During the peak of the Jos crises, I heard a loud explosion a far off one morning. Although the explosion did not happen close by, yet its sound was closely-felt by me and my neighbours as we stared at each other helplessly. The explosion happened a day after I had returned from a trip, so I nervously felt that I probably had made mistakes in the timing of my return to Jos.
Later that week, I attended trainings in Jos on “what to do immediately you hear a sound of explosion in order to minimize colossal damage.” I remembered that we were taught to lay face flat on the ground among several other instructions. It sounded like the instructions that one gets from air hostess in the airplane on how to use the life jacket to jump out in case of emergency. These instructions often sound nice, but when emergencies occur, no one remembers any of them. In fact, no one lives to tell the story.
While still reflecting on the magnitude of damage that the explosion might have caused, a passer-by remarked, “this bomb is like 1999 model, it won’t cause much havoc.” He continued, “oga, if you hear the latest model, that’s the dangerous one which inflicts catastrophe.”
It is sad how we have become used to bombs, to the extent that we know models of bombs. Several loud explosions have continued to buffet our eardrums without abating. If it is not heard in the Northern part of the country, it is heard in the Southern part… #BokoHaramBombings#PipelineBombings #SuicideBombing. During political conflict, bombs are, during religious conflict, bombs are equally used. With the way that we are going, bombs may be used in conflicts between husband and wife soon. The unending use of bombs in Nigeria’s conflict worries me, as bombs has never done any good to human, animal or material resources.
Each time, we hear the siren of the Police, Red Cross, and National Emergency Management Authority (NEMA) rushing to scene of bomb blast to gather the mutilated and charred parts of human beings for mass burial. It is sad that we have lost sanctity for human lives. I keep asking, how did we get here?
No doubt, we cannot quantify the damage that bombs or IEDs has done to Nigeria and Nigerians. Each time, bomb goes off, my heart bleeds. We are all victims of #BombBlast! Yes, we are! We cannot move freely because we are scared of stepping on explosives. We cannot walk into places freely without being literally stripped naked in the guise of being searched and suspected of carrying explosives. We have lost relatives or friends in blasts. We have lost infrastructures that we all use including places of worship. Those we would have loved to come close to, we deliberately avoid them because we fear they might be laced with explosives.
Have we become a bomb-infested generation? Why should Boko Haram use bomb on fellow humans? Why should the guys in Niger Delta use bomb on strategic national assets and pipelines? Enough of these bombs! They are not helpful. They are destructive. Please stop using what does not help us.
Why a human being should chose to be a suicide bomber is what baffles me continually. If you are tired of living, why not bomb yourself and spare others. Why do you want others to die with you? Did you come to this world together? Why not ask those who make the bombs to use them?
Let me talk to the bomb makers (not users) now. If you could make something to destroy life, you can as well make something to save lives. Your ingenuity can make medicines and other inventions that save lives. It is more rewarding if you will re-channel your energy in the right direction and be celebrated globally for being a witty inventor.
For now, it is the government that has vehicles and devices to detonate bombs. However, they are not sufficient to scan everywhere at every time to detonate bombs. More individuals need bomb detonator not just the usual metal detector. Yes, the government has done well to do jingles asking us to avoid crowded places among others. However, since we might not completely stop those who have given their hearts to the devil from what they love to do, there should be more orientation for the public on how to identify an explosive. Many people still cannot identify one when they see one. There is need for more awareness on what to do to minimize damage when it occurs. There should more crackdowns on those who sell materials used in the production of explosives and close monitoring of buyers. Finally, bombers are here, so our alertness will also do us great good.
Do have a bomb-free day ahead.