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Monday 7 August 2017

Opinion On Ozubulu Massacre: How Much For A Memory Card? by Kainene CJ

You know the tragedy is not that they were so senselessly massacred. No! The real tragedy is that within 24 hours from now, we are going to forget all about them. We are going to erase every memory of them from our pitiful lives.

Within a week, their blood spilled all over the altar will be cleaned out. Within a week, shouts of Hallelujah (not the challenge this time) will spring from within the walls where they were mowed down. Within a week, we, 'the yet to be vanquished', will troop into this same church to sing in thanksgiving to God who alone saved our lives. We will give testimonies and, of course, pay the concomitant tithe. We will rub holy oil for divine protection and somehow, with an inexplicable confidence chorus; "untimely death is not our portion in Jesus name, Amen". Then to assuge ourselves of any lingering feelings of insecurity, we shall begin our pugilitic exercise where we fight with demons and spirit. We shall bind the spirit of death. Next, we shall cast and throw into River Niger every evil spirit that causes bullets to fly. Then, to make sure we have covered the field, we shall chain all the demons, including 'mammy water spirits'. "It's well, people of God".

Within a week, we will reduce their death into themes for political campaign. We will use their death to score cheap political points. Ahh! Are we not currently in an election season in Anambra state? Politicians will accuse their opponents. Governorship aspirants will milk every opportunity this tragedy provides.

Within a week, the Police will throw in their special magic. "The perpetrators will be caught", they will promise. "Ahh! The perpetrators have already been caught and will be charged to court soon", they now say. No, they were caught but they escaped from prison will be their final statement.

All these things will happen within a week. And then, we moved on completely. Completely healed. Absolutely forgotten; like it never happened. If there's still some lingering muffles, our government will throw in amnesty for the perpetrators. And with that, the mass is ended. Let us go in peace. Thanks be to God!

What happened to us? Why is it that crimes that so outrage people in other climes don't even shake us? How is it that we find it so easy to move on? What numbed our collective psyche? Why do we forgive and forget so easily even when no explanation nor apology has been offered? Why are we in a haste to banish the memory of any pain? Why don't we hold on to pains longer? Why are we so different from the people who protest for days because one black kid was wrongfully shot by a cop?

We lost over 3 million lives during the civil war and till date, there's not one monument which was built to remember these victims of war. What of those job seekers who died in the stampede at  Abuja stadium? Who remembers Nimbo, Agatu, Southern Kaduna? Ahh, it's well. Let us go in peace. Thanks be to God.

How is it that an omnipotent and benevolent God created Nigerians so short on memory? I mean, my Techno phone has a longer memory than we do. And it was made in China by the way.

You know, one of Thomas Aquinas' argument for the proof of God's existence (the quinque via) is that by merely looking at created things, one can inevitably deduce that they are all handiwork of an omnipotent and benevolent God. But looking at Nigerians, I do not believe we explain the existence of an omnipotent and benevolent God. Rather, we represent grave questions as to his existence. We make a belief in evolution (Darwinian survival of the fittest) more plausible.

For the dead.

What can I say to you? I pray that your loved ones will find the hope to carry on. Although Justice is a scarce resources here, I pray that they find the strength to pursue for justice. I pray that they do not forget nor forgive so easily. I pray that they treasure your memory longer than we keep those cheap brochures we use for  funerals.

I pray for you what I have always quietly wished for myself. I pray that you rest in peace. I do not pray for you, resurrection or ascension or even transfiguration that the Catholics celebrated today. No! I pray that you rest forever in peace.

That's what I wish for myself.

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