When we heard the blast and the fusillades, we knew you had struck again and perhaps, even now, you raise your glasses and click them at a mission fait accompli, or you are right now plotting another misadventure. And again, we are astonished, wondering what in the world to do to slake your insatiable thirst for bloodshed. Even this very ground is choking, unable to swallow the many blood you have spilled on it. This game of taking lives with impunity, are you not bored yet? You have carried on too long.
You are not animals; neither are you deranged people nor are you creatures past feelings of compunction. In your hearts we believe, that there are still glimmers of positive human emotions. We use to live as brothers until you signed this abominable pact of destruction and mutilation. Now we appeal to your sense of better judgment to take time to listen to the cries of your victims, these cries that fill your ears, yet you choose to ignore. Our towns are littered with orphans, widows and men bereft of all they have labored for. Each time, we leave our homes in trepidations hoping that today would not be our last.
This cause you so passionately defend threatens the stability and prosperity of our land. This willingness of yours to shed your life and that of others does not hold water. It is not a worthy cause. The litmus test for every worthy cause, religion or belief are based on these: is it good for God and man? Is it compassionate and considerate? Is it fueled by love? And in these tests, yours seems to fail woefully. Your cause is fueled by bloodshed and hate and unjust anger and a desire not to see the betterment of your fellow men.
You cannot blame us if we do not share your philosophies, for it speaks against every good thing man believes in and it heavily opposes justice. Your philosophies treat life like it were some negligible entity.
When you kill a man, and as it is in this case, men in their thousands, you kill dreams; you abort destinies and these people’s contribution to the world. You make the world miss various wonders. You forcefully take that which you have no right to and you destroy what you cannot fathom. You may laugh and say, ‘well, death is an inevitable end to human life and we only hasten it.’ But we believe that though death be inescapable to him, Man was not designed to die in such an undignified manner, his life ending life a punctured balloon. So see, whatever props you on and backs you up opposes propriety.
And to the dear young hearts indoctrinated and conscripted into defending this belief in human sacrifice and making nonsensical the value of life, know you not that they feed you a string of white lies? Your life has worth and so do that of others. Your life is not yours; you did not strike a bargain with providence. It is a gift entrusted you in which you shall account for. This mentors and progenitors whom you sit at their feet speak of martyrdom but an unworthy cause has no true martyrs. In your hearts we know that they are faint shadows of doubt considering the worthiness of what you doggedly defend. A belief that measures it victories by the blood it sheds and counts its laurels by the tearful mourning of others and decks its adherents with epaulets of their own lost lives, is a far cry from a noble one.
Perhaps in this you seek significance, not willing to leave this world as nobodies but defenders of your faith. But we say, seek significance in adding value, not in stealing it.
Perhaps you have been erred and with this you seek vengeance, and we ask, which of us has not been failed some time or the other? Those who we have believed have failed by various degrees. If we all took to bombs and arms, what will be left of this country? But we have found bigger virtues to rest our hearts on; that of hope, love and forgiveness. We know you think these are weaker means to victory but we know these virtues have won from time immemorial. Convictions are not a test of logic. That you feel strongly about this matter, willing to give your life for it does not make it right.
And to the men that feed your guns with bullet, stoking the fires of your violence and having no better thing to do with their wealth, do not think for a moment you shall go unscathed. The day is coming, and it is now when your own clothes shall catch the fires you so readily ignite.
And we, choosing to break your hard bones with a gentle tongue, do beseech you, stop the wickedness. But do not consider us weaklings for we shall keep fighting back on our knees till your convictions are stymied and your boldness stripped from you.
(First published in Y!Naija )