Public Commentary / Satire

ON FLAGS AND MISPLACED PRIORITIES

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On Flags

In a nation of constant and epileptic changes, few things remain constant. The Nigerian flag is one. Green and white is the colour and Nigeria is the country. This has been the status quo since October 1, 1960 when the union jack was lowered.
The Nigerian flag is a humble one. No star, spear or any of those shitty design. Just the white colour flanked by the green from the west to the east.
The past 48 hours however appears to question the accuracy of my assertion. Its like the colour of the flag has changed and now has blue, white and red as colours. This looks confusing because I’ve been awake this entire year(except when I’m sleeping of course) and i dont remember France and Nigeria swapping flags like footballers do jerseys. The 8th National assembly I’m sure hasn’t passed a bill to that effect either. And I’m also pretty damn sure buhari’s change mantra didn’t include changing our flag or swapping it with France’s. More so France is not our colonial master so even if we are swapping flags it should be with Britain. So how did we get here?

Misplaced Priorities

Nigerians are an interesting bunch with a knack for overdoing things. Especially things outside their reality. Call it crying more than the bereaved or to borrow from the Yoruba recital in praise of satan- “the bereaved shed tears, Nigerians shed blood”. What better analogy to explain this hypothesis than the overnight French citizens on Nigerian soil. From facebook to Twitter to whatsapp they are #PrayingForParis with their profile picture draped in french flags.
Firstly, before you ask if i have a heart beating in my chest, i do. And like every sensible human being( except Donald trump) i sympathize with the French people but my sympathy is cautious and yours should be too. How logical is it for citizens of a third world/developing/less developed( pick your choice) country battling home grown terrorism since 2009 with a casualty of 10,000+ lives to suddenly discover their humanity especially when such humane gesture is missing on this home front?

Boko haram attack: Eh! These people again, They should sha remain in the North and bomb their people. ( End of Story)

Isis attacks Paris: #PrayForParis, picture wrapped with French flags

To what end?

Just to feel cool. Follow the trend. #PrayForParis #JeSuisCharlie #RipPaulWalker. These are noble efforts but when such gestures are mute when fellow Nigerians are involved, Stupidity is the word. I’ve also read with amusement, posts by some passionate folks urging Nigerians to boycott facebook for creating a theme with the French flag without ever reciprocating same to Nigeria. The thing is passion cannot and should not be substituted for logic and rationality. The trite question is why should facebook place premium on Nigerian lives when Nigerians and their government by extension dont give a fuck, or a farthing about what happens to Nigerians within or outside the shores of the country?
How can a fairly reasonable person not see that france has shown over the years, through word and deed how much they value the lives of their citizens and that this value is what has elicited support and sympathy from all over the world?
Some few months ago many Nigerians( I say many because there are conflicting figures) died in the mecca stampede and up till now no official government response to ascertain the dead and notify their families. We don’t know their names, no one minute silence or befitting burial, no summoning of the Saudi Arabia ambassador for clarifications. The dead and their families are on their own because the government just doesn’t care. Juxtapose this to France that pays ransome to terrorists when their citizens are kidnapped. And you want facebook to change their wall to green and white for Nigeria. Are you kidding me?

All have sinned

Like the bible says all have sinned and fall short the glory of God. In our response to the Paris attack we are all guilty of the sin of misplaced priority.

To the overnight French citizens on Nigerian soil? Guilty. Offence- Misplaced priority

To those calling for the head of zuckerberg and facebook ? Guilty. Throw your invectives instead at your government, they dont value your lives either

And the #PrayForNigeria crew? We are guilty as well. It shouldn’t take an attack in faraway Paris to stir the patriotic fervour in us.

PS; The bitter truth, which we must nevertheless tell ourselves is that the life of the average Nigerian is worthless. Until the Nigerian government is willing to go to war over one Nigerian citizen, until a state of emergency is declared when more than 100 Nigerians die in a day- nobody will take us serious…not even facebook

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