Civil war is anything but civil.
It interrupts life rudely: targets civilians on the way to school, to market, to worship.
The bombs are detonated by cowards in search of power, relevance, notoriety.
We think we know grief well enough, but we don’t. We think because he has called many times before, he will treat us like an old customer, offer us a discount on pain, but he doesn’t work that way.
Grief is a new monster every time.
So be ready each time the grim news come: brace yourself, roll with the pain. A branch breaks off the iroko of nation. It rustles to the ground. Grief is the spade with which we bury our pain.
Yet, what about Despair, Depression? Hopelessness? Anarchy? Blind Hatred?
They are excluded. It is our light that extinguishes the darkness of the enemy. When we mourn our national pain as one people it will not break us. And we retain our ability to fly above the quicksand and the snares of the evil in our midst. These negative emotions will fill our bones with lead. Those reactions enlist us in enemy’s forces. We reject them.
Do the murderers kill people who would never have died? No.
Therefore they are as irrelevant as flash floods, mudslides, and man-eating hyenas to the irresistible progress of humanity. And here lies the insignificance of these quislings whose courage is a bomb, who live in darkness, who boast an all powerful God but have to fight his battles as if he were an invalid, who preach love but kidnap and murder children: they have no heritage, unless it is the heritage of termites, whose fate is to eat our dead. The cumulative history of the human race has no record of Death. Only of Life. We raise our tombstones to our Dead Beloved, not to Death. When we look back a thousand years, we will gloss over the flash floods and the mudslides and the cowardly curs who yap at the heels of our doers, our makers, our inventors, our lovers, our nurturers. Our memorials are to those who Live, not to those who kill. Not to the murderers that hurry our loved ones to graveyards that are the destination of all humanity anyway.
So, the best memorial for our warriors who have fallen is to win the war in whose cause they fell. That is why we cannot entertain Despair, Depression, Hopelessness, Anarchy or Blind Hatred in the aftermath of the news of yet another civil bomb. The innocent blood of the thousands who have been murdered stipulate our common justice on their killers and their cause. Our attitude must be Resolution, not Despair. Engagement, not Indifference. We must wake up as from slumber. Here are the things we can and must do Immediately.
- Bridge our divisions with conversations rather than swords.
- Support and protect those (especially other civilians) at the frontline of this war. It may be their battle, but it is our war; we must encourage and equip them.
- Take the ‘war’ to the enemy and not live like battery hens eating and drinking, until their own day arrives.
- Recognise that the murderers who set off the bombs are merely ‘arms’, and so look for the rest of their anatomy, their enablers, financiers, and sympathisers who live among us and bring them all to justice.
- Connect the dots between our broken society and the break down of law and order it engenders, and grow the gumption to fix things.
- Recognise the impact that Systemic Corruption has on the battle-readiness of our Arsenal, the mettle of our fighting forces, the education of our children, the morale of our youth, and address the IMPORTANT issues of systemic change while tackling the URGENT issues of civil defence.
- Recognise that Generals who steal army budgets and cause frontier towns to fall from lack of equipment and citizens to be raped, killed and kidnapped, have as much blood on their hands as suicide bombers.
- Recognise that Ministers who steal education budgets thereby condemning unmentored children to a hopeless future have as much blood on their hands as the suicide bombers recruited from the ranks of those children.
- Recognise that as a ‘war’ within a body politic, the main weapons in this ‘civil war’ are not munitions, but the antibiotics of truth and justice, of transparency and the rule of law. What we defend is NOT our broken status quo, but our common humanity.
- Support the Bribe Code as a strategic solution to our Systemic Crisis of existence as a nation.
The new rapacity of death should give us a radical propensity to live, and to live more courageously. At last, our backs have found the wall. We must push back. Or die.
– Chuma Nwokolo