By Rev Fr ( Dr) John Segun Odeyemi
In the past decade, more than at any time before in our nation’s history, (including our civil war, since that was an armed conflict which resulted in millions of innocent Nigerian lives), my beloved homeland has gradually and continuously descended into the hell of free for all anarchy, violence and the wasting of human lives almost like a past time.
Thanks to social media, we are inundated on daily basis with graphic videos of beheadings, dismembering, C-sections carried out by machetes, rapes of women, girls and children, pillaging and sacking of entire communities, the list goes on and on. I no longer recognize my own homeland anymore because barbarians, anarchists, mad men and fanatics have taken over our nation.
It has become a cliché to ask, “How did we get here?” However, on May 12, 2022 marks an epoch in our descent into maniacal murderous madness. I woke up to a video making the rounds on social media of a young woman, a student at Shehu Shagari College of Education in Sokoto, Sokoto State. Deborah Yakubu, who by media reports is a 200-level student hoping to graduate with a mastery of early childhood education.
Her life was cut short, brought to a painful and tragic end by her peers! Yes, you heard me right, her fellow students in a tertiary institution. According to reports, her offense is she allegedly had profaned the name of the holy prophet of Islam. So, fellow students became judge and jury; they clobbered her down, stoned her according what in their deluded and deranged minds was a requirement of them by their own God, then to satisfy their desire for blood and to defend their God, who apparently is incapable of defending himself, burnt her alive.
Let us not miss the import of this event and get mixed up as we are often known to do. Today calls our attention to how inhuman we have become as a people. We are no longer grieved or even shocked at gory pictures of carnages wreck by animals who live and move freely among us. More damaging is the fact that it is possible that young people between the ages of 18 – 23, in a higher institution of learning can go from “educated” to stark raving madness as to have the capacity to commit extra judicial murder in broad daylight and in full view of cameras rolling!
How educated are they when rules of civility, the milk of human kindness and forgiveness eludes them? How can we have a future if we think we can cohabit with such murderous savages?
As of today, I came to the sad conclusion; we had a nation! I see clearly, without any further doubt why people are clamoring for a referendum or separation. It is apparent that you cannot have civilized people live peacefully with hyenas. If Islam is peace and submission to the will of God, then, these were not Muslims. The immediate response of the Sultan of Sokoto is highly commendable. This is the time that all well-meaning Nigerians, Christians, Muslims, Traditional Worshippers, Atheists, all well-meaning Nigerians, must all come together and say enough is enough.
If the government of President Buhari is unable to bring all those involved in this murder to book in a week, he ought to resign. That way, we can give him some respect that he eventually saw his own failure at leadership and had some decency to step aside. My heart is heavy, I weep for Leah Shuaib, I weep for the young people who died at the tollgate protests, I weep for Deborah Yakubu, and above all, I weep for a nation who kills its own people and breed murderers and anarchists for its own future.
Rev.Fr. John Segun Odeyemi writes from Xavier University of Louisiana, USA