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The Politicisation of the Italian tragedy

Things are changing. When we were growing up, people respected elders because elders earned the respect. Things have changed; young people go on social media…

Things are changing. When we were growing up, people respected elders because elders earned the respect. Things have changed; young people go on social media to insult their elders – spiritual and temporal. When we were young, journalists who dared to expose secrets were sent to jail; today, even rumourmongers shout government secrets at rooftops and market places and they win awards. When we were young, people would pretend not to know anything that government did not tell them. Today, people go on social media to call the minister of information lie-lie. This is why nobody comes to the rescue those who are detained for insulting their state governors on social media. If we were to allow the kind of freedom existing in some disrespectful societies, what would happen to impunity? 

So, some 26 Naija girls sold all they had, safely crossed the desert; attempted to cross the Mediterranean but landed up dead in Italy just to give the change government a bad rap. This happened at a time that our friends, the Iranians and Iraqi’s were savouring the condolence that our proactive president sent to them on the tragic earthquake that united their nations. The dead Naija voyagers did not give any notice that they would die off the coast of Lampedusa. After the act, none of their relatives informed government. On their part, the Italian government, which had Sai Baba’s direct line, chose to make political mileage out of the whole show apparently on the recommendation of the opposition. Naija has an embassy in Rome but its busy officials knew nothing of this tragedy; again, likely on the recommendation of the opposition. As we say in Naija, sotay the Italian government bought coffins and organised a tear-jerking funeral to give these victims of state insouciance the honour they would have been denied at home. There were reports that two of the victims were pregnant. 

You would’ve thought that a friendly nation would in the style of Fela’s coffin for the head of state, deposit their remains at Via Oratio entrance of the Naija embassy in Rome. No; they buried them just to make our government look careless about the welfare of its citizens. We saw through it except the few mannerless people making noise on social media forcing a top aide to promise a review at today’s FEC meeting. Maigida Garba Shehu and Oga Femi Adesina are very busy drinking coffee to bother issuing a meaningless condolence message. Thankfully, tragedies like this never stop a nation en marche!

Tell me beautiful people, what is 26 compared to hundreds of Iraqis and Iranians dead in an earthquake? How could we blame government except we pretend to have forgotten that our president suffers partial deafness? In our days, nobody would dare accuse the president or government of doing nothing. If government did not issue a statement, the event did not happen. 

Tragedies like this one in Italy are often overblown by the opposition jealous of government’s undue celebration of its victory over Boko Haram. The opposition are responsible for the sporadic attacks that so happens to follow every announcements of decimation of Boko Haram that they attack again to remind Haramistan residents not to sleep with two eyes closed. May Allah save us from wicked opposition hell bent on tarnishing our image at home and abroad. 

Meanwhile, relatives of the Italian tragedy should please not ask that the president call and sympathise. In government circles, sympathy doesn’t flow easily. Besides, we wouldn’t want the – he knew what he signed up for – kind of response that has made Donald Trump infamous after Sgt La David Johnson died in Niger. Just like the social contract a people could have demanded of their government are non-justiciable under our constitution, presidential sympathy is not a right in tragedy. As long as Mr President continues to be proactive on other people’s tragedies our image is solid abroad. 

The wicked press have been babbling about the 55 Zamfarians killed by marauders without a single mention from the president or cabinet? Unless there’s a public holiday, our interior minister is not proactive. Governor Yari worries so much about the tragedies of his citizens attributed to zunubi or sin but when he hired $200 million jets to pray in Jeddah for divine intervention, the press were up against him. Head or tail, elected officials cannot rest in Naija without some armchair critic insulting them. Now, Governor Yari has found a more rewarding job as Chairman of the Governor’s Forum. This justifies his absence from Gusau such that nobody accuses him of dereliction of duty when he is away – which is always. 

To the chagrin of the opposition; in 2019, both Sai Baba and Abdulaziz Yari would be re-elected by landslide votes as a result of their proactive service and excellent performance.


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