If you were old enough, you would remember where you were when thunder and lightning struck the United States of America on September 11, 2001, as three terrorists-commandeered aircraft hurtled down from the skies unto American cities bringing death, destruction, and fear.
If you were old enough, you would remember where you were in Lagos on the 27th of January 2007 when the Ikeja cantonment of the Nigerian Army faced a bombardment from within, as exploding bombs from the underground bunker sent over a thousand fearful Nigerians to their early graves as fear and terror drove them into the swamps of Oke-Afa.
Yes! When thunder and lightning strike you, you know when and where it happened.
But not the thunder and lightning from the heavens occasioned by the turbulence of the weather.
Not that thunder and lightning! Though you often hear people say:
“May thunder and lightning strike you”
What a terrible wish and curse. Why would you wish thunder and lightning on anyone – even your enemies? Were we not told to love them as ourselves? Even if you insist on having enemies, surely there should be a place for little compassion for them when misfortune and life’s vicissitudes happen to them.
If you no longer have feelings or compassion for fellow human beings who have suffered a tragedy, irrespective of their religious faith, ethnic group, or beliefs, then my friend you are not very human oo.
If we are no longer moved by the gruesome killing or kidnap of one single Nigerian unless the victims are in their hundreds, then we should check ourselves. We are no longer very human oo.
I am no longer sure that our president is still very human.
He travels outside our country when dozens of Nigerians are killed and many kidnapped and facing all manners of torture in the bush at the hands of killers.
Our other depraved politicians are also not very human. They are never deterred by the evil being done to us lesser mortals by bandits, Fulani Jihadists, Unknown Gunmen, Boko Haram Terrorists, Herdsmen, and Kidnappers.
They just carry on with their wining and dining and revelries.
UNTIL THUNDER AND LIGHTNING STRIKES THEM!
And then you realise that they have compassion, but only for themselves and their comrades in arms.
Like they once struck Obasanjo’s daughter, Senator Iyabo whose convoy was attacked in April 2003 by the notorious Benin Republic-based armed robber and carjacker Ahmed Tijani in which five people, including two little girls, died.
Then all hell broke loose! President Obasanjo immediately ordered the government of the Republic of Benin where the government-sheltered and shielded armed robber was living, to hand over the killer within 48 hours.
It was done!
With immediate effect and automatic alacrity, the government of Benin surrendered the bandit to Nigeria.
Like the same thunder and lightning recently struck the man in London with his wife, Ike Ekweremadu, former deputy president of Nigeria’s Senate accused of organ harvesting.
See how the Nigerian Senate has scrambled a delegation to London to show solidarity with him. They sure know how to look after themselves.
But two can play this game. If they can solidarise with their own, then we can solidarise with ours.
We remember the day our own thunder and lightning struck us one wild, and crazy night at the Lekki Toll Gate, as protesting youths, seeking justice against police brutality tasted justice quite alright – the justice of the Nigerian state.
The same kind of justice the late, great, Abami Eda, Fela Anikulapo Kuti faced at the hands of unknown soldiers in 1977 as his Kalakuta Republic was burnt to the ground by a thousand soldiers.
The same kind of Justice in which about 348 Nigerian Shiites members were massacred in one day by the Nigerian Army in Zaria, Kaduna state on Saturday, December 15, 2015, and subsequently secretly buried by the army in a mass grave.
On 20th October 2020, the #Endsars protesting youths were officially welcomed into the reality of the Nigerian state by a baptism of fire in which many were mowed down.
But the federal government denied it. So did their partner in crime, the Lagos state government, and the direct perpetrators, the army.
So also, they did with the invasion of Fela’s Kalakuta Republic and the Shiites killings.
It is in their nature to deny atrocities committed by the state through its agents.
But the Nigerian youths who were once called lazy by their president have not forgotten that thunder and lightning.
AND THEY HAVE NOT FORGIVEN!
This is their time and turn for revenge and they are taking it with both hands and feet. This is why they are registering in their thousands and millions to vote. They queue under the rain, wind, and sun. They queue for days on end. They are not deterred by the frustrations. They must register. They must vote.
Revenge is driving them. Revenge against an oppressive state and a group of old tired politicians who have never truly given anything to lift Nigeria from mediocrity to greatness despite the abundance of a burgeoning youthful population and resources. Revenge against an old order led by the old guards bereft of patriotism and integrity.
But they are also driven by hope. Hope that if they use their numerical strength positively in the 2023 elections, there will be a positive outcome that will eventually generate development for their country, jobs, peace, and prosperity for Nigeria.
It is why the vast majority of them are ‘disobedient’ to the old order and have embraced the new.
They say they are ‘Obidient.’
‘They no dey give shishi’
May it be well with our country.