1) The gory images and stories of killings, arson, kidnappings, rape, intimidations and so on that greet one each time one hits the Nigerian social media and news sources are scary and depressing. These images that we daily consume, in return, feed on our humanity, leaving in many of us only hollow spaces devoid of empathy, affection, sympathy, kindness and love.
2) Our political leaders who are charged with the duty of checkmating these odds, through their actions and inactions worsen the matter. Before our eyes, security forces intimidate, abuse, and sometimes hunt down citizens like game and even parade their corpses as war booty. In most cases, these corpses are disposed of in the most inhuman and callous manner. Most of their victims are those exercising their constitutional rights like peaceful agitations and protests. Through words and actions, Nigerians are constantly pushed by their leaders to believe that they are less human.
3) All these feed on the humanity and psyche of Nigerian citizens many of who resolve to treat others, the way they are being treated. Whatever we consume either through our mouth, eyes, ears or skin form our consciences and influence our thoughts and actions.
4) Thus, Chidinma’s dastardly act, whether committed all alone, with someone or for someone, has very little to do with parental upbringing. It has everything to do with a collapsed society that has fallen into the lowest part of ‘State of Nature’. Let us not deceive ourselves: Nigeria is a typical example of a jungle.
5) In a jungle or State of Nature, there is neither morality nor laws. Lying, sexual abuses/crimes, stealing, killing, insecurity, godlessness, disrespect, indolence, slander, intolerance, dishonesty, corruption, drug abuse, inflation, hunger, joblessness, and other vices are expected.
6) In a jungle, the question of compassion, empathy, selfless service, well-formed conscience, sacrifice, dedication to duty, integrity of character, human dignity and shame are always in short supply or even non-existent. It is about personal survival at all costs. There is nothing like community spirit, teamwork or common good in such an environment. It is all about what one can gain, grab or steal. Whether in politics, trade or religion, the traits are the same.
7) In a jungle, governance or democracy does not truly exist. It is about the survival of the fittest and the elimination of the unfit. In a jungle, political leadership is only a tool used by the stronger party to exploit the weaker. It’s all about manipulation and the ‘dirty game’.
8) It is only in this perspective that one can really assess and evaluate Chidinma’s action or that gruesome murder. The Nigerian jungle is filled with Chidinmas of all sorts; all of them carrying out their actions with the weapons at their disposal. Some operate with knives, others work with guns, others use their tongue or their pens, others apply intimidation, might or political power, religious fear, lies and manipulation; others peddle fake drugs and adulterated drinks and unhealthy food. Some others go about knowingly spreading sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), some sell university grades and degrees, even to quack medical personnel, some embezzle the money meant to build hospitals and roads and laugh over it. The list is endless. Different weapons but the same mission.
9) Few weeks ago, it was about the Uduak Akpan who raped, murdered and buried a job-seeker that he lured to his house with the promise of offering her a job. Today, it is Chidinma Ojukwu. The problem is not with Uduak or Chidinma. Neither is it with Akwa Ibom, Igbo, Fulani or Yoruba, but with a society that has degenerated into a jungle where life has become cheap, brutish, and sadly short.
10) We can only liberate ourselves from this dungeon by applying the same solution our forebears used some hundreds of thousands of years ago when humans lived in `State of Nature’ or in a jungle. The solution is called The Social Contract Theory.
11) To achieve this, we must have to come together to negotiate or renegotiate our union. Giving our situation, this can either be solved by going back to the regional system of government or by a peaceful balkanization of the country according to the rules of compatibility where regions will organize themselves the way they know best. The sooner we do this, the better for us because every delay draws us closer to the abysmal point of no-return. A stitch in time saves nine.