Fr George Adimike
The Lord’s inquest into the murder of Abel typifies His concern about the violence, destruction and death currently going on in Nigeria, especially Igboland. The footprints of blood everywhere in our land prick our consciences. Filled with guilt and shame, Cain was unable to answer the demand for his brother satisfactorily. In addition, he could not bear the consequences of his evil act against God, his brother and the land. He bid goodbye to peace, happiness, health and life. As in the days of Cain and Abel, the Lord demands an account for our brothers and sisters senselessly murdered over frivolous and mundane reasons. The question is supposed to prick the collective conscience of our society. Because of the complicity of many in our society, brotherhood is losing its meaning and mystery and the minimum expectation is being demanded of a brother in our universal family. Like Cain, many are unfortunately transforming from a brother-keeper to a brother-killer.
From the above example of Cain, humanity learnt to settle scores with bloodletting; learnt to feed their greed with murder; learnt to cover evil with assassination; learnt to argue with a threat to life; learnt to terminate the lives of their opponents; learnt to revenge evil by meting out more or similar evil on the persons who could not match their raw power or brutal force. And, indeed, humanity learnt to gain access to influence or affluence with the killing of others and graduated to fostering their political, economic and social ambitions with the blood of innocent persons. Humans kill at the slightest provocation, at the least discomfort or in pursuit of opportunities and successes. Cain violated and destroyed life and rendered the world a blood-spilling field. He killed Abel only to discover the multiplication and complication of his problems.
No doubt Ndigbo have suffered gravely in the hands of the bloodthirsting, bloodlusting, and bloodletting, unbridled philistines of Nigeria. They have suffered in various ways and times, which has given rise to many self-determination groups. These groups emerged to bring solace, tranquillity, liberation, emancipation, peace, justice and fairness, consolation, and thank goodness they adopted the time-tested, principled, active, non-violent method. It gave them lots of success and at least did not worsen the precarious condition of Ndigbo. Living through the temptation to abandon such a method is seductive, but they largely resisted it. Some backed out and adopted violence even if directed at their enemies. Violence begets violence, runs out of control, and spills over so that the casualties are not only those who started the fire which they cannot quench or of which they have lost control.
In truth, our hitherto-sacred land is progressively being defiled by the rivers of blood of innocent victims killed violently through misguided patriotism and Hobbesian drive for the worship of self. The devaluation of human life expressed in its destruction without qualms makes the Hobbesian state of nature a paradise. Here, life is not only short, nasty and brutish, but it is also a complete reign of the culture of death in which life has been emptied of its meaning and death emptied of its mystery. The level of killings and destruction in our land is bizarre and inexplicable. Sadly, the government at the centre slumbers, snores and sleepwalks while these merchants of death celebrate their killing sprees and turn our homeland into a deplorable cesspit.
Igboland is fast becoming a killing field. Unfortunately, so many lives have been lost, and the incidences are mounting. It is difficult to believe that these evil acts are being perpetrated by those whose resolve and passion is to protect their people. It is irreconcilable that people suffer worse treatment from brothers, who parade as messiahs. The experience of Ndigbo relative to the situation is a transition from frying pan to fire. It is akin to changing the address and costumes of the killers. There is fire and fury in the land. Though compassion without passion is lethargic, passion without compassion is self-destructive and we are not far from the latter. May I remind the culprits, in the words of Patience Jonathan, that “All these bloods you people are sharing there is god ooo”. Whoever kills, grabs a curse that spells death and destruction. How can brothers kill brothers to advance a point, demonstrate power, bargain for a treasure, or institute a will?
Is it not absolute evil and arrant wickedness to kill in order to overawe people not to participate in the political process or to disrupt a political process? Is it not a grave evil whose recompense will be generational to kill people to make a political statement or score a political point? One thing is clear: both God and Igboland will hold the perpetrators of this evil accountable. They will not go free. We will never forget that supposed brother-keepers turned into brother-killers. We will not forget that many were killed in different parts of Igboland. But our collective volitional resolve will rise against the perpetrators of this evil. The blood of these brothers they have wasted will rise against them in condemnation.
In the name of God, please stop these killings. Blood is powerful, and you mortgage your peace, consolation and happiness by wasting lives; you bargain for evil by causing deaths. May the collective will of Ndigbo rise and stand up against these acts and their perpetrators. Amen. In the name of God, stop!
Fr George Adimike