Paradoxically, the darkness cast by terrorism over the Giant of Africa has been lightening, lurid and lacerating all at once. It has caused a giant to grope and stutter in the dark until finally forcing it to sit on its rear as Nigeria now does.
On March 28, 2022, a day before the Super Eagles of Nigeria hosted the Black Stars of Ghana to a World Cup Qualifying second leg match at the Moshood Abiola National Stadium that promptly ended in jarring disappointment, terrorists stormed a Kaduna-bound train on its way from Abuja. They successfully immobilized the train before unleashing horror on the passengers. More than six persons were killed, many injured and dozens abducted. An entire nation has since been deafened by the defeatist reaction of the government to the national disaster.
A full month is about to go by since the heinous attack on Nigeria and its citizens, but the full moon is yet to cast its illuminating shadows into the den of the terrorists to dispel the darkness and break the fetters of those held captive.
As part of the humiliating hangar atop which the helicopter of a country dictated to by terrorists must now hang, the terrorists have served some demands on the Nigerian government chief of which is the release of their members in some kind of weird exchange. Expectedly, Nigeria has balked at the sickening demand.
On April 27, 2022, to show off their merchandise and flex the might with which they hope to bend the Giant of Africa into submission, the terrorists released four photos of their captives. In the photos, 62 of the kidnapped victims were seen in four groups. The victims included five children.
Nigerians share the heart break of the families whose loved ones have now become pawns in perverse waiting game the terrorists are playing with the authorities. However, the released of those held for committing acts of terror against Nigeria must be ruled out of the question. The country cannot again release into the wild the same Tasmanian monkeys who had hitherto decimated the avian population.
Every other day, in a country that once knew only great promise and prosperity, life loses its meaning just a bit and with it, the desire of many in Nigeria to enjoy it. Insecurity and the attendant anxieties are now the realities of many in a country whose only problems used to be niggling hunger and intractable corruption.
Now, with the images of their victims who should be with those they love, terrorists besiege the psyche of Nigerians.
It has long been suspected that there are many highly placed people in Nigeria who are feeding the crocodiles calling the shots in the reign of terror roasting Nigeria. Nigerians want to know them. Because there is credible evidence that some of them are known to the authorities in Nigeria, Nigerians want to know who their enemies truly are.
They are not imaginary enemies and Nigerians are not known for tilting at the windmills or paranoia. If there is now an unwavering belief, it is because there is conclusive evidence that the carnage has been chillingly coordinated by cold-blooded operatives at the highest level.
The images released include children – the children of Nigeria. Somewhere in Nigeria, some of those who must necessarily form part of the future are now being held in the thrall of terror, and those who hold them have the temerity to make demands of the Giant of Africa.
The nakedness of any country has never been this noisome.