Monday, March 24, 2014

SALT ON AN OPEN WOUND? (by Abiodun Fijabi)

We buried the young men and women - 19 or so of them, 3 of them pregnant with children.

Their mistake was that they trusted the system. They had no reason to. They should have realized that an average politician thinks first of himself and last of himself. They should have suspected that the jobs had been shared, long before they became vacant. They should have known that the dogs and the cats of the elite would receive better protection and better attention than jobless graduates. But can you blame them?

Hope is one anchor that keeps us going. Once hope is gone, we are gone. The hundreds of thousands that thronged the stadia and sports centers had held unto hope. May be, Comrade Moro is different. May be, due process will be followed this time. May be, they will protect us and treat of us with some civility this time around. After all, as the Bible says, 'hope does not make ashamed'.

The death of the 19 is the death of hope. We did not only bury the young and agile men and women, we buried the hopes they cherished and the dreams they carried. We murdered them in their prime, cut off their flowers in their blossom, and ended their life's journey in the night before the dawn.

And now, we tell their families, "Give us three job applicants per family. Your slain children have purchased three places in the juicy Nigeria Immigration Service."
What if one family had lost its only child - the only hope of a better future?
What if, no one in the family is qualified for the job? Will we lower the standards? Or, persuade the families concerned to sell their slots to the highest bidders, as some form of compensation?

Meanwhile, no head has rolled. No one has been sanctioned. No one is talking about refunding the applicants' fees.
Even if we all agree that the government's offer is better than nothing, would the families be right to hope again? Should they trust the system, with all of its insensitivity and corruption, to deliver on its promises? Or, would it be another salt on the already open and sore wound?

O God, why can't I easily get these deaths off my mind?

Written by:
Abiodun Fijabi
(culled from FB post: "Salt On Open Wound")

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