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Abiola Akintunde: It Is Baga Today, It May Be Berger Tomorrow



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The damage done to Baga, trust me, there is nothing to be salvaged from the ravages that the deeds of those savages left behind. Those that did this are indeed savages for they are uncivilized in their tactics, primitive in their reasoning as well as understanding the essence of life, ferocious in their attacks and brutal without value for life. How do we comfort the wife whose husband has been slaughtered right in front of her eyes? How do we explain to a toddler that his parents are now non-living things after they had lost their lives in a bomb triggered-happy event? How do we console the husband whose wife was abused right in his presence and then carted away? What about the family that was denied any survivor to carry on their legacy, culture or tradition? Who do we comfort, console or explain such terrible events to as an act of God? It is Baga today, it may be Berger tomorrow.

This countryside town called Baga has been denied the opportunity to remember the 185 lives lost almost a year ago to the same Boko Haram terrorists in peace, unity and happiness, instead, blood of thousands was spilled unjustly as bodies devoid of life lay waste on the ground after their forceful departure to eternal unknown as the living departs in haste so that they might live still. Properties were immensely destroyed as Baga became the story of tragedy, the town of ghosts, the graveyard of the nation, a river of sorrow, tears and blood. How can we live on as if nothing has happened? How do we plan to wish away 2,000 lost lives that were once potentials waiting to manifest, dreams that awaits realization, lives that thirsts to live on? How do we come to value less 17 lost lives in Paris over the 2,000 lost lives in Baga? Are we sane? It is Baga today, it may be Berger tomorrow.

As much pity I have for the deads in Baga, as much tears that I have shed for the bodies which lay strewn and littered the streets of Baga, it is nothing to compare with that which I have and I am shedding for the living that walks the grounds of this nation of ours. It is known that the one who sits on the “Eagle’s Back” in Aso Rock places zero value on our lives safe for a few that inspires him to destruction of self and country. Our security in this country has now become the story of nothingness, that all Boko Haram needs to go on a killing spree is mere feeling-like. As Nigerians, lives lost unnecessarily counts less than nothing to us, as far as we are safe, we are not concerned if others are not safe. It is Baga today, it may be Berger tomorrow.

Unsurprisingly, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan who brought us badluck rather than goodluck is yet to comment on the Baga massacre while he has commented on the Charlie Hebdo attack, calling it a dastardly attack. To do the exact opposite of this would really have been a surprise to us all, for a President with noluck will outshine him without hard work. This President of ours, has abandoned his post and avoided his responsibilities while he avails himself with the privileges of the office. Like followership, like leadership; so far I am safe and my relatives are, who dies or lives concerns me not. It is Baga today, it may be Berger tomorrow.

For 17 lost lives, France pauses to hear and see over 3 million people grievances, protests, questions, criticisms, and all was clamouring in harmony for the same thing; how do we get justice for the seventeen and also to make sure such attack will not happen again? The French has refused to stop at “May God rests their souls”, rather, they move a step further to seek for justice and better security. As Nigerians, when will we refuse to stop at “May God rests their souls”, “May God provide for the needy” and “May God heal the ill”, when? When will we take a step further and ask for justice, better security, good welfare and a good healthcare system? The blood of those victims still cries for justice like that of Abel, their strewn bodies that littered the streets clamour for shelter from the open cold, and they watch with hope that those they left behind will continue to live on without being afraid of what the next moment holds therein. It is Baga today, it may be Berger tomorrow.

Abiola Akintunde

The writer lives and work in Ibadan, Nigeria and can be reached via and @AAbiolat on Twitter….


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