You Too Will Pay The Price For Being Nigerian by Senami Kojah

…the man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny-Wole Soyinka

Two Presidents and one new term later the beautiful books are still conspicuously missing from the shelve.

The other day I watched the books of the lean General use sophisticated camera’s for a class project, an exhibition in London. 

It made me wonder…
How long did it take us as a ‘giant’ lump to mortify our conscience that we let things like the absence of 112 school girls from five years ago and another Christian School girl go unnoticed?

How do you, yes you! Grin at your daughters achievement in school while the Chibok and Dapchi mothers gnash their teeth when each anniversary is marked, not by the laurels they have bagged but by lengthy speeches and cameo appearances of your stained kaftan?

How did we set a date with evil and honour it every year with flowery promises, hashtags and marches?

If you know the answer to these questions and still take a leisurely walk round this giant mouse trap, I assure you; you too will pay the price for being Nigerian.

I’ll tell you how it will happen, this unfortunate date with the baby of your silence.

You see, it will happen when you unexpectedly encounter men of our SARS who are pissed at your affluence decide to give you a shot, not of whiskey but of your own complacency. 

It will happen when the road your ‘brother’, the chief, from your village refused to construct swallows your generation; sadly it will be too late to tag him on Twitter to pay your medical bills or sit in the pew you reserved for him in church.

You will experience it when you go to the farm and return not with yams but with severed limbs from the wandering machete.

If non of these befall you in the fashion I have described, it will manifest in ways at which we will all mavel at when we read it as ‘graphic or shocking’ news headlines.

You can decide to let this commemoration pass while you await your turn in the unfortunate series of events or you can decide to revolt before it gets to you. 

Whatever your decision, today, remember the name of those missing books, allow the hollow it created on the shelve poke your conscience and maybe mix tears with the new rain; hopefully your sobs will scream and demonstrate.

Until then, Pox on all who sit in silence!

Senami Kojah is a Writer, Journalist and Public Affairs Analyst who writes from Lagos.
[email protected]

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