Friday, August 01, 2008

Tragedies in FCT

There were a couple of tragedies this week in the Federal Capital Territory that barely scraped into the news: at least 9 people died when a building in construction collapsed, then this morning, a Julius Berger container lorry full of people crashed, killing at least 11 people, and perhaps up to 30. On top of the casual way in which it was announced in the papers earlier this week that 43 people died running in a race, as part of training to join the Immigration Service, its all too much. If any these events happened in America, there would be a national day of mourning, or at least a huge outcry. Is the media too sensitive to a story over there, and is there too much vanity in grief, or is there nowhere near enough sensitivity over here? Every night, hundreds of people begin their mourning over needless deaths, and nothing seems to change.


anonymaus,  2:18 am  

I think the issue is the value of life itself, it is cheap and worthless. The story of beg and rape further reinforces this view.

Unless you are a relative or associate of the deceased, no one will bat an eyelid.

In other parts of the world, an investigation would be launched, preventative steps would be taken stop this from repeating, all of this would be open to public scrutiny. Those responsible for this would be relieved of their positions, so more able and caring people can take over. That is not the way in Nigeria, peoople just put it down to "God's will".

China (the Peoples Republic) (an undemocratic state), they take action, witness the tragic events of the Szechuan earthquake where many schools collapsed killing and injuring many students. The neighbouring buildings are still standing, and investigation is being launched as to why this occurred, and no doubt action will be taken in the no-nonense manner of the Chinese authorities.

What will happen about the collapsed building in Abuja? The answer is, not much (and Nigeria is a "democratic society"). The most that happens is that people will shrug their shoulders and people will continue to die, in the manner they are doing currently.

The fact that the structures of society are so weak and ineffective, doesn't fill one with much confidence as to things changing in the near future. It doesn't have to be that way, but it is that way.

Air beneath my feet 6:00 am  

This is an important perspective on our times and I think Nigerian society has borrowed incorrectly from other civilisations. We seem a whole lot more shallow, apathetic and self absorbed than we used to be. Our souls are being deadened and this is poisoning our relationships. If we cared more, and did more things for each other this world would be different. I think that fundamental changes have to be made at a much deeper level, our perception, to really change the civilisation and all around us. Until then only hope can liberate us. We are living in very grave and terrible times. The age of the new horsemen of the - so called – “apocalypse” traversing the world, in quest of the deaths of many: Economic inequality and tragedy, hunger, brutality, rebellion, hostilities, deadly disease, embargoes and sanctions are in the news every day. Nonetheless, should Nigeria continue in the current direction? Or have we chosen its fate? Can we not improve its destiny?

pam 9:54 am  

I heard about the people trapped in the building on the radio. They were at the scene of the collapse.

The reporter was interiewing a man who was frantically asking for help. He said some people trapped where still alive making and answering calls from underneath the rubble.

Knowing what thier chances are in this mirage we live in I actually started to cry.

Instead of constructive things in Abuja I keep hearing about some bloody 50 billion naira boulevard and more demolitions of already pathetic scrapping for survival settlements on the outskirts.

Anonymous,  10:03 am  

Anonymaus, you make a good point, and then spoil by using China as an example. Yes, the Chinese will investigate,, and probably take the individuals out the back, line them up against a wall and shoot them. They might (might) value human life more than we do, but their human rights record is apalling.

Anonymous,  11:30 am  

Now you know why we live wretched lives. How can 43 job applicants die in a silly fitness test, when those employing them are unfit pigs? Whose idea was this? I can imagine, there was neither planning nor preparation. In typical Nigerian style, everything is dealt with in a superficial manner. If it goes wrong, blame or attribute it to a higher being, God, etc. There is rarely depth to anything in Nigeria. It is laziness of the mind which is reflected in many ways, and when combined with greed and selfishness as in Nigeria, it is very destructive. In Abuja, it manifests itself in verbal diarrohea from clueless politicians, who will rightly condemn the deaths, the hapless police will talk about investigating, and the uneducated public will leave it in the hands of God. Problem solved....erm..till the next disaster. Enough said.

Anonymous,  11:37 am  

hello jeremy, great thought provoking post...please dont publish this comment...can you change morning to mourning above.

anonymaus,  3:55 pm  

Anonymous @ 10.03 am thank you for your feedback.

The point is with China, though not democratic, they (the government) realise that it is the government's responsibility to act, to minimise such incidents in future. Gunning down the guilty or sending them off to a long sentence of "re-education", is not the point.

The supposedly uncaring government, (that doesn't have to stand for public re-election) feels the need to act to protect the lives of some of their citizens. The case of Nigeria (where they at least stand for re-election), no one cares, that was the point of using China. Either way you look at it, from a developed stand point or a developing stand point, Nigeria is just left lacking in social responsibility. A case in point to highlight this, barely 6 weeks ago, 18 perished in auto crash in Cross River state

Who is to say who will be next? The road safety body (nationwide) has failed to take comprehensive, sytematic action is taken to halt this. I could give further examples of how governments are mobilising to reduce the carnage on their roads that are no where near what Nigeria's is, but the point has been made, so there is no need.

Ms. Catwalq 5:16 pm  

I think one of the reasons why nothing is done is because no one wants to be found responsible and no one wants to be the one to find someone responsible because they know that they too in their lived are doing something irresponsible as well...

Anonymous,  8:56 pm  

The simple truth is that Nigerians don't care about each other.

Anonymous,  10:01 am  

Is it mourning or morning? Or is it the other way round?

Air beneath my feet 1:17 pm  

anonymous, its in the morning. you idiot :)

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