Friday, 24 May 2013
Wasted Souls Of Anambra By Ify Odanye
Please do not bother with the accuracy of the number. Police say 18, journalists 50-55, and the villagers say 100. Do not dwell on the number. Just dwell, if you can, on the sanctity of human life. Dwell on the fact that the lifeless bodies in the Ezu River floating all the way between Amansii (corrupted to Amansea by British Colonialists) and point of connection with the Anambra River, deep in the Anambra basin, are born of parents.
Do not worry what happened to this all-male crowd between the ages of 25 and 35, who died all wearing boxer shorts and singlets, for those we entrusted with power must find out or bite the dust.
Never let the fact that this may only be a fraction of what has been happening bug you, nor the fact that many more lie undisclosed beyond the confluence of Ezu and Omambala (Anambra) rivers. Leave the river bed to worry about the undiscovered fragments on the molly underneath of the river, or those making their way through the bellies of the endangered fish in the lower Niger tributaries.
Do not think that the fish are endangered by the scarcity of water or because they have lost their ecosystem due to the avoidable flood that has just ravaged the Anambra Basin among other plains of Nigeria. Think more in terms of human action.
Think more in terms of those who go on the quick-fix lane, killing fish with chemicals without the intervention of Anambra and Kogi governments. But think also of the fact that no one set of bodies can have such a colour without a reason. Not unless the chemical has interfered with their surfacing into the innocent serene waters of Ezu. Acid or not, chemical or not, think about one institution being the custodian of the explanations for the mystery of the dead bodies in Anambra.
What is your finding? Anambra State government? Caretaker local governments? Anambra State Command of the Police? Anambra Vililante Services? Communities in the Ezu River course? Think deeper. Can’t you think?
Well if you cannot, let us get others to think.
Let us get Nigeria to think. Let us get West Africans to think if the Malian casualties were imported to Ezu River in the dead of the night in nine buses, trailers or trucks, and deposited in a fast-flowing river in secure Anambra by unknown importers, without Police detection. Get Africa to think if Boko Haraam now makes a case for airlifting dead human victims to Ezu River, rather than live ones, pilgrims, on to the peak of Mount Arafat. Get the world to think if sentencing Nigerian terrorists in far away South Africa means that all his followers chose to jump into a choice River in Anambra to protest the incarceration.
Are they helping your thinking? Are you helping them with clues? Are you hiding that you know something? What is your hunch? Do you want to look good to those you should fight? Does life mean anything to you? Can you not be counted on to stand up for 100 lives?
You still wonder whether you should keep quiet to help build ‘a good image for your country’ or if you should loudly raise questions, demanding to know what happened to 100 able-bodied Nigerians? And you think this is the first time this is happening or if it would be the last? By the way where is your cousin currently in police detention for wandering and your mechanic brother in-law arrested by ravaging Police who arrived at a armed robbery scene, two hours after the robber had gone? Where are they? Can you call them? Can they receive your calls? Do you want to visit them today and insist on seeing them? Perhaps you should before the bodies from the Ezu River are buried? Yes buried! I know what you are thinking, but don’t worry we can always exhume them after the burials if necessary, or if one of those nosy civil rights organizations obtains a court order to the effect.
Oh yes you need it because your eyes are not enough to identify these bodies and the fresh blood that eager onlookers detected on the Amansii Bridge over the Ezu River by Old Enugu- Onitsha Road are not enough to put you on the path of certainty about Hyginus and Maximus your friends ( what else do I call unidentified persons),being part of the black bodies in the river connecting Anambra and Enugu states.
Why are you crying now? You have not seen any reason to be sure you should cry or laugh. Just wipe your tears, do the needful and stop there. Those that got brand new cars for their seasons gifts will do the rest. I repeat for emphasis, do not go shouting or blabbing about why bodies are being buried before identification.
Just follow the code -Do not talk more than your mouth or your leader. Do not ask who is suppressing facts because we know those who have reason to. Do not ask anything else. Just pray, but not with any extra-Pentecostal high decibels, or fervently.
One last thing, before I forget, please do not try to conjure up anything to make your bank account N5 million richer because you may not even be so lucky for river currents to blow your own body to the banks to be discovered by the village fishermen when it would be your turn. And certainly, no one would attest to the fact that there are bullet holes in your body.
Just weep for the wasted homo sapiens of Anambra and pray that God will deal justly with their souls.
Now go! Go!! Go!!! I want to weep. My heart is heavy.
Ify Odanye writes from Lagos
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of SaharaReporters