As we stood in the middle of the university hall, with candles lit in our hands and papers with words that read ” pray for Peshawar “, leaning towards each other for support . 5 minutes of silence was asked of us in solidarity with the victims of insurgencies across Pakistan, Yemen, Nigeria and all around the globe. We prayed and prayed, some with their eyes open, the tears kept rushing down their cheeks, while others fought the urge to let it all flow out. Surely, no humanistic religion in the world supports these atrocious and vile acts against humanity.
“They were children”, I kept telling myself, “human beings”. A mother’s loss of a child is beyond any imaginable pain. These children were loved and you snatched their lives away. Mothers, fathers lost their precious little angels. All the pain, all the horror, all the tragedy. Bullets flew and pierced their body organs, bombs went off and annihilated their normal human forms and after you were done, you left them drowning in their own cold blood. These children are , were the leaders of tomorrow but you didn’t care ,and if you killed them off hundreds after hundreds then all hope in humanity would be completely lost, not that there is any left. We have failed them, our leaders have failed to protect them. I wish I could do more to help save the children of the world, we all do, though we are but powerless, our prayers will not go in vain.
Before we were Pakistanis , Yemenis , Nigerians , Americans or Mexicans. Before we were Muslims , Christians or atheists, we were human beings first and if we do not realize that and care for one another then our humanity is forever lost. Our sole purpose of living is diminished and we become nothing other than the walking dead. So, light your candles up in solidarity with the victims and say a prayer.
A few moments ago, I went looking for this course mate of mine, whom is also a good friend. We were meant to study for a test that was due to commence 2 hours later. Anyway, I walked into the computer lab and there she was, sitting with 4 other girls of different nationalities. I said hello to each and every one of them and sat down. I was amazed to find them talking about the tragic event that took place in Peshawar yesterday because girls, well especially the ones in my school just don’t talk about the global occurring events. As we were discussing the issue, we all condemned the vile acts of these terrorists that massacred over 132 innocent children in Peshawar yesterday and offered our deepest prayers. From there, we went on discussing politics and then religion. Two of us were Muslims , while other two were Christian Catholics and a Hindu. We spoke about how many of these invalid causes were as a result of misinterpretations in Islam. At first, all the other girls with little background about Islam seemed confused, asking questions about jihad and its sole meaning. Myself and the other Muslim girl made sure we explained the facts of it to our best of knowledge which left them in awe. The Catholics then went on to discuss the numerous allegations made against the last Pope that forced him to step down and also, the appointment of the new pope who turned out to be very saintly and incorruptible whom forced priests to adjust their high standards of living. And I happened to read an article a week ago, it mentioned that the pope hired a new secretary who found some millions of dollars stashed away and made it public knowledge. The Hindu girl told us about a priest that stole priceless idols from a very popular shrine in India two years ago then died the same day even before the items were discovered to be stolen. The conversation lasted a while.
The reason I decided to write about this amazing experience talking to people of different religious backgrounds, is that I felt something I never really thought about. Even though tolerance is one of my basic principles, I never quite understood the perception of people of different religious beliefs. I sensed intense faith in what they worship and I respected that. I sensed their belief in miracles just like I do, and the same way i denounce shameful acts of my religious counterparts, they did the same too. We all came to an understanding about each others beliefs without raising our voices or trying so hard to shove down our religion down the other person’s throats. It’s quite remarkable how much a group of people can achieve through peaceful dialogue and understanding, through lack of judgement and or belittling of one’s faith.
By this time tomorrow , the APC would have already voted for their presidential candidate to take on The very incompetent President Goodluck Jonathan . For Nigeria’s sake, I hope it is General Buhari and I will try to explain why I chose him over the very competent Atiku. Let’s look at it from a different perspective. For example, in an organisation, managers confronted with problems within an organisation always research to find the very core reason behind a certain issue they face. Let’s say they find out that a certain process is built upon problematic sub processes. You don’t expect any good manager to ignore that faulty process and continue on a path as it is to try to achieve their organizational goals. No, they redesign the entire process from the bottom and they move up. Which makes sense if their main aim is to maximize the value of their organization. Same goes for Nigeria.
This country is built on corruption on every level in every institution, both public and private sectors , our military and security divisions, the justice department , every political position from local government Councillors to as high as the post of the president. As much as I admire Atiku’s campaign trail, it’s not the most ideal strategy to be adopted because you can’t continue building up a country when it’s foundation is rotten. Whatever you build upon it is bound to fall off because it can’t hold for long. For that I say Buhari is our man. A whole new foundation needs to be laid on with some key factors like transparency , integrity , anti-corruption , accountability and discipline. This will then pave a way to the effective development of Nigeria as a nation. People are asking whether Buhari is capable of leading Nigeria to where it should be, I say we’re not even the slightest bit close to reaching our potential, we haven’t even started and we don’t have a clue as to where we should to start from. We’re literally stuck as a nation. General Buhari is the only true presidential candidate proven to be incorruptible, a man with no tolerance for fundamentalism , very disciplined and educated enough to lead Nigeria to its full potential. Do not cast your votes based on your religious or ethnic sentiments because when it comes to electing the right person, emotional politics proves to be the one thing that keeps Nigeria down as a tribalistic nation. It’s our responsibility to vote wisely because at the end of the day, the development of Nigeria will not only benefit one person or one geopolitical region but Nigeria and Nigerians altogether.