Can Nigeria be likened to a purgatory?
Purgatory is a half-way house – not quite heaven and not nearly hell. It is a state of limbo where hapless souls sit and contemplate the errors of their earthly ways; while they repent at leisure. Repentance is an opportunity to either accumulate the brownie points that would guarantee them an entrance into the much coveted heaven albeit at the cost of some penance; while an accumulation of sins that tips the scales against them; would see them either slide further down into hell, or remain wandering in the limbo of lost souls.
You are neither in nor out.
Waiting and longing for the benevolence of the master to open the gates and let you in. Ahead of you, safety and security or else the roaring flames of eternal damnation.
Last week, Nigeria launched its very own purgatory at the gates of a hitherto largely unknown town; on the outskirts of Maiduguri.
The purgatory of weary travellers along the Boko Haram ingested and ravaged North East corridor; where you relied upon the benevolence of as battered and demoralized custodians of the keys; to determine if you would be allowed to pass into the relative safety and security of the town. Or else, you would have to do penance; usually in the form of pellets of sweat running down your weary body like liquid bullets.
Crammed into cars that had journeyed far and long; struggling to beat all odds to gain entrance into the relative heaven of the town or else; repent at leisure any act of tardiness along the way that would force them to wait. Counting prayer beads. Recounting sins and repenting of them over and over and over again. Making promises to walk the straight and narrow if only…
If only they could live through the night.
If only the insurgents could find some other form of distraction.
Indeed, if only Boko Haram would choose another night to strike.
Last week, the purgatory belonging to Nigeria along the North-East corridor, refused to admit the travel worn souls. Meanwhile, not only did it at least give them the opportunity to proceed at a later time; it spat them right back into the flames of the terrorists. Temporarily converted into “hell on earth”, while the safe refuge they sought was within an arm’s length.
Nigeria…What a country!
But wait, just before you blame the soldiers for not being at the post to let weary travelers through; have you by any chance been looking at anything other than videos of the Chinese; invoking the gods of every virulent infection known to man by chomping down on anything that moves?
If you answered “yes” to that; then you may have perhaps seen the videos of the gallant men of the Nigerian security forces; fainting from exhaustion in the deserts of the worst hit areas. These ones that we expect to be so motivated that the mere sight of them would send a chill down the spines of even the most hardened terrorists; were looking like a rag tag collection of village farmers who had stumbled upon a pile of dirty fatigues; and were trying them on for sport.
They were dropped like flies, some frothing at the mouth. Those who could stand and speak, cried out for help from the same people they were supposed to be helping.
“Please help us and beg the Federal Government. We are supposed to push back these terrorists but we have not been fed for the past three days. We have not even had access to drinking water. And we are dying here, we need help”.
Did you see that video?
Did you drop a hasty tear that you surreptitiously tried to wipe off; especially because you were looking at it in a public place? And because you didn’t want to share the shame of the giANT of Africa with those around you?
So before you blame the military for not opening those gates or leaving them unlocked through the night; remember that they are as much victims of a country that is desperate to steal money that they hope to inject funds that should be used in feeding the military, into propping up the propaganda arm of the administration. So that while our boys die of heat, hunger, exhaustion and terrorists’ bullets; the propaganda arm of the government through the Nigerian Television Authority; would be assuring that Nigeria is winning the war on terror.
And before you forget; your President is blissfully unaware that Boko Haram has not yet been defeated – technically and literally. He is truly concerned about the welfare of Libyans, Burkina Fasoans, and the Royal Family after MegHarExit. He will fix the hospitals if you give him or any of his stooges a third term. In the interim, you all should try to be patriotic and avoid foreign hospitals. Well, except you are the President.
No need to be patriotic then.
It should be sufficient for you all that he sacrificed his all to be your President again. He cannot sacrifice any further, mbok.
Nigeria is one huge purgatory.
Auno was just a tip of the iceberg.
May the souls of the departed be accepted into paradise. They have already been through purgatory and hell.
God help Nigeria.
There was a country!