Sometimes I wish I could just sleep at night, wake the next day, and then there is no more news. That means no newspapers, no TV, no magazines, no radio and, definitely, no new media. But we all know that’s never going to be.
Rather, each day comes with a different kind of madness, filled with heavier and gloomier pieces threatening to weigh down the very roof of the universe.
Until recently, I wasn’t able to deal with the figures often thrown around as being recovered from public officers-turned-public thieves. Try dwelling on them or keeping count and you find yourself awake at night.
Those days when we saw mad men on the streets gathering all sorts of stuff and burdening themselves with needless weight, there was nothing but pity for them.
Can we really spot any difference between our marauding public officers and the everyday madman on the street? Not anymore.
Theirs is a special brand of madness fed by greed and, alas, there doesn’t seem to be any cure anywhere in sight. We should feel sorry for the Nigerian thieving public officials, for what drives them appears to be beyond them. It’s a certain kind of evil that can only own a man when he has been abandoned by the gods.
Yes, the gods have turned their backs on them and so, like the regular lunatics, we all know they gather money in different currencies, acquire properties in different parts of the world and greet each day with a burden they may never be able to cast off. They are driven by an emptiness that can never be filled.
It is what it is; a pitiable lot.
But are the citizens any better? Not at all. Let’s start with hysteria. A popular Nigerian malt drink just changed its label in line with the new SON and NAFDAC guidelines, and before one could even pop a cork, boom - the entire Nigerian internet space was ablaze with warning.
Everyone was warning everyone about this fake brand of the popular product. Only a handful among the horde posting and reposting saw any need to verify before leaping onto their keypads. The result is that a hitherto strong brand’s image is on the line. But how many of those who spread the false news will readily retrace the trail with the truth? Well, I can tell you right away for free, just few. That is because our kind of ignorance usually walks with malice.
Ignorance, fear, anger and hatred have taken form and the outcome is a people permanently seeking release on others’ miseries.
It is what it is; we are a broken lot.
From the social media frenzy, we are back on the solid ugly ground of lynch mobs. Here the blood is pulsating and real. In any case, nothing less than the real deal will assuage our hunger as it is. So, whether the victim is 7 or 70 years old becomes unimportant now and ever.
The demons we created over years demand blood sacrifice and, like animals in a dark jungle (apologies to all genuine animals), we lash out, blinded by our own evil, at our own kind, and never back down until the prey lays wasted at our feet.
So people harp on some specifics like age of the victim and the worth of what he must have stolen as though that cleans their hands of the bloodstains, or creates a life that has been so mindlessly dispatched.
I doubt we would have cared anymore if it were a neonate. The other day, a 27-year-old Nigerian mother threw her newborn into a bin at Vienna’s International Airport, Austria, because she didn’t want to miss her connecting flight to the US.
Of course, by the time a cleaner discovered the baby in a plastic bag in the toilet, it had stayed too long without oxygen and died shortly in a hospital. That was a newborn whose only crime was standing in the way of a booked flight!
Why then are we still shuddering that supposedly simple folks will arm themselves with cudgels, stones, tyres, petrol and a matchbox to ensure that life ebb out of another amidst unspeakable pain?
While they are at, it another group armed with smartphones are also on duty, not just feeding their primitive blood lust but also recording it for their absent kith and kin. From there, their partners in the chain, usually on standby, extend the gory value across the blogosphere chain, sharing the pictures and videos that speak nothing but evil, saturating every available platform with pure filth.
Carefully watch this group as they gleefully spread and share the horrible footages under the guise of creating awareness with graphic evidence and you won’t miss that they enjoy the exercise. It is who they are. Like the relationship between vultures and carrion, there is nothing altruistic about what they do. There isn’t also any significant difference between the murderous lots above.
Don’t be surprised, if situation was any different, to see these people cast the first stone.
The darkness in our hearts can no longer hide because the dark clouds have been gathering for a long time now.
After all is said and done, it is what it is…