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Nigeria Kills. Again. By Dele Farotimi


I could end this piece with the title. And the proof of the efficacy in communication is that few people would demand further elucidation of me, for Nigeria kills with nauseating regularity, our country, a land that might have been paradise, has been destroyed and rendered a cannibalistic place. Nigeria has killed again and again. Even as I type these words. 

I was at an airport outside of Nigeria, when I was sent news of the gruesome murder of Omoyele Sowore’s brother. Nigeria kills. My location is relevant because of the agonies I was feeling and the painful thoughts that were already forced on me as I contemplated seeing humanity with only one head, and less resources, living exceedingly more productive lives, than is available to anyone on my entire continent, but particularly more so, in the country of my birth and sojourn. 

I never met ‘Jide Sowore. I never heard of him before being hit by the news of his death. It took Yele’s painful tribute for him to be humanized in our minds, his story is the story of the Unknown Nigerian, victims of the evil rulers of the land that feeds on its inhabitants. Nigeria feeds on the dreams and aspirations of its children, it is the cannibalistic sow, that feeds on its inhabitants. 

Nigeria kills. It kills the dreams, and then it kills the body, it does so with such regularity that it is no longer news, we have become acculturated to death. But Buhari and our rulers would have us believe that these deliberate evils are normal, and have us ignore, that these are the natural consequences of their deliberate actions and inactions. Zamfara State has been lost to bandits, and I doubt that the victims are asking for the tribal identities of their tormentors, nor are they likely to ask for the ethnoreligious identities of anyone sent to liberate them. Only the Gumis of this evil empire, would care. 

Yele’s parents must have conceded the loss of Yele to Nigeria, for Yele is the warrior that goes to war embalming himself, Yele died decades ago, and I warrant that his parents had resigned themselves to fate. But I doubt that they ever counted on Nigeria taking Jide away as it has done. I can only pray that God’s mercies and grace shall console Yele and the family. Amen. Nigeria kills again. 

Cue the usual yeye rolling and excuses for the manifest failures of the state. Fulani herdsmen would again be blamed. The popular catchphrase for the failure of the Nigerian state, to fulfill the very first purpose, of any functional state; the protection of the lives and properties of the persons, living within its territory. Why should the ethnicity of criminals be a factor in the protection of the citizens? But it really doesn’t matter, there’s always something else to blame, always someone else to blame, for the manifest failures of the Nigerian state. 

Goodnight, Jide Sowore. It is sad to be introduced to you by your death. Yele wrote of a man looking at the age of 50, but who determined to return to the university to educate his mind. Not for you the usual pursuit of a law degree, or the allure of being a lawyer in a lawless country, your pursuit couldn’t have been influenced by money, you were already too old for that to have been the reason you went back to school, and I am sure that when one interrogates your life, there are important lessons for the wise. You would have told your story, if Nigeria had not happened to you, and I urge that those who knew you, should consider it a duty to tell the world of you. 

The Nigerian state kills. Again and again and again. Ad naseum! Shame on Buhari! Shame on the entire Nigerian ruining crass! Nigeria kills again. May Nigeria not happen to me and you. Amen. 



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