By Ikeddy Isiguzo
The security and welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of government – Section 14 2b, Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999.
I commiserate with the Fasoranti and Olakunrin families over the murder of their daughter, and wife, in broad daylight, in a space that is under legitimate authority of government.
Mourning of the departed is a private affair which only the families and close associates feel. The escalation of the death to media opportunities is unfortunate. The hypocrisy, pretence to grief, and concern about the departed show in trite statements from the government.
How many Nigerians are gruesomely murdered daily? What has the government done about them? How would arresting the killers of Mrs. Funke Olakunrin, neé Fasoranti, if ever it happens, atone for those deaths that have been waved aside as part of the values of being Nigerians?
Lives are lost daily. Instead of meaningful government actions to secure Nigerians, we are lost in debates about ethnicity of the killers. It is our admission that some are above the law, and can live as they please. Should they?
Talk all over the country is about different Nigerian communities defending themselves. Do we recognize the chaos an unconcerned government is nurturing?
Can we spare a moment for the present? Why does a country with daily avoidable deaths delight in scrambles for who becomes President in 2023 and beyond? Is the present important?
Do the lives of ordinary Nigerians matter? Why do we romanticize crimes? What use are flowery condolences when government addresses insecurity with only words? Why is the government not uncomfortable with the spread of insecurity?
Daily we lose our humanity. The deaths are now mere statistics. They no longer evoke outrage. The Nigerian day is incomplete without such deaths.
As Nigeria heads from one chaos to another, it is unfortunately obvious that government acquiesces to the situation. Where they deem it appropriate, they issue condolence messages or visit the mourning families.
Were Mrs. Olakunrin to be of certain families, her death would have passed like those of others whose lives are terminated on Nigeria’s highways, farms, homes; just anywhere, under similar circumstances. Their deaths do not provoke the Inspector General of Police to promise arrest of the criminals.
Local and national interests in lives now depend on whose lives are involved. Certain lives are unimportant, in the same way certain criminals are important. It is a sad reality of Nigeria.
Mrs. Olakunrin’s death – in case we are still in doubt – is a reminder that nobody is safe, nobody is above the expansive reaches of criminals. Will governments act differently from now?
Will Nigerians bury divisive tendencies and hold the government accountable?
Are security and welfare of the people still the primary purpose of government?
May the Almighty rest Mrs. Olakunrin.