Monday, 12 January 2015

For Baga


There was a terrorist attack in France a few days ago and a lot has been said about how Nigerians and the Western media have focused on this incident and paid little attention to what is happening in Baga. But I think we need to be honest with ourselves: a terrorist attack in France is news. A terrorist attack in North Eastern Nigeria is no longer news. When a Boko Haram attack breaks on my twitter timeline, I hurry past, rushing to the next banal tweet: a Nigerian comedian's latest gaffe, or an APC/PDP devotee waxing on the virtues of their chosen candidate, or more often downplaying their short comings. A speech delivered at a Presidential rally gets more airtime than a bomb blast because convincing speeches from our leaders are so rare, and explosions are so common.

Sometimes you want to make sure that you're still normal and it is not because you think white lives matter more that you immediately knew what the #JeSuisCharlie hashtag meant but you had to google #bringbackourgirls when that campaign was born. So you try empathy. Empathy is the fruit of an imagination and imagination is something that writers usually have in excess. So you picture yourself in Baga. 2,000 dead they said, though they never agree. When the 'they' is government, 2000 becomes 100. When it's an NGO, add at least one '0' to the government figure. They all say they are lying.

Fact of the matter remains, whether 2,000 or 200, there are a lot of dead bodies around Baga. But then this is not empathy, to walk through Baga like a journalist, taking photos of nameless corpses, stunned by it all but still one step removed, still composed enough to remember that my editor will want both a gruesome shot and a milder image, that I must find survivors to interview, that perhaps a translator must be arranged.

 And so I enter Baga again, and try to become someone born there, someone raised there, who went to the local school, when girls still felt safe going to school. And then these dead bodies are no longer dead bodies, they are my friends and teachers and pastors and imams and brothers and sisters and parents. And then I think it is time for me to jump off this careening empathy wagon because the image of a row of people I know, corpses, bent at unnatural angles, faces destroyed with bullets, is one that I do not want to dwell on. Just from this small exercise in empathy, my face is twitching and my eyes are watering.

So I can still cry for Nigeria. Of what use is that to the people of Baga? None perhaps but it is of some use to our country. The fact is we have put up a wall between ourselves and what Boko Haram is doing. How do you function otherwise? How do you have a job, and go to school, and make your deadlines if every time an attack happens, you bring your life to a standstill? And yet we are lost as a nation if we cannot mark the passing of 2,000 Nigerians. If their dying makes no clamour in us. Tears fix nothing, build nothing, repair nothing but we must still shed them so they can water our resolve, which has withered in these arid conditions. We cannot let Nigeria disintegrate on our watch. We must not. We will not.          

27 comments:

  1. Wonderful written. the piece was alive. I can feel it. kudos

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  2. Our tears is very appropriate. They are hope for that lone seed even in these arid conditions. They can spark life somehow.

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  3. Chibundu, I have been following your development. I did not agree with your thoughts just because I am a writer, too, but because you love Nigeria. Empathy is a rare quality amongst us as people, even among our fellow writers. This much I know being acquainted with some of them. The average Nigerian, nay African's sense of judgement is clouded by sentiments; our empathy and allegiances to our region, religion, tribe, town, family and then ourselves. That ultimately defined us. We are a race that the letter "i" effectively stood between us and others and effectively too, peace, unity and development. I am a patriot and I love this country and Africa. With people like you around,we will get it right soon. The optimist in me said so, though I am a believer. Thanks for your effort. Lets keep on doing this.

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  4. Sage thoughts Chibundu. Nigeria moves forward as I move forward. Cheers to new beginnings!

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  17. I want to thank Dr JOHN a very powerful spell caster who help me to bring my husband back to me, few month ago i have a serious problem with my husband, to the extend that he left the house, and he started dating another woman and he stayed with the woman, i tried all i can to bring him back, but all my effort was useless until till the day my friend came to my house and i told her every thing that had happened between me and my husband, then she told me of a powerful spell caster who help her when she was in the same problem I then contact Dr JOHN and told him every think and he told me not to worry my self again that my husband will come back to me after he has cast a spell on him,i thought it was a joke, after he had finish casting the spell, he told me that he had just finish casting the spell, to my greatest surprise within that 3 days, my husband really came back begging me to forgive him, if you need his help you can contact him with his email address [drjohnhivcurehome@gmail.com
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  18. This is my testimony about the good work of Dr Osasu who help me.I'm Katherine from usa. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to by this world top spell caster that brought back my husband which left me out for past 2 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 2 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is drosasu25@gmail.com or directly on whasapp +2347064365391

    ReplyDelete
  19. This is my testimony about the good work of Dr Osasu who help me.I'm Katherine from usa. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to by this world top spell caster that brought back my husband which left me out for past 2 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 2 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is drosasu25@gmail.com or directly on whasapp +2347064365391

    ReplyDelete
  20. I want to thank Dr Osasu a very powerful spell caster who help me to bring my husband back to me, few month ago i have a serious problem with my husband, to the extend that he left the house, and he started dating another woman and he stayed with the woman, i tried all i can to bring him back, but all my effort was useless until till the day my friend came to my house and i told her every thing that had happened between me and my husband, then she told me of a powerful spell caster who help her when she was in the same problem I then contact Dr Osasu and told him every think and he told me not to worry my self again that my husband will come back to me after he has cast a spell on him,i thought it was a joke, after he had finish casting the spell, he told me that he had just finish casting the spell, to my greatest surprise within that 3 days, my husband really came back begging me to forgive him, if you need his help you can contact him with his email address [drosasu25@gmail.com]
    add him up on his whatsapp +2347064365391 He is willing to help any body that need his help.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I am Mrs grace henlen from USA promise to share this testimony all over the world once my husband return back home and today with all due respect i want to thank DR OSOFO for bringing joy and happiness to my relationship and my family. I want to inform you all that there is a spell caster that is real and genuine. I never believed in any of these things until i loosed my husband I required help until i found DR OSOFO email osofo.48hoursolutioncenter@gmail.com a great spell caster, And he cast a love spell for me, and he assured , me that I will get my husband back in just 48 hours time after the spell has been cast, in 48 hours later, my phone rang, and so surprisingly, it was my husband who has not called me for past a years now, and made an apology for the heart break, and told me that he is ready to be my back bone till the rest of his life with me. DR OSOFO released him up to know how much i loved and wanted him. And opened his eyes to picture how much we have share together. As I’m writing this testimony right now I’m the most happiest girl on earth and me and my Husband is living a happy life and our love is now stronger than how it were even before our break up. So that’s why I promised to share my testimony all over the universe. All thanks goes to DR OSOFO for the excessive work that he has done for me. Below is the email address in situation you are undergoing a heart break, and I assure you that as he has done mine for me, he will definitely help you too email him,osofo.48hoursolutioncenter@gmail.com or contact him on whasAPP +2349065749952

    ReplyDelete
  22. This is my testimony about the good work of Dr Paul who help me.... I'm sabreen Rahman from USA. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to by this world top spell caster that brought back my husband which left me out for past 3 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 2 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is astoriashrine@gmail com or directly on whasapp +2349051441669

    ReplyDelete
  23. This is my testimony about the good work of Dr Paul who help me.... I'm sabreen Rahman from USA. And am sorry for putting this on net but i will have to by this world top spell caster that brought back my husband which left me out for past 3 years, i eventually met this man on a blog site posting by one of is client for help, i explained everything to him and he told me about a spell caster that he had heard about and he gave me an email address to write to the spell caster to tell him my problems. In just 2 days, my husband was back to me. I just want to say thank you to this truthful and sincere spell caster, sir all you told have come to pass and thank you sir. Please i want to tell everyone who is looking for any solution to problem, i advice you to kindly consult this spell caster, he is real,he is powerful and whatever the spell caster tell is what will happen, because all what the spell caster told me came to pass. You can kindly contact him on: his email address is astoriashrine@gmail com or directly on whasapp +2349051441669

    ReplyDelete
  24. HOW I GOT MY EX HUSBAND BACK WITH THE HELP OF REAL AND EFFECTIVE SPELL FROM DR Osasu
    My name is Rosemarie Williams, I never thought I will smile again, My husband left me with two kids for one year, All effort to bring him back failed I thought I'm not going to see him again not until I met a lady called Jesse who told me about a spell caster called Dr. Osasu , She gave me his email address and mobile number and I contacted him and he assured me that within 48hours my husband will come back to me, In less than 48hours my husband came back started begging for forgiveness saying it is the devils work, so I'm still surprise till now about this miracle,i couldn't conceive but as soon as the spell was cast,i became pregnant and gave birth to my third child,if you need any assistance from him you can contact him via:email: drosasu25@gmail.com Or WhatsApp or call him now: +2347064365391

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  26. I want to give a testimony about my HIV virus that was cured by a great
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    she read someone testimony from a website on-line on how Dr Osasu cure her
    from HIV AIDS and she also collected Dr Osasu website and email. She gave
    me Dr Osasu email, I emailed him he talked to me and he perform the
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    couldn't believe myself I went to see another doctor the result was still
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    ReplyDelete
  27. Greetings to the general public, i want to give a testimony about how i was cured of HIV/AIDS disease by a Doctor UDI I was browsing through the Internet searching for remedy or latest treatment on HIV and i saw many comment of people talking about how Doctor UDI cured their HIV/AIDS. I Was scared because i never believed in the Internet but i was convince to give him a try because i having no hope of been cured of HIV/AIDS so i decided to contact him with his email that was listed on the comment ( drudiherbalhome@gmail.com ) when i contacted him he gave me hope and send a Herbal medicine to me that i took and it seriously worked for me, am a free person now without problem, my HIV result came out negative. I pray for you Dr UDI God will give you everlasting life, you shall not die before your time for being a sincere and grate man. Am so happy today, you can also contact him if you have any problem Email: ( drudiherbalhome@gmail.com )) tel or via what-app: +2348051243538

    ReplyDelete

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