Opinion

Ayokunle Odekunle: We Have September 11 Every Day In Nigeria

The date was September 11, 2001

A day America will never forget.

On that day, there were four coordinated terrorist attacks launched by al-Qaeda upon the United States of America. A nation that seemed invincible and untouchable. Almost 3,000 people were killed by the attack.

Americans wept and gnashed their teeth.

Non-Americans joined them as the day was and is  one that sends shudders down the spine of people all around the world. The attack shook America to its foundations but Americans remained unbowed. Never ever will they succumb to their tyranny of a rather tyrannical minority, they decided.

In an address to the Nation around 8:30 pm , George W. Bush Jnr told a troubled, grief-shaken nation ‘We are going to find out who did this, and kick their ass’.

Later in an address to a joint session of the American Congress on September 20, 2001, he assured Americans that irrespective of their party affiliations, races, social class or beliefs, they CAN and WILL crush terror. To drive home his point, he said:

And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation in every region now has a decision to make: Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists.

From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbour or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime. Our nation has been put on notice, we’re not immune from attack. We will take defensive measures against terrorism to protect Americans.

Americans heard this and were ecstatic. They hoped for a response from the American Government . Meanwhile, all Americans closed ranks in these perilous times. The Democrats who were in the opposition never saw the September 11 attacks as an avenue to SLAM the Republican led American Government for failing in its duty which is to protect the people while the Republicans and their spin Doctors never saw this as an avenue to accuse the Democrats of being behind the bombings. They all closed ranks and expected a response from AMERICA in its full military might

A response they got.

The American military went after both actual and real, existing and imagined enemies of the American Government and its people and wiped them out. Or let me say almost out. America is almost a safe haven for Americans against external aggression. Why? The American PEOPLE stood against terror.

The story is different here.

Every day in Nigeria.

No.

Let me say ALMOST everyday in Nigeria, we hear stories of war and rumours of war in the North East. At the beginning, the nation was gripped whenever we heard tales of Boko haram killing 10 people. Then the bombings started and we were flabbergasted. Then 200+ girls were kidnapped and we were overwhelmed. Them the stories of 100s of people getting killed spread and we became flabberwhelmed. Well these days, even when villages are overrun by Boko haram, Nigerians are no longer shocked. Why? It is the theory of a adaptation. We are used to it.

It is now so bad that we hear stories about Boko haram killing multiple hundreds of people and we dont even flinch or mourn any longer. Why? Because these things happen almost every time everyday and we are getting used to it. I have always believed that even someone who has stayed long enough in hell will at some point get used to the fire.

How did we get here? How come the Americans conquered terror so easily and we are FAILING?

Leadership first of all.

George Bush’s speech on the night of the September 11 attacks arose the spirits of Americans who were otherwise distraught. Meanwhile, our President here has nothing but CONDEMNATION and SYMPATHY whenever we experience such which is almost always on a daily basis.

And compare Nigerian politicians to American Politicians. While the Americans closed ranks, the Nigerian politicians see terror attacks an easy way to score cheap political points. They love to dance on the charred bodies of victims of terror attacks. The two major parties have failed to put the interest of the average Nigerian above their own interest as they have failed to unite for the sake of terror.

As it is, the two major political parties and their henchmen do not mind if these bombings and mass murder in the North-East goes on as long as they score cheap points. That isn’t how to win this war. Wars are won when everyone, irrespective of his/her belief or disbelief closes ranks to unite and say a loud NO to the terrorists,

Unfortunately, there seems to be no end in sight as our politicians and leaders are short sighted. And it seems EVERYDAY will continue be our September 11 but hey, we are used to such sorrow, innit?

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Culled from YNAIJA

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