By Emmanuel Ogbeche
Nigeria is broken; broken in many places that the possibility of mending it appears farfetched but not impossible. We are so into bits and pieces that every matter has a tinge of politics, religion and ethnicity. As a result of the brokenness, there is the compelling certainty that even in the next 50 years, Nigeria will remain a country of potential – always searching never reaching its inherent zenith.
The country is in a perpetual flux, moving from one vexatious issue to the other with the same intensity of division and hate that one cannot but wish that the country gives in and let every region finds itself alone.
The latest source of division is that of the unfortunate power bike accident of President Muhammadu Buhari’s only son, Yusuf, in Abuja. A statement by the Presidency said the young man had the accident around the Gwarinpa area of the territory and was receiving treatment in an Abuja private clinic, though there are other claims that he has been flown out in an air ambulance for treatment overseas.
The crux of the latest wrangling is between those who think it is God’s wrath on a regime that has elevated poverty into national agenda while blame trading is at an all-time high, and those who are cursing and swearing against those who hold the view of divine punishment.
One needs to have a peep on various social media platforms to get a grasp of the “full scale attrition” that has turned Nigerians into “children of anger.”
For one, it should be understood that Yusuf, like all children of the rich and powerful, is living “the time.” So, should anyone begrudge a young man with the opportunities Heaven has thrown his way simply because his father has painted himself in less than glowing colours after all his electoral promises?
Should we now as Christians say that because President Buhari has eaten soar grapes, Yusuf’s teeth should be set on edge?
Don’t get me wrong, everyone is entitled to his views as to the outcome of the accident. But as humans, should we say because we have experienced grief, another should feel what we have felt? In philosophy, it will amount to Fallacy of the Broken Window.
I also have a problem with those who think they can appropriate divine wrath to themselves by slamming curses and swearwords at those who somewhat are relieved at what is now the near-fate of Buhari via his son. It is not in your place to make incantations against those who hold grudge against the president. Rather than engage in futile “may what happened to Yusuf, happen to your child,” one would rather you channel the positive energy to the recovery of Yusuf.
There is so much negative vibes that you the holier-than-thou is adding to by the very conduct you find reprehensible. Have you bothered to ask if the one making the invocation has suffered some terrible loss simply because the president has shown stark indifference to marauding herdsmen? Have you stopped for a while, if one of those who feel vindicated by Yusuf’s accident, is a family member of one of the over four million that lost their jobs and committed suicide?
I am no psychologist, but experience has shown that people react differently to loss. When el-Rufa’I’s son died, in tragic accident too, some had hoped it would make him less adversarial in government, it did not. When Tinubu’s son died, one had hoped he would take a long break from politics and return with a more accommodating view of those on the other side, but it has not.
So, have you pondered for a minute if Yusuf were to pass on, what impact it could have on the president? Come, let’s pray, Yusuf shall not die. Amen.
It is about time we find a middle ground. A midcourse to reconcile our differences, a time to let go of the suffocating bile and angst. A time not to swear or curse. Just a time to be human and look each other in the eyes and say, “I know you have lost a lot, but don’t let your hurt cause another to grieve.”