I am in the middle of writing my LLM exams but I have been too horrified to concentrate because of the haunting thoughts about the news of a certain woman leader that was burnt alive, in her locked house by some thugs belonging to a rival political party in Kogi State.
It was reported to be a post-election incident by a jubilant group revelling in their victory in the just concluded elections in Kogi State.
I have indeed underestimated the level of barbarity among us. I am even more horrified by the incipient new normal where business goes on as usual despite such a shocking incident.
I am yet to hear of any serious commentary from our political leaders. Law enforcement agents appear to be treating this incident as one of those crimes. It might ultimately be swept under the carpet.
Women and community groups may still be too shocked and perhaps too insensate to demand action.
One thing that comes to mind is that this reported barbarity is happening among Kogi people who are supposed to live together as brothers and sisters based on cultural affinity. This is not a foreign invasion. Fulani herdsmen cannot be used as an alibi or scapegoats in this matter, this time around.
If so much hate and disregard for the sanctity of life can so exist among a people who have lived together for so many years, just because of mere politics, then we have a long way to go in the attainment of political stability and sustainable social developement. How will winners of elections govern in such a state of hate?
Our country is no doubt faced with a value crisis and there is a collapse in our acculturization process. We are without a national ethos that places value on the things that are right. We really don’t value the essence of life. It shows even in our governance systems, structures and institutions.
Our value system is so diminished to the extent that a sincere leadership should declare a state of emergency immediately to review who we are and where we are headed to as a people. We cannot continue like this and expect to have a bright future as a people.
The state of politicolegal anomie that is gradually gradually creeping into our polity might ultimately be Nigeria’s greatest undoing with perhaps greater consequences than that of the civil war.
Our religious institutions are failing perhaps far worse and faster than the political institutions. Where therefore lies hope when a people can no longer know and do what is right?
Let’s save our politics; let’s save our society; let’s save our people; let’s save our country; lets save our future and that of our children.
Frank Tietie, a Lawyer, Human Rights Defender, Media Aficionado and Founder/Executive Director, Citizens Advocacy for Social & Economic Rights (CASER), wrote from Abuja