President Bola Ahmed Tinubu

By: Ishaq Alhassan Qauranmata.

It is a mark of the extent to which our current “leaders” hold us in contempt that the death of nearly a hundred (over a hundred by some accounts) INNOCENT, LAW ABIDING citizens and varying degree of injury to several others, from the weapons of the national army, purchased to protect us was so insignificant that neither the president nor the state governor deems it expedient to cut short his foreign jamboree and rushed back home as a mark of respect for the dead and injured and in empathy with the hundreds of families mourning their loved ones!

They didn’t bother, first because elections are too far away and also because it wasn’t the first time and, they are used to a usually docile North making just a little noise and then shutting up!

Unfortunately for them the youths in the North are, apparently beginning to get fed up, beginning to wake up and beginning to take the lead.

The youth are beginning to get fed up with waiting and anticipating action from “elders” who have grown so incredibly self-centered and insensitive that they won’t raise a voice over anything that could make them lose government patronage.
The youth are beginning to wake up to the reality that most of our “leaders” and “elders” represent only themselves and their immediate families and would sacrifice anything to maintain their current advantages.

The youth are beginning to take the lead to demand action and some measure of responsible representation and leadership.
So those who were used to dismissing such calamities with a wave of the hand were rudely awakened to a (hopefully) new reality.

For the first time the “noise” rather than diminish and die as was usual, kept growing and spreading through both the social, as well as conventional media, and with protests at various points including the NASS.

As is to be expected, both traditional and religious leaders smartly and quickly woke up and began to come out of their shells, lending their voices to the demand for action.

Then the government realised that this time around, something has to give, so PR gurus easily came up with the hurried “condolence visit” by the top and mighty.
Ordinarily, one would commend the visit by the vice president, the speaker of the house of representatives, the state governor along with other dignitaries. Unfortunately however, the visit came through, to all discerning minds more as a “damage control” mechanism than a genuine humane concern for victims of tragedy!

How long would it have taken the entourage to visit the scene of the avoidable madness?
To “see” for themselves what really happened through personal assessment of the theatre of butchery. To show empathy, console and condole with the hundreds of families still in utter shock over such a disaster.

It will not return the dead. It will not heal the wounded. It will not erase the trauma but it will show relations that at least their leaders feel a little of their pains!
But that was not what brought the team to Kaduna. So they rushed into and rushed out of Barau Dikko, and made sure the cameras captured the VP sharing money to the wounded, many of whom were clearly unable to even hold the money!

After all this is not the first time such a devastating incidence is happening in the North. It happened at IDP camp in Borno state, in Zamfara, in Kebbi, and in Nassarawa states. But this is the first time the government is showing any concern. The others were simply dismissed as “errors”, and that was that!

The only silver lining in the whole sordid affair was the commendable action of the Kaduna State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) which stepped in after the wounded were dumped at the Barau Dikko Specialist Hospital, many of them on the floors.

SEMA evacuated those who could not get beds at Barau Dikko, moved them to 44 and other hospitals and actually set up a mobile Kitchen, ensuring both victims and care givers were adequately fed. The agency also ensured the hospitals got essential drugs needed to cater for the wounded.

It is therefore necessary that, while we condemn the crass insensitivity by those at the top who treated this calamity with their usual levity until they were compelled by mass protest to act, we must also commend a government agency that appear to be alive to its responsibility.

May Allah grant the departed rest in Jannah.
May He grant speedy healing to both the wounded and the traumatised survivors and families.

May this mark a new beginning in the north as we all spoke across all divides on this one.

It is necessary to sustain the tempo until a thorough investigation is carried out on this and past mishaps that were dismissed as errors.

And until adequate compensation is paid to the families.
If those offers of #20million, #10million etc are personal donations then they are welcome, but if they from government, then we must reject them.

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