Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The menace of the Boko Haram terror

Question for all Nigerians:
Who is safe from the terror of Boko Haram??
A Southerner? A Northerner? A Christian? A Muslim? A traditional worshipper? A soldier? A child? An adult? A student? Market women?
Here is a post written in honour of one of the victims of the Bomb blast at the Jos terminal market which happened on the 20th of May 2014.

One of the victims of last Tuesday’s twin bomb blasts at the Terminal Market, Jos, Plateau State, Lydia Komolafe, had in weeks preceding her untimely death lamented the incessant loss of lives to the Boko Haram insurgency. This she did in a series of tweets.

On May 19, two days before the Tuesday attack, Komolafe prayed for a brighter and rewarding week. This was expressed in the post she penned on her Twitter page which read, “This week, I shall be satisfied with favour.”

Sadly, this was not to be as Komolafe was one of the seven students of the Medical Laboratory Science Department of the University of Jos, who lost their lives in the bombing.

Meanwhile, a cursory look at her Twitter timeline and the activities therein revealed that she was indeed philosophical as she was clearly not apolitical, as evident in her posts.

In some other tweets, the late undergraduate spoke as she had the slightest premonition that she may become a victim, herself.

She posed a rhetorical question in a tweet, “Hmm, now we don’t know if our parents or siblings are safe in the park, church, mosque, market, and schools. The airports are not left out. I forgot, Aso Rock, isn’t left out either.

“They (Boko Haram) go wherever they want! It’s a fight against Nigeria, and Nigerians are helpless. Because they didn’t curb it at first, terrorism has grown so wild!,”

She also enjoined Nigerians against the belief that insurgency is only a “northern problem.”

At various times, the late Komolafe indicted the Federal Government for allowing the insurgency to fester and expressed concerns that Nigerians were no longer safe in motor parks.

For instance, when a second bomb went off in Nyanya, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, on May 1, Komolafe, expressed deep concerns over the violence and called for prayers to end the extremism.

Her tweet at the time read, “Pray for Nigeria, Nigerians can’t sleep! We are not even secured in the midst of road blocks! This has got to stop!! Who’s going to be our ‘Avatar’ in this nation?”

Arguing that terrorism had indeed “grown so wild” in Nigeria as it had become a daily occurrence, Komolafe accused the Federal Government of playing the ethnic and political card with the insurgency from the outset.

Her thought-provoking tweets in this regard read, “They ignored the red flag for terrorism when it started earlier in Jos and Kaduna. Nobody cared. They called it all kind of names. They called it religion, ethnic, political. We suffered in silence. They shut us up! Now it’s coming closer ‘home,’ the seat of government and everyone is crying wolf!

“If only we had curbed it earlier! They left it to our governors to fight it; they brought soldiers who molested us! Nobody cared! I’m not being insensitive; I’m just saying if we had saved the cup of milk from falling, we wouldn’t have been worrying about the spill now.”

Komolafe urged Nigerians to refrain from actions and inactions capable of brewing acts of terrorism. Treating members of other religions, ethnic and political groups, she argued, was capable of breeding terrorist actions.

“Boko Haram started like a joke, we prayed, cast and bound, we did nothing! The citizens kept pointing fingers at the government! Calling it different things! We thought it will vanish. Or maybe, since it started in the north it would remain there. As long as it didn’t go down south, they didn’t care.

“They tagged it a northern syndrome. Little did they know that it wasn’t going to be restricted for long! Today there’s a blast, tomorrow nobody cares. Fighting terrorism isn’t only for the government, it’s for us too! What we say, what we preach how we live, reflects if we are terrorists or not,” another post read.

Komolafe, who was a passionate fan of Chelsea Football Club of London, during her life-time also lent a voice to the ongoing global campaign demanding the release of the abducted Chibok girls.

“With one voice, let’s speak against terrorism. I’m not calling for protests or any of that sort! The moment you hold hate in your heart, you’re giving room to hateful thoughts that could lead to terrorism. Nigeria will get past all this! So help us God!”

Often, she expressed her thoughts and views with the hashtag, #BringBackOurGirls.

Her words, “Nobody should be punished for going to school! There’s no basis to this kidnap! Our hearts are bleeding. Please bring them alive! May the angels protect them wherever they may be.”

Meanwhile, tributes have been pouring in for the late student. One of her close friends, Zion Abiodun, described her as a “Yoruba girl who loved the North like anything.”

“I am trying to stop the tears, but it’s difficult. I have never cried for anyone this much, just can’t hold the tears. I need to wake up from this dream,” Abiodun added in a tribute to her on Twitter.

Culled from the facebook timeline of Temidayo Ahanmisi (Via Oluwamuyiwa Mayor Adesua)

Monday, May 19, 2014

Charlie Chaplin: The Great Dictator's Speech

This speech wasn't made by a world politician or leader but by comic actor Charlie Chaplin. Spoken in the film 'The Great Dictator' which was released in 1940 as an anti-Nazi comedy. The content of the speech is still as compelling today as it was 74 years ago.

The Speech
I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be an emperor. That’s not my business. I don’t want to rule or conquer anyone. I should like to help everyone - if possible - Jew, Gentile - black man - white. We all want to help one another. Human beings are like that. We want to live by each other’s happiness - not by each other's misery. We don’t want to hate and despise one another. In this world there is room for everyone. And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.

Greed has poisoned men’s souls, has barricaded the world with hate, has goose-stepped us into misery and bloodshed. We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost....

The aeroplane and the radio have brought us closer together. The very nature of these inventions cries out for the goodness in men - cries out for universal brotherhood - for the unity of us all. Even now my voice is reaching millions throughout the world - millions of despairing men, women, and little children - victims of a system that makes men torture and imprison innocent people.

To those who can hear me, I say - do not despair. The misery that is now upon us is but the passing of greed - the bitterness of men who fear the way of human progress. The hate of men will pass, and dictators die, and the power they took from the people will return to the people. And so long as men die, liberty will never perish. .....
Soldiers! don’t give yourselves to brutes - men who despise you - enslave you - who regiment your lives - tell you what to do - what to think and what to feel! Who drill you - diet you - treat you like cattle, use you as cannon fodder. Don’t give yourselves to these unnatural men - machine men with machine minds and machine hearts! You are not machines! You are not cattle! You are men! You have the love of humanity in your hearts! You don’t hate! Only the unloved hate - the unloved and the unnatural! Soldiers! Don’t fight for slavery! Fight for liberty!

In the 17th Chapter of St Luke it is written: “the Kingdom of God is within man” - not one man nor a group of men, but in all men! In you! You, the people have the power - the power to create machines. The power to create happiness! You, the people, have the power to make this life free and beautiful, to make this life a wonderful adventure.

Then - in the name of democracy - let us use that power - let us all unite. Let us fight for a new world - a decent world that will give men a chance to work - that will give youth a future and old age a security. By the promise of these things, brutes have risen to power. But they lie! They do not fulfil that promise. They never will!

Dictators free themselves but they enslave the people! Now let us fight to fulfil that promise! Let us fight to free the world - to do away with national barriers - to do away with greed, with hate and intolerance. Let us fight for a world of reason, a world where science and progress will lead to all men’s happiness. Soldiers! in the name of democracy, let us all unite!