Published On: Sat, Jul 16th, 2016

Let Us Unite By The Blood Of Eunice – By Onwuasoanya FCC Jones

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You do not need to be a Christian, a Yoruba, a Pentecostal Christian or even a member of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, for you to feel angry at the manner of Eunice Olawale’s murder. One thing that is constant about Sister Eunice is that she remained a Nigerian till she was killed by some callous and murderous elements, possibly, Nigerians, too.
Eunice’ death is a reminder to anyone who cares to take caution that hate hates all lovers and all we can do to avert the next hate-inspired savagery on some innocent love givers is to not to hate back, but to make our love stronger than their hate. Hate is weakness, love is strength.
When you remember the seven children left behind by Eunice, most senior of whom is not up to sixteen years, and you remember her emotionally shattered husband on whose shoulders the huge responsibility of playing mother, father and breadwinner now lies, then you will understand that you have no option but to take steps no matter how little to save the next victim of these hate-mongers.
Some of us erroneously think that there are safe havens; places where these terrorists will never penetrate. The killing of Sister Eunice few kilometers from Nigeria’s seat of power should tell us that there is actually no safe haven. Today, the East may be safe, tomorrow it might turn to a theatre of war.
There are people, relatives and close friends of mine who lived most of their lives in Maidugri, in Bama, in Yola and some of those Northern cities that have ranked among the most volatile cities of the world. Among my close friends, I have two who schooled in the University of Maidugri, and it still sounds like some tales from another space, that they cannot go to Maidugri and walk freely like they used to few years back.
We cannot afford to take our freedom, our fragile security for granted. while the terrorists killed, raped, abducted and maimed our siblings in the Northeast, some people in the East and even the Middle-Belt felt it was some kind of far flung territory that was being attacked. It sounded strange to them, and a good number of them felt less concerned about the activities of the terrorists. While some found words to blame the victims of those terrorist attacks in the Northeast, others kept calling out to them to come back home, that home is safer. Those in Agatu, Nimbo and some other places in the Eastern part of this country have since realized that no place is safer than the other.
The best way we can guarantee safety is by confronting terrorists wherever we see them. we cannot continue running away from them. For, we cannot completely run away. Those who ran from Midugri may meet their deaths in Agatu, those who ran from Agatu may be maimed in Surulere and those who run from Surulere may be mauled down in Owerri. The existence of terrorist threat anywhere is the reality of its possibility any other place.
Terrorists, extremists and hate-mongers no matter the religion or ethnicity they impersonate are enemies to everyone. They do not like any group better than they love the other. When they unleash their explosives, people of all colour, tongue and orientation are nailed. Terrorists may know foes, but bombs know no friend.
Sister Eunice Olawale’s death is especially painful and significant, because it gives no room for justifications by those who like to justify such acts on flimsy excuses of terrorists being victims of injustice and all that trash.
It was in my country that bigwigs of a former ruling Party came out to tell us that the Boko Haram was or is still is the response of some youths to the mindless injustice being meted out to them. Some other top public officials also found the mouth to tell the world that poverty is to be blamed for Boko Haram.
When Fulani herdsmen kill innocent Nigerians in their farms, we are told by those who are obviously sympathetic to the terrorists, that the average Fulani man values his cattle more than any other thing. We have heard these people blame the victims of the Fulani herdsmen carnage for either hurting the cattle of the herdsmen or stopping them from grazing their cattle on their farms. We have long being visited by the worst idiocy! The Fulani herdsman is a farmer who deals on cattle, while the farmer in Enugu or anywhere else is also a farmer who deals on crop and seedlings. Allowing the Fulani herdsman access to their farms will mean allowing them to destroy their crops and means of livelihood. We will talk about this some other day.
The Niger-Delta militants are excused on the grounds that they are fighting for resource control; even though it is obvious that majority of them are fighting for their personal gains. When they were settled by the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan, we saw how they all kept quiet, even without a kobo added to the derivation fund or any serious effort made towards developing the region or even cleaning up the mess of oil spill on their lands.
Not quite long ago, another Sister was killed and allegedly beheaded by some fanatics under the guise of protecting Islam and fighting for Allah, whom they argue was blasphemed against. Sister Bridget who sold plastics in Wambai market, Kano hailed from Imo State. Some people also found reasons to justify the killing of this woman, even the President in his speech condemning the killing of the woman, chose words that are understood by some people as justifying the death of the woman. By unnecessarily reminding us to learn to respect each other’s beliefs and religions, he was understood to have lent some justification to their claim of the murderers that Sister Bridget Agbaheme blasphemed against Prophet Mohammed.
Sister Eunice’ death cannot be excused on any of those grounds and it reveals to all of us the real intent of the terrorists. They are only interested in spilling the blood of the innocent; It does not really matter if you a Christian, a Muslim or even a pagan, they are predacious members of our society, whose only joy, albeit fleeting, can only come when they mete out pains and sufferings on us. Sister Eunice’s death is a reminder to all of us that we need to sit up, roll up our sleeves and confront this menace of hate against us; all of us who want peace, who are ready to share love, who love Nigeria, we are victims of these terrorists.
Unfortunately, the authorities seem to have been overwhelmed by these terrorists. They seem to lack idea on how to permanently defeat them. And this is not peculiar to our country. Nice is in pains at present, the United States has become a stage for constant terrorist melodrama. The solution lies with us, the ordinary citizens. We may not have access to the weapons the terrorists may boast of, but if we are half as united and vigilante as they are, we may be able to defeat them. even if we do not defeat them, we can drastically reduce their capacity to visit such wickedness on us.
The truth is that these terrorists do not just jump down from space to carry out their attacks, they live among us. They have friends among us, and no matter how much they try to mingle with every other person within the community, something in them stand them out as not normal. A huge percentage of terrorists are known to be introverts. Looking out for such people and reporting suspicious movements and individuals to the appropriate authorities may go a long way in reducing such attacks on more people.
There is no doubt that there are more good people in our country than the very few evil ones among us, the only problem is that the criminals are more united among themselves than the good ones among us. If more peace-loving people in the country begin to look out more for one another, be their brothers’ keepers and refuse to be intimidated by criminals.
While it is appreciated that some people have been arrested and are in detention over their alleged involvement in the unprovoked killing and dismemberment of Deaconess Eunice Olawale, the best way her soul can find justice is if through her death, more people are called to action against these terrorists. Let her blood shed in Kubwa continue to call out to us to be more vigilante and do whatever we can in our individual capacities to salvage this country of ours from being taken over by criminals and terrorists parading as religious extremists and ethnic warlords.
May Deaconess Eunice Olawale’s soul continue to rest in peace.
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