By Alaba Yusuf
“Terrorism in our country has risen to the point of gross insanity”
– David Bonaventure Mark, President, Nigeria’s Senate, March 2014.
It is time for an epic picture; a true life movie of a land where dogs eat dogs. Please assemble the crew, craft the location, share the script, drape in chilling costumes, roll the cameras and get ready for action! What have you captured as the producer or director? A horror scene indeed! This is the making of a real-life house of horror series: ‘Nigeria as a land of Hannibal the Cannibal’ So saddening that our cherished fatherland, where good neighbourliness and African hospitality were natural factors, is fast becoming a slaughter slab where bloods of the innocent are spilled with reckless abandon and lack of remorse. Now, from North to South, our people have raised the bar of killing for sport, which wild animals don’t even practice! Who will return sanity back to our common humanity?
Remember the award-winning horror film ‘Silence of the Lambs’ had an infamous chilling quote ‘i ate his liver with fava beans and chiani.’ The odd movie derived from the man-eating habits of a serial killer doctor, Hannibal Leicter, an insane psychiatrist jailed for life in a Mexican prison in the 1960s. Till date cannibalism, the odd mannerism of man eating man’s flesh is condemnable and abominable in most societies. Life is so sacred that any incident of cannibalism is seen as an act of pure insanity.
Some years past, a lunatic personality called Clifford Orji was openly condemned and jailed for life for killing and feeding on human flesh in the Ajegunle axis of Lagos. It was a gory story that nobody wishes to see or hear of again. Hence, it is highly disturbing to open the latest horror pages in Nigerian history. It is no longer rumours, that starving Boko Haram insurgents do result to killing, roasting and feasting on the bodies of their unfortunate victims! War time exigency you may want to call this. Even at that, cruelty and life-threatening anti-societal behaviour of any kind tantamounts to a form of insanity.
Recently, in Ibadan Oyo State, the nation found to her greatest chagrin a forest of dead bodies, cringing bones and wandering souls. This level of insanity was heightened when the ownership of the evil forest was linked to kidnappers, ritual killers and human parts dealers! How and why? An altar of insanity.
And just before you could shut your gaping mouth in wonderment, words also came of the arrest of three ‘insane’ fellows who have made the under-bridge in Ibadan their residence. Oh helpless and hapless homeless folks you may think. There you are totally wrong. One of the men was actually a merchant of death. He had 26 human tongues in the carrier bag in his custody. The famous under-bridge was only his showroom and feigning insanity was the decoying advertisement for his illicit trade. Are we more than dogs now? That is mega insanity.
Closely following this horrific scene, was the chopping off of the penis of a 5-year-old boy in Lagos by unknown voodoo practitioners who left the poor boy to nearly bleed to death, lest for the quick intervention of medics!
Now come to the North Central Zone of Kogi State, where in Okene, a self-confessed political thug infamously called Ojobo agreed to have shot, cut off the head of his adversary and dumped the rest of his body in a shallow grave while he fled to the Rivers State capital of Port Harcourt, before the long strong claws of the law fetched him for trial. Having been led to the crime scene by the police, Ojobo told the world on live television, holding the victim’s skull, that ‘I killed him to save my life because he was a threat to me.’ This is insanity in capital letters!
And as if to outdo the other in the zone, Benue State has currently become the nation’s bastion for criminality and murderous banality. There Fulani and Tiv bloods rain down the drains of Benue River, as herdsmen and agrarian farmers shoot, dagger and strangle one another for hegemonic ascendancy and supremacy. At the peak of it, tens of hundreds of lives and property have been shown the hurried path to extinction. The State Governor, Gabriel Suswam’s convoy was once shot at. Same fate recently befell the Senate President, David Bonaventure Mark, a retired army general. Out of deep frustration, the country’s number three citizen reportedly concluded, that: ‘terrorism in Nigeria has reached the point of gross insanity.’ Coming from a class character in warfare and peace-time diplomacy, we ought to mark Mark’s loaded statement.
Amidst all these, the magnificent edifice that housed the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, in Lagos, was engulfed in fire less than 72 hours when a public probe of the activities of the apex bank and its directors commenced. Call it economic insanity.
Meanwhile Abba Moro, the Minister of Interior, under whose misguidance over half a million job seekers were packed like sardine in stadia for non-existent vacancies that led to the death of a score, was believed to have said: ‘what happened is now history, I need a second chance to learn from it.’ A foolish talk! Name it ministerial communication insanity.
Same goes for the unrepentant flamboyant Petroleum Minister, diehard Diezani Alison-Madueke, who in avoidance of a proper liaison with public reasoning on why herself or the NNPC where she’s Lord of the Manor chose to dole out the ‘paltry sum’ of N10billion within 36 months on junketing around the world both for business and pleasure in luxurious airplanes. Her response, as reported, is that government should withdraw subsidy in the downstream sector of the oil industry. Does that answer the question thrown at her by the Senator Makarfi Committee on why she spends funds not appropriated for in the country’s budget, and how she wishes to sustain the subsidy on kerosene which nobody has been able to buy at the ‘official rate’ of N50 naira per litre? These are seismic plates of overstretched insanity.
Finally, how long can our country bear this heavy burden of self-imposed brutality and insane finger on the trigger for self immolation? Is something intrinsically wrong with our mentality? And is it true that the Black man hardly understands the world? Meanwhile, our hearts should sink in compassion and commiseration with the 239 souls that perished with the Malaysian plane in the deep of the Indian Ocean! May their souls find repose and may our world find peace. Let us all, therefore, fish for solutions and communicate habits and activities that will lead us back to the path of sanity for humanity.
The Writer, Alaba Yusuf, is an international publicist/journalist, strategist and commentator based in Abuja