Tragic Dehumanization of Suffering in Nigeria

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Last week, in the latter hours of Thursday afternoon, a group of 30 armed robbers stormed into Offa, Kwara State, (the second largest city in the state), and robbed 6 banks, the surrounding homes and market shops, killing well over 2 dozen people including police officers that were stationed in the city, and injuring scores of others. The operation lasted for almost two hours, while the robbers, without any resistance reigned terror for the third time on the town of Offa. The news was so horrific that the story was carried by several international news outlets. However, when I began to look at the local media coverage, I became nauseas from the disturbing trend.

While the tragedy of Offa is well known, to date, not one Nigerian media outlet has published the name or identity of a single one of the victims that were killed in Offa. There are videos and gruesome images of corpses all over the internet and social media, however, nobody knows the names of any of them. Nobody knows their families, their story, their dreams, their past accomplishments, or their promise. If you accept the narrative handed down by the unaccountable, bought and paid for, corrupt Nigerian media establishment, these people are not real people or even real human beings. So the rest of us should run along, hurry up and be going, and not think twice about who these poor souls were, who their families are, and what the impact of their loss is having on their surrounding community.  If they were human beings, the media would find out their names, report on their ages, who they were, and tell us their story.

Instead, the only names and stories the corrupt media tells us are those of arrogant corrupt politicians, who in the aftermath, paraded through the city of Offa in motorcades of numerous armoured vehicles, the same city that because of their neglect, did not have one single armoured vehicle to protect them despite numerous requests. Let their be no mistake about it, while policing is still executed at the federal level in Nigeria, State Governments have a duty to augment this and provide supplies and support to secure their territories. Other states, like Lagos, have purchased surveillance drones, and armoured carriers to aid police operating in their state to maintain peace and security. Yet in Kwara, the only armoured carriers that are purchased are used to secure the corrupt political elite and their families and not the population they were sworn to serve. Clearly this was not done in Kwara State, but who cares? Who was really affected? A bunch of unnamed and unknown “victims”? Unnamed, incorrectly numbered, and unknown “victims” who will be forgotten tomorrow? Clearly nobody human was lost. Nobody who had a name, nobody with a family or a story worth telling. That is nobody, if you pay attention to the worthless Nigerian media establishment.

If you read the coverage, names are mentioned, but not the names of the victims, but rather those of corrupt politicians. Further, when these useless corrupt figures visited Offa, they did not go to the homes of all the victims, attend any of the funerals, (as you would see leaders in a civilized nation do), rather, they ignored the plight of the subhuman nameless victims altogether, choosing rather to take their armoured motorcades only to the palace of the king. These politicians cannot name a single victim. They do not know where they lived. Could care less when they were buried, and who had to pay to burry them. An further, have no care for what their loss has done to their surrounding community. Their actions speak volumes. What is more shocking than their action, is the fact that it is all endorsed and facilitated by the worthless, corrupt, and coopted Nigerian media establishment, and a group of unprofessional compromised “journalists”, “bloggers”, who are yet to question any of this nonsense. While the dehumanization of suffering is becoming all to common in Nigeria, no place is this concerted dehumanization of victims more prevalent than in Kwara State.

Since the Nigerian media establishment is so worthless, unprofessional, and compromised, and all they respond to is money awashed in corruption and debauchery; forgive me, and let me speak their language. I will give N100,000.00 to the first “journalist”, or media “blogger”, that can name the 2 dozen Nigerian citizens gunned down in Offa, their ages, genders, and surviving family, I will give an extra N1,000.00, if you can secure a picture of them while they were still alive. These were human beings, real people that had family, hopes and dreams, and story worthy of being told.

Kuranga and Associates Limited is an investment management advisory firm and an asset manager with a principle practice area of Africa. To learn more about Kuranga and Associates LTD contact us at theassociatesincubator@gmail.com. © Copyright 2018 David Kuranga. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

David O. Kuranga, Ph.D.

The author is the Managing Director and Principal of Kuranga and Associates, a full-service investment, political and economic risk consultancy, and asset management firm that specializes in Africa. He is also the author of The Power of Interdependence with Palgrave Macmillan Press.

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Godwin Okafor is a Financial Journalist, Internet Social Entrepreneur and Founder of Naija247news Media Limited. He has over 16 years experience in financial journalism. His experience cuts across traditional and digital media. He started his journalism career at Business Day, Nigeria and founded Naija247news Media in 2010. Godwin holds a Bachelors degree in Industrial Relations and Personnel Management from the Lagos State University, Ojo, Lagos. He is an alumni of Lagos Business School and a Fellow of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton Seminar for Business Journalists). Over the years, he has won a number of journalism awards. Godwin is the chairman of Emmerich Resources Limited, the publisher of Naija247news.

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