Traders and youth resisted and began a protest which turned deadly as a stray bullet killed a 10-year old boy and several others sustained injuries. The scene at Owerri has been described by many as a war zone and Nigerians are reacting to the sad event on social media.
Without going into the specifics of said event one question comes to mind now reports are starting to trickle down via social media. Why? Why, again and again, do children fall victim of the crimes perpetrated by adults. This innocent lad wasn’t born 10 years ago into this world only to leave it prematurely because of a stray bullet.
The mother and father of the child didn’t bring the boy to this world with the intent to part from him prior their own ascent. The child wasn't born out of their love in order to be slaughtered by this hideous crime 10 years onwards.
The governor’s decision as to why the famous Eke Ukwe market had to be taken down is of less relevance, when considering the measures that should have been taken in order to pre-empt and de-escalate possible violence as a response and expression of public outcry.
What was the chain of events that led from the governors decision to the death of the innocent?
Surely there had to have been many steps in between to get from demolition to death. The bullet could not have gone astray if the shot had not been fired. The fatal shot could not have been fired if city workers, public servants, had not surrounded themselves with gunmen.
Public servants. Politicians, policemen, governors and the military ought to serve the people, for without this proper and just cause they lack raison d’être. They become redundant, all non-void.
So why this innocent lad?
Why must this child and so many children around the world cry? Why are they in pain? It's because of the confusion in our parliaments, our societies at large. Power hunger and corruption are the symptoms. Evil it's cause. No love for humanity. No respect for creation. Rebels without a cause.
Our language consoles, condones and camouflages the truth. A stray bullet. An incident over here, another occurrence over there. Words without meaning. Babylonian babbling. Hollowing out that what is holy. Life. Creation.
Words have meaning, value. A string of words form a sentence. Rules of grammar. Constructs that enable us to express, communicate and share. The Truth.
Words. Words have meaning. Words are powerful, but only if they are rooted in righteousness.
The chain of events as occurred at the Eke Ukwe market, are part of a bigger chain.
The real chain is strung around our necks. Modern day slavery. Oppression. Systemic, endemic, pandemic, parasitic. Sucking and leeching on the lifeblood of humanity.
Democracy. Capitalism. Religion. Inventions sprouted from sterile, lifeless minds, serving hollow chambers of power devoid of dominion. Because we are allowed to vote? Because we are allowed to eat the food from our plate? Because we are allowed to be part of the flock?
No well will quench our thirst and need for justice and righteousness. Oppression will only be met by opposition. Righteous indignation.
To serve doesn’t mean to be servile. It is a duty, privilege and honour to be bestowed upon with the trust of our fellow men. To safeguard, protect, nurture the innocence of our children, in order to see them grow, mature and become full members of society. Not to be taken down by stray bullets, hunger, poverty, inequality, perpetrated by systems and operators that are rigged against us.
Somtochukwu Ibeanusi, a 10 year old boy who died at Eke Ukwe market on August 27, 2017 shall not have died in vain, the grief of his parents shall be quenched, if we learn, understand and accept that power without justice and righteousness is but a empty shell. This shell will burst one day, one way or the other. Empowerment is the key. Education of life. Understanding its true value, meaning and significance.
To serve means to be humble, meek and wise. It is a duty, privilege and honour that has been bestowed upon us by God, for those of you who are believers. It is a duty, privilege and honour that is the essence of humanity. To safeguard, protect, nurture the greater good of humanity. The sanctity of life. The innocence of the innocent. Our children.
Why must the children cry when there is no longer a reason for them to be in pain.
WHY THE INNOCENT LAD? - a poem by Francis Onwuchuruba
If you wanted a blood like a vampire That gulps down blood like a red wine Morning, afternoon and night Why not go to the abattoir where genuine blood is wasting?
If you must shade the blood yourself Like ‘Dinta’ (hunter) that scouts for deer, rabbit and others in the forest Why not target one of the miscreant animals from the highlands That eats up our crops and fights our farmers to appease your blood thirst? Why targeting the innocent lad?
Why spilling the blood of Somtochukwu Ibeanusi like unwanted red oil? Why desecrating Eke-Ukwu Market with his blood? Why causing others eternal injuries with your bullets? Do you want to attract the anger of the market gods?
His blood, your riffle spilled His destiny, you untimely threw into the belly of death His family, you have forcefully fed with undying tears At ten, what sin has he committed against you? And yet you’re telling us no life was lost Why?