Scientist and atheists may not agree but most people believe that after death there is a soul that lives on. Many are convinced or at least hope that the dead continue to, in one way or another, show some interest in the lives and vicissitudes of those that are left behind in the world. These belief and hope are manifested in the tales and testimonies that abound in our communities and literature around the world. We hear and read of bereaved lovers that see their loved ones and get comfort in dreams, orphans that get guidance and support from their lost parents in trances, debtors that get reminders to pay from dead creditors and murders that are hunted by their victims.
Surely, the land of the dead has seen a lot of Nigerians arrive in the last few days and many of them departed same day from Kano. If the tales and beliefs about ghosts are anything to go by and if its true that as we do on earth so they do in heaven, then it might just be appropriate to conclude that up or down there somewhere, there will be a new strong constituency made up of the ghosts of Kano and similar ghosts.
Like all other ghosts, they will on individual level be interested in and keep an eye on the loved ones; just before dying they would have felt more than ever the scares and pain of regrets for some of the things they have not done in life and remorse for some of the things they have done.
Unlike all other ghosts, the ghosts of Kano and the once that died in a similar way will have members of the Boko Haram in their sight. What would the ghosts of Kano say if they met members of Boko Haram sect in flesh or in spirit? Would they listen to and understand why they were killed and taken away from their dreams and responsibilities because of the philosophy of Boko Haram? What kind of questions do you think the ghosts of Kano will want to ask these terrorists? Will the ghosts of Kano tell the sect members of their dreams, ambitions and plans they had for their lives and those of their loved ones before they struck?
Like all those alive, members of the Boko Haram do not live in a bubble away from the whole world or with aliens unconnected to Nigeria. They do not live and interact with only those that are involved with their nefarious activities or that are part of their diabolic sect. They live and interact with people like you and I, they have family and friends who know or suspect of what they are doing. What do you think the ghosts of Kano will say to these friends or family of Boko Haram members? Do you think these ghosts will understand why these friends and family did not do anything to prevent their deaths? What do you think the ghosts of Kano will now be wishing the children and other loved ones of the family and friends of Boko Haram members?
What if the ghosts of Kano and others that died of terrorist attacks meet the head of police and other chiefs of the Nigerian security? What will these ghosts say to those charged, paid and even honored for protecting their lives? Do you think some of the ghosts of Kano may ask Inspector-General of Police Hafiz Ringim to resituate his national award? What do you think the ghosts of Kano will make of the fact that their children became orphans, their lovers bereaved and their own lives, dreams and responsibilities truncated just a few days after a main suspect of terrorism was able to escape under the watch of Inspector-General Hafiz Ringim?
Do you think some of the ghosts of Kano who watched how Nigerian security heads could not prevent the bombing at the Eagle Square, the UN House in Abuja, saw how terrorists attacked the Police Headquarters, where the IGP and other senior officers have their offices, also saw Hafiz Ringim on TV threatening unarmed, worried Nigerians with arrest and charge of treason for disagreeing with Labour and Government?
Will the ghost of Kano and others that died of terrorism attacks under this government be content with the explanation that this is plot against the government of the day? What would these ghosts of Kano say if asked what they think the government should do to its heads of security? What do you think the ghosts of Kano will make of the fact that the President and Commander in Chief of the Nigerian armed forces is on record saying that various arms of his government are infiltrated by and harbor Boko Haram accomplices?
What will the ghosts of Kano say to a government that was quick and able to send in armed military officers to stop those peacefully asking for change in policy but could not muster enough intelligence and military muscle to save lives in Kano?
By Prof Anthony A. Kila
ECAPS Director of Studies
European Centre for Advanced