the south and the jihadist from the north. Nigeria is a melting point for political, cultural, religious, and social disorientation and disasters. How we manage to survive together for so long is an additional mystery.

Nigeria may never know peace as a united country. It will be difficult to find political solutions to the country falsely called Nigeria. Nevertheless these aberrations do by any means not justify the stupidity and madness that has been displayed in Nigerian political and public spaces.

Nigerian politicians ranked among the worst in the world. They are corrupt, wicked and clothed in absurdities. They almost have no sense and no direction in their thinking. The significant thing with being a Nigerian politician is to be cunning and crafty with looting of public funds, and to be a genius with falsification of contract sums and other things they allow them to rip the national treasury one way or the other. This has been going on for 50 years, unabated!

Hence the country went on a free fall. Nigerian went from being the best place to live in Africa to one of the worst places in the world. In Nigeria today electricity generation is nearly 0%. Is there a worse place on earth? I am still trying to figure out if there is any where on earth where electricity generation is nearly 0%. If there is none, then Nigeria is probably the worst place to live in, Somalia apart. I mean what is life without the uninterrupted supply of electricity?

If I was the president or acting president of Nigeria, I will move my office to Jos for at least one week. I will take over the position of the governor, literarily. I will make consultations with the people and be among them. I will try to find out the root cause of the Jos riots. I will never set up any useless committee or delegation or fact finding committees. I will be on the field and find out the nature of the problems. In fact I will ask the people, how can we help you, how can we solve these problems? I believe that anything short of this approach will not solve the problem. Many more lives will be lost and the country will sink deeper into man-made depressions.

But in Nigeria the acting or whatever president will be busy with contracts, oil rigs, future election manipulations and self preservation. Nigerian politicians acts in senseless manners and they have no idea what public service entails. Sometimes I wonder if their brains sublimed the moment they get into office by their violent and dubious acts.

I’m trying to love Nigeria but I’m perplexed and honestly speaking I’m also confused. We give an impression to the world that we are uncivilized whereas we are not. In Nigeria and abroad we have millions of Nigerians who are brainers, geniuses and trailblazers in different fields and endeavors of life. Across the world we continue to mentor people, children and even in some cases there are Nigerians mentoring a whole community of people.

But the question is, where is this pool of intelligence where and when it is most needed? Why is the quality of our lives in Nigeria below acceptable international standards? From Nigeria, why is our image that of corruption, massacres, barbaric acts, poverty, no electricity, no economic prowess, no employment and all types of vices you can think of including armed robbery and kidnapping? I am a frustrated Nigerian. I don’t like how the events in Nigeria are affecting the way people are looking at me and my compatriots on foreign lands. Sometimes you can see in their looks-why don’t these “fools” go home and fix their country?

The point is there are millions of Nigerians living in Nigeria who know what to do about the problems in Nigeria. But like the rest of us, they have allowed the violent and ruthless people to take over governance. Sometimes several people with good intentions get into government and they soon join the bandwagon of looters. They suddenly forget the sons and daughters of whom they are and they begin to acquire wealth illegally! They forget their roots and add to the loads of problems. It is called the Nigerian mentality.

So where and what is our hope. Will there come a time when good people will show good traits in public service? Will this country by salvaged? By who? A messiah? Will Nigeria ever know peace, progress and true development? Will there come a time when rulers will be replaced by leaders with visions? What is the way out of the Nigerian dilemma?

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3 thoughts on “The Horrors from Jos

  1. Wow, what a great post, thank you.

    With regards to the latest episode of tragedy to befall

    Plateau state (as we all know it’s not solely confined to

    Plateau state).

    I have to remark, how is it that people in influential

    positions are allowed to abuse their posts and encourage the

    masses into evil and destructive behaviour. Why is this

    unchecked? They offer no solution, they just preach hate.

    They may use the guise of religion, but religion is just a

    paper-thin mask for the hatred that festers within them.

    As regards this indigene, non-indigene issue. That is only a

    superficial answer to the problem. The crux of the matter

    hinges on two key things:
    1) The equitable distribution of resources, based on tangible

    and sensible criteria.
    2) A lowering of the emphasis on labelling people based on

    their religion and ethnicity.

    I can only think of a handful of other countries where this

    division was so blatant as is the case in Nigeria. They are

    the US, South Africa and Malaysia. The US and Malaysia have

    at least demonstrated that the authorities now are able to

    check this insanity and not let it get out of hand. South

    Africa they are slowly emerging from it, after a long period

    of apartheid, so there case is more understandable.

    There is nothing wrong in people being different. But in

    Nigeria this has become distorted into an ugly monster. This

    coupled with a disfunctional bureaucracy and a generally

    corrupt society, has resulted in people using difference as

    cover to deny others their rights, so as to secure something

    for themselves.

    Any position in Nigeria one occupies, the first thing people

    will say, he’s a “so and so” man (or woman), from “so and so

    ” place.

    As if this automatically governs who they are and what they

    can do. Not only is this bad enough, but now many people

    think that because they are from a particular location, they

    will behave according to the popular notion. Thus fulfilling

    the negative expectation.

    If this was such a “superior” mode of operation, why hasn’t

    any progressive country adopted this thinking? The reason, is

    because it’s a negative and self-destructive way of

    operating.

    This is the culture that is now pervasive throughout Nigeria,

    and we can witness the results it has brought.

    Until this is replaced with a more enlightened, inclusive and

    progressive culture. Nigeria will continue to descend to the

    bottom of humanity, or may even pioneer to what new depths

    humanity can sink to.

    It is particularly disheartening, as a famous African-

    American by the name of Martin Luther King, wanted future

    generations to be judged not by the colour of their skin but

    by the content of their character.

    This has no resonance with the people of Nigeria, today,

    character counts for nothing, it’s the superficial labels of

    ethnicity and religion that hold sway, regardless of your

    ability. And we are questioning why the country is moving in

    the wrong direction.

    There are more points I’d like to respond to, but I will

    leave that to another post.

  2. Letter to Adeola Aderounmu: Re Images
    Writing and lamenting our county atrocious acts of the North is not going to help the country if not asking for help.

    The Hausas that I used to know in the 50s’ are cow and goat breeders, spiting in the public with no class, guarding houses for the Yorubas and the Ibos and begging on Lagos streets. I see nothing wrong in bringing themselves up to standard but killing innocent people is totally madness.

    “I have seen images of the recent mayhem in Jos. Children were slaughtered like goats. Women were pierced and chopped into pieces. Men and their families were massacred without mercy. I don’t know the animals that carried out the massacres but those slaughtered were Christians.”

    Surely, the massacre would not be the last. However, we must understand that “awa Yoruba la pe ole ko waja awa la pe oni hun ko wa mu” If you do find this not understandable please re access Awolowo’s history. This goes back to Awolowo refusing to side with the Ibos (not that I found the Ibos to be of better race however, things would not have resulted in this manner. There are some decent Ibos then aside from “some of the none entities we are witnessing today boisterous and undisciplined). Before the Biafra war, Ojukwu met with Awolowo the profound rumor was for them to unite. Nevertheless, Awolowo was obstinate, wanting to be the President e would never be, calling himself the mentor and the Father/leader of the “Yorubas;” definitely not mine. Mind you, little drops of rain makes a mighty ocean. What am saying is that the mayhem of the Christians is not the beginning or the end of the calamities that is to befall Nigeria, mark my words the Hausa’s after a while would turn on the Yorubas and the Ibos. If you think, the 70s’ is the end of Nigerian Ibos and Hausa you must be dreaming. The sons of the Arabs who kidnapped the Ibos and the Yorubas for slavery are still in Nigeria until they are rooted out there will be no peace in that country. They are the sons and daughters of world killers, bombing and killing innocent people around the world, using Jihad and Allah to commit penury and disorderly selfish acts to the world.

    Next, the killing of innocent people is not mice and cats game it is “murder” and the initiators needs been punished, have not said these do I think that would happen? NO!

    Why? Because we have sold ourselves surplus to the Barbaric and we can never repay them enough unless we do something drastic.

    I am sure the Governor likes every minute the Christians are killed and as such he would do nothing I would be surprised if he is not Muslim.

    I have closed my bearings eyes and the pity of Nigeria because both at home and abroad most of us are thieves. I wonder if we have the fathers and mothers that we want to protect their names. We are never in contempt of what we have but, to waywardly add more through stealing, and often could careless what the aftermath may bring.

    . “There will not be any easy way out of the dilemma that was imposed on us by the British amalgamation of 1914 when Northern Nigeria was merged with Southern Nigeria. There will not be any easy way out of the message brought by the missionaries from the south and the jihadist from the north.”

    We often placed our problems on the foreigners and their atrocities. Come on! We need to stop. The Britons and all other Europeans have been gone, what have we done to improve the country but for the leaders to steal, loath and forcefully apprehend what is not theirs, the truth is Nigeria like any other African Country is the architect of its own failure.

    I do not see any Nigeria from abroad helping that country but those in Nigeria. Those that have been the part, past and present particles of the country to beg overseas for help or they are in for more killings, they need to begin fighting their war.
    DEAL WITH YOUR HOME BEFORE SOMEONE ELSE WOULD BE WILLING TO HELP YOU.

    I am sure in a very close future Nigeria will be worse than Darfur, Sudan. Be forewarned.

  3. We need to cry out, how on earth can a baby be burnt like that, that person is heartless. God help us.

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