Someone may be wondering if this title isn’t quite behind time, given that many already believe the world has been in a whirlwind romance with chaos for a while now. But like we say in some parts of Nigeria, there are levels of madness. There’s the infantile stage where the presumed mad one has only just begun to manifest the symptoms of possessing a few “loose nuts” by way of acting strange, saying things that are off topic or laughing for no reason…you get the drift. There’s the stage where they have been certified crazy, but are still deemed manageable by family and friends. Each time their condition gets a little out of hand, their relatives are quick to get them to the psychiatric hospital to see a doctor, who manages them until all is well again. At least for a while. And there is the stage, where they are undoubtedly mentally deranged. In local parlance. we say “they have “entered market.” Dear reader, the world has entered market.
When one person decides to play God by taking the lives of people who have done him no wrong, but irritate him to no end nonetheless because they are of a different sexual orientation then the situation calls for great concern. The most horrific mass shooting ever recorded in America, carried by a 29-year old is far from what can be considered normal. This ugly trend didn’t start recently. Over the last couple of years, there have been countless senseless killings in the United States, as well as many parts of the world for the flimsiest of reasons. If a person doesn’t like the way another walks, they whip out a handgun and send them to the great beyond. If a teenager is black and burly looking, he does not deserve to live. He should be shot dead, as his stature alone poses a threat to others.
Before we raise our arms in righteous indignation and swear that such a thing can never happen here in Nigeria, I would like to say that even though we are certainly not at par with a country like the USA in terms of killings by the gun, we aren’t as far behind as we would like to believe. The indiscriminate murders carried out here may not have been done via a pistol, but killings are killings regardless. And whether it is by the gun, bombs or machetes, the fact remains that innocent blood is shed due to sheer intolerance. In the last two weeks, we have had two separate cases of people killing or attempting to kill for the heck of it.
First, it was 74- year old Bridget Agbahime who was brutalised and subsequently killed by a member of a mob in Kano as a consequence of being involved in an altercation with a neighbour. Barely a week after, a carpenter in Kaduna almost lost an eye and was only lucky to survive by the skin of his teeth when he was attacked by some youths for having the effrontery to eat (even though he is not a Muslim) during Ramadan. In both cases, utterly baseless and preposterous reasons for cutting or attempting to cut another human’s life short.
The world has gone stark, raving mad. A presidential candidate staunchly defends his position on barring Muslims from entering the United States as a panacea to terrorist attacks because of a few Islamic extremists. A governor in the most populous black nation in the world decides that the best way to respond to the yearnings of the civil servants in his state who have not been paid for several months and understandably embarked on a strike action to press home their demands was for him to go on strike too. Someone who campaigned to be elected. It’s amazing. And just when one thought they could not hear of any more absurdities, it was ruled by the Supreme court in Canada that humans can now legally engage in most sexual acts with pets.
In this part of the world, the economy is in shambles. There are job losses daily and it seems like the pressure is not only getting to us, but is also succeeding in bringing out the worst in us. Domestic violence and murders resulting from domestic violence are on the rise. Rape, incest, and all forms of sexual abuse have become daily occurrences such that we are even beginning to feel less incensed by them. A man resolves that the best way to deal with unrequited love is by stabbing the stupid girl who’s to blind to see that he’s quite the catch.
Somewhere in the middle belt, some cattle-driving-humans believe they are well within their rights to invade a random person’s farmland to feed their livestock and if he so much as dares to question the rationale behind their action, then it means he is ready to pay an early visit to his forefathers, and not only will he be brutally killed, his family and properties will also be wiped off the face of the earth. In a country that is supposed to be governed by rule of law.
It’s the age of rage in many parts of the world. Seemingly normal people are doing the unthinkable everyday. While government takes poor decisions even when these unfortunate incidents occur. In Nigeria, the continued unlawful detention of the leader of the Shiites group, Ibraheem Zakzaky who has been held for six months now without trial beats the imagination in what is supposed to be a democracy.
More than ever before, religious and racial discrimination in particular threaten to tear whatever is left of our collective humanity apart. To make matters worse, good people and icons who represent a positive symbol have been dying in an alarming rate, leaving the rest of us reeling from the shock of these serial deaths. It’s really a hard one to swallow at the moment.
The only way forward is to raise a generation who are daily inculcated with the values of respect for differing opinions and lifestyles, selflessness, kindness and tolerance, especially with respect to religion, tribe and race, as all hope may be lost for this present generation. A continued departure from the good old values will only ensure that things get worse than they are already.
The world is getting crazier by the day. If there was ever a time for some deep introspection, it is now. It’s everyone’s responsibility to salvage any shred of humanity we have left and build from there. Else, like the boomerang, the matters that we ignore today will come back to haunt us.
P.S: Anyone who’s been following the story of the Orlando shootings must have observed that all the victims have been identified and a narrative written on them. They have been treated as not just a statistic but flesh and blood who were cut in their prime. Our media can learn a lesson or two from this.