Saturday, December 25, 2010

This Dart Hits Me III: Not a Merry Xmas

Christmas Eve saw evil descend on Jos and Maiduguri. On Friday 24, three bombs exploded in Jos--two in busy Jos markets and one in a Catholic church. Over thirty people were killed in Jos; several more wounded. In Maiduguri, a church was burnt and a pastor and two others were killed.

My friend, John Galadima, lives in Jos with his family. John teaches Mass Communication in University of Jos, Nigeria. But he was in Ibadan this season to get ready for the final defence of his PhD thesis coming up soon. When John got the news that his hometown was in flames, he was totally crestfallen. He spent nearly all on him making calls to his wife and relatives. In the evening, John had to take a shot of local gin to douse his rising restlessness. Thank God, his family members were not harmed. Contrary to tradition, I decided not to send any SMS this year wishing anyone merry Xmas. It was not a merry Xmas.

What is sad about all of this is that there had been clear signals that there would be attacks during Christmas in Jos. Five days before dropping the bombs in Abuja on October 1, militants warned government; days before Boko Haram invaded the Bauchi prison and set their bloodhounds free, government got wind of it. All of the recent blasts, attacks, massacres were preceded by what is more than rumours of the atttacks. And don't think that the Nigerian security agents are dumb asses. They are simply overstretched protecting the rich political class. Merry Xmas?

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