One thing I can never forgive President Muhammadu Buhari is calling IPOB terrorists. Same with the seating governors of the Southeast, who swiftly proscribed IPOB without any attempt to remove that tag.
Because I’m an Igbo man, born and bred in my state until graduation and subsequent search for greener pastures took me across the Niger. There’s no tribe I know that value human lives more than the Igbo tribe. And I’m talking of the entire world. In my own town of Ozubulu, the ceremonies that follow any new Igbo those days in the villages, people dancing and robbing baby powders all over in celebration of a new arrival to the very humane tribe, begin that alluring respect for lives.
During marriages, the processes of taking a woman from her father’s house to her new residence of her would-be husband epitomises the deep values ndi Igbo place on human dignity.
When it comes to the dead, the Igbo man doesn’t bury his dead without inviting all relatives to the deceased to see the body and pay last respect. Because of civilisation that brought diversity in pursuit of greener pastures, many Igbo people left their land to sojourn elsewhere. It brought a problem. To communicate with all relatives and have them back before laying the dead to dust became increasingly impossible. But that soon got solved with the technology of preservation via mortuaries.
Hence more elaborate preparations for burials became the norm such that even those in diaspora returned home to pay that respect. Never mind that it went so exorbitantly out of normal, the big issue remains that Ndi Igbo place so much values on human lives that they never bury the dead in ignominy, no matter his/her social status before departure.
It is therefore impossible for me to swallow that anyone with Igbo blood could be so rascally as to lose such values inherited from our first fathers. Terrorists don’t have value for human lives. That is why they are called terrorist. Not because of the property they destroy. Properties can be repurchased/rebuilt but no one life lost can be replaced.
Now, you don’t necessarily need to be caught killing to be identified as a terrorist. Acts that show no value for human lives could portray you as one.
When I watched that video of Dr. Chike Akunyili struggling in his dying moments, tears started leaving my eyes. I couldn’t even finish the video irrespective of how short it was. It dawned on me, a very striking realisation, that I could be fighting a lost cause.
HAVE WE LOST ALL THOSE VALUES THAT MADE US A UNIQUE PEOPLE?
As deep as the pain of hearing that Prof Dora Akunyili’s husband was brutally murdered, that viral video was utterly disgusting. How can a normal human being take video of a dying man in that very heart-cracking shape and share online?
But whoever recorded that video wasn’t alone. Whoever participated in sharing it further is as guilty as Cain.
Social Media has destroyed our values. People lie, curse, put out exceedingly damaging hate speeches without blinking. Now, it’s taking pictures of the dying, however in horrible pain, to share online.
I didn’t know when umu afo Igbo degenerated to this level. Facebook block some of such gory pictures to teach us decency but our people still rely on WhatsApp to share it without bathing an eyelid.
May God never let the murderers of that great son of ours and others in cold blood escape the brutal hands of the law.
And may his soul and those of others murdered alike rest in peace.