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The Healing We Need

Chinyere Fred-Adegbulugbe writes that we need holistic solutions to the the level violence and atrocities that have descended upon Nigeria and the rest of the world.

A file photo of four-year-old Syrian refugee Marwan being assisted by UNHCR officials / photo credit: dailymail.co.uk
A file photo of four-year-old Syrian refugee Marwan being assisted by UNHCR officials / photo credit: dailymail.co.uk

Ours is a broken humanity. And except for the diehard ostriches among us, this brokenness can no longer be glossed over.

However, nothing brought the message of this brokenness home like three stories that went viral in the Nigerian social media space recently.

The first, a photo story, was the picture of Marwan, the four-year-old Syrian crossing over to Jordan, seemingly alone.

While the photo has been out there since 2014, somehow, it found itself to the Nigerian social media platforms and have been widely circulated.

It’s true that the complete story behind that heart-wrenching photo is that Marwan wasn’t a lone traveller as had been widely believed, nevertheless, it’s a picture I would gladly un-see.

The photo of a four-year-old, carrying a bag, with hunched shoulders and cagey eyes isn’t one we should ever normalise because it is abnormal, in a normal world.

But ours is a broken humanity.

Show me the part of the world that is unsullied and not in conflict and I will tell you to gently climb back down to planet earth from whatever high horse you are perched

So, we do not see that those bent shoulders and the numb wariness in his young eyes (eyes that should be filled with twinkle) are telling of horrific experiences.

They tell of humanity where children can no longer be children.

They tell of a people who have lost almost all that make them human.

They tell us about the uncommon greed and bloodthirstiness that have become our creed.

They tell of humanity at war with itself.

Show me the part of the world that is unsullied and not in conflict and I will tell you to gently climb back down to planet earth from whatever high horse you are perched.

Never mind the scientific breakthroughs, the billions we acquire in different currencies and all the so-called advancements in different fields, if we can still fail the Marwans of this world, then we should collect our certificate of failure without murmuring

Marwan’s photo made me incredibly sad and it wasn’t because I thought he was travelling alone. It was because I could clearly read the accusations in those young eyes on how we’ve failed everyone, especially the children.

Never mind the scientific breakthroughs, the billions we acquire in different currencies and all the so-called advancements in different fields, if we can still fail the Marwans of this world, then we should collect our certificate of failure without murmuring.

The second story came right here from our backyard. It was about a woman who was kidnapped alongside her husband, nine-year-old daughter and two others.

Apparently, this family lives in the Diaspora and came home for a wedding. The woman’s narrative of what her family went through before they were released should be reserved for horror movie scripts.

The third, just like the second one is, sadly, a Nigerian tale too.

It’s the story of a group of seven women who had gone for a funeral during Easter somewhere in Edo State and were kidnapped.

The story of how they were so violently sexually violated by the captors and many others invited to join in the morbid party can leave one scarred for life.

They were raped every day for the two weeks they spent before their husbands and others could raise the N14m that was the final ransom figure the kidnappers settled.

The brand of kidnapping going on in Nigeria today and what the bandits do to women and children they capture cannot be defined with human words

They were torn; bleeding and smelling of rotten flesh and may never be whole again.

Kidnapping didn’t start today in Nigeria. We can still remember the incidences in the Niger Delta, where expatriates and the oil rich were the main targets.

However, the brand of kidnapping going on in Nigeria today and what the bandits do to women and children they capture cannot be defined with human words.

Yes, they can’t be described with human words because those acts shouldn’t ever be identified with your regular humanity.

But we are a broken humanity.

And so, atrocities upon atrocities are besieging from us every side.

The dark clouds that have been gathering for ages have finally been released from their enclave and our humanity is drenched.

However, they didn’t come down with water this time, but with stones, broken bottles and machetes.
No wonder then we are so broken.

The rains haven’t come with the usual blessings from the gods but brought back our seeds, fully matured and heavily laden.
It’s so bad in Nigeria that even if we had a more competent and proactive leadership in place, it would spend every day chasing and reining in the demons in the name of bandits that have been unleashed.

The dark clouds that have been gathering for ages have finally been released from their enclave and our humanity is drenched. However, they didn’t come down with water this time, but with stones, broken bottles and machetes

And as we turn to the leaders for the usual blame fest, the fact that the same leaders couldn’t be any different since we’re all being beaten by the same type of rain conveniently escapes everyone.

So, each time we harvest mere rhetoric and colourful presentations but no substance.

Ironically that’s exactly where the rain began to beat us. We left substance behind long time ago in our pursuit for the elusive ‘progress’ and yet hope to produce leaders that can offer us that which have long since renounced.

As though those leaders would be imported from Jupiter…

Ours is a broken world, and the healing we need lies only in true repentance.
But is anyone listening?

Dr. Raymond Dokpesi / leadership.ng

I Will Definitely Go To Court – Raymond Dokpesi

Ihe anyị chọrọ n'aka ndị nnọchiteanya uloomeiwu etiti ọhụrụ.

Ihe anyị chọrọ n’aka ndị nnọchiteanya uloomeiwu etiti ọhụrụ.