We are the same.?

The sight of blood used to make her queasy, And then yesterday, there was a picture on Facebook of dead, mangled bodies, blood splattered everywhere, insides all out like an animal to be cleaned.

And she lingered, and looked and examined the picture, from all angles, and she didn’t feel queasy, or sick, or irritated.

She felt satisfaction.

They were Boko-haram.
They kill hundreds, and thousands of people and enjoy it and feel satisfaction.

So, is she really different from them?

Or is that the point?
Do they essentially just want to turn us all into insane blood-craving vampires? If that’s the case, then someone should tell them its done, we’re there now. We crave their blood, heads and gory insides like we crave food.
We want to dance all over their mangled, broken bodies. And we know we’ll feel no remorse.

But that isn’t right, right?


©Adeola Matemilola 2017

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Nigeria Unite?

In a class a few days ago, the teacher asks, “of the 3 major ethnic groups in Nigeria, which one has the highest percentage in Abuja?”… an argument starts among the Nigerians in class, the arguments ranged from, “Abuja does not belong to anybody” to “it depends on which part of Abuja you go to”
In another class, the teacher asks us to each select an on-going violent conflict to write a research paper on, and one Nigerian boy asks if he can write about Boko-Haram in Nigeria but the teacher says no, you cannot write about a conflict going on in an area where you are from and this boy, with almost equal parts of pride and maybe, disgust in his tone and body language responds “I’m not from there, I’m from the South of Nigeria”

Do I even have to tell you the teacher looked a tad confused?

Honesty, in both classes, I felt a strong urge to just scream, maybe the urge was a little stronger in the former actually.
But seriously, people!!! Why do we fight over everything? Do we ever feel like one people? Does being Nigeria mean anything?
Most “Nigerians” now feel more igbo, or hausa, or yourba or jukun before they feel Nigerian, if they even feel that at all.
When we meet people, why is asking what state in Nigeria they come from one of the first questions we ask, are we asking just to know them better or do we judge them based on that information?

Most of the conflicts in the world today are within countries, citizens fighting and killing each other for reasons such as ethnic, religious or political differences… do we really just want to live in a world where its just people that live and think exactly like us? Wouldn’t that be kinda boring? Or isn’t that the end game of killing people who oppose us or are different or pray to God in a different manner or speak a different language? We’re looking to get rid of anyone who’s different to us, right?
A friend said to me recently that all conflict is built on a foundation of pride and selfishness. I don’t know.
I know that ethnic differences and conflicts are not peculiar to Nigeria. It just saddens me the most.

There’s no real point to this post actually, except to throw out some of these burning questions that play over and over in my head. Maybe someone out there has some answers that can help me sleep better. Because let me tell you, these are some of the questions that keep me up at night.

And please, my dear Nigerians, the next time you meet another Nigerian, when you get the urge to ask, “what state are you from?”, ask yourself, “why do I really need to know that right now?”

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Last night, I went into my sister’s room and I said to her “hey, did you hear what happened in Kenya”, she responded “yes, the gunmen at the mall? It’s very sad”, I agreed with her and then she said “but did you hear what happened in Nigeria?”

Apparently, about 143 bodies had been discovered around the highways and surrounding bushes along the maiduguri/Damaturu highway, following an attack on Tuesday by members of “an Islamic terrorist sect disguised in military fatigues and who attacked in about 20 pickup trucks and two light tanks firing anti-aircraft guns”.
This attack happened on Tuesday 17th of September.
The news broke on Friday 20th September.

While I was doing my little “research”, I was reminded of the horrific Boarding school massacre in Yobe state Nigeria on Saturday 6th July 2013, I searched and searched and searched some more, trying to find something that Patience Jonathan had said about the incident, she is the First lady, the “mother” of the nation, sadly, I didn’t find anything, that is not to say she didn’t say anything, I just didn’t find (maybe it’s classified).
You know what I found though, Patience Jonathan yapping about how the Governor and First lady of Rivers state have no respect, that they did not pay her a condolence visit after her mother died. she actually gave interviews to discuss this.
Patience Jonathan getting into a war of words with Wole Soyinka.

It’s quite obvious to me that something is very wrong; it’s either the Nigerian press have all either been paid off or threatened to turn a blind eye to the real issues in Nigeria and instead report the mundane or everyone is simply just tired of Nigeria and its issues.

I just don’t get it, over 100 people are brutally murdered in Nigeria, and it’s hardly reported, nobody talks about it much, and a few days later, everyone is talking about Kenya… don’t get me wrong, a killing is a killing and it’s horrible whether it’s 1 person or 20 people.
I’m just trying to understand Nigerian minds now, trying to think through how we are thinking in recent times.
Is it that we just already expect these things to happen in our country, so when we hear about it, we aren’t even shocked anymore, maybe some of us aren’t even sad anymore, maybe Boko Haram has just become one more topic of conversation for us.
I think this, almost more than anything else is very sad.

People get killed in Nigeria almost on a daily basis, we either don’t hear about it or we do and “oh well, it’s Nigeria. God help us”
People get killed in other parts of the world and we post Facebook messages and statuses. This isn’t wrong. I am not campaigning for Facebook statuses for Nigeria. I just want us to care again.

Personally, I get so frustrated sometimes, I wish there was something I could actually do, something that would actually make a difference. Because it is my country. Those are my people. That is my family.

I really don’t know what the solution for the real issues or the ones I’ve laid out here are.
Fact is, I’m not even sure if what I have written is clear, if anybody actually understands what I am trying to say here.
If I am making any sense.
If anybody feels as helpless and frustrated as I do.
Most of us know so much about the issues in Syria, Egypt, Isreal… everywhere else

Maybe the Nigerian issues haven’t touched us personally. We can only continue to pray that it doesn’t.
The international media is loosing interest.
The local media is loosing interest.

We simply cannot afford to stop caring.

Adeola Matemilola