A SEASON OF DISTRUST

Blank NEWS Online (NIGERIA) –By Austen AKHAGBEME:

As the eerie smoke seems to be settling down and the rivers of tears simmers, distrust, accusations and counter accusations seems to be the order of the day in Nigeria. Those who murdered sleep are sleeping no more.

Just as intrinsically complicated as the mayhem is, so are the explanations and the deluge of conspiracy theories flying around.

I have made up my mind not to go digging too much as to the remote and immediate cause of the near two week madness untill what resembles the truth resurfaced. Or else, your perspective could just end up as another endless conspiracy theory.

But one thing is sure: we have goofed badly. We have once again exposed ourselves to ridicule and deepened our ever yawning fault lines. We have demonstrated genuine anger that took over our emotions and made us injure ourselves. And this is tragic.

In the melee that ensued, we have seen how fickle and fragile human emotions are and how easily persuaded to do good or evil the human person is. We saw the wickedness of those who claimed to love us and also the love of those who we distatefully ignore and relegate.

We have all become the victim of unrestrained anger with the custodians of the country we love so dearly, yet wouldn’t mind destroying to prove a point.

So much lessons to learn in just two weeks of national anger and “rebirth”. From lessons of patriotism to that of consequences of greed and elite gluttony. From lessons on emotional intelligence and social media manipulation to that of Ethnic downplaying, hate, official insensitivity and citizenship disenchantment and fury.

Spiralling bandwagon took negative dimension as states were being consumed unreservedly in truth and untruths. Half truths, naked truths and absolute lies became concubine in a beautiful ambivalence that even the devil trembled. It was truly a bad story.

Those who dragged tribal connotation and colouration into the crisis angered me the most. Hunger, poverty, deprivation and depression have no tribe, tongue or creed; neither do market forces.

Ours was genuine anger gone awry; agitation hijacked and thrown overboard by conflicting influences, both local and foreign.
But we’re back home to our senses and our humaness. But things are no longer the same.

Everyone must perform his role in restoring hope and confidence to our embattled union. And this must begin with those who have chosen to lead us. Leadership is by example. As they lead, we follow. If they make mistakes, we tell them to make amend. The relationship between the leaders and the led in Nigeria must be symbiotic and not parasitic.

  • Austen AKHAGBEME is a Columnist with Blank NEWS Online
News Reporter
Blank NEWS Online founding Editor-in-Chief and Publisher, Albert Eruorhe Ograka, is a Graduate of Mass Communication. He also holds a Post Graduate Diploma (PGD) in Journalism from the International Institute of Journalism (IIJ).

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