The sight was a gory one, the fire something close to hell; the fumes roared like a lion, the explosion was so thunderous more like a quake that it shook the surrounding earth surface as though rapture has come. The whole scene was no doubt better imagined than witnessed, the wailings of all those trapped in the inferno rented the air, they cried for the avoidable unfortunate fate that has befallen them. Were they successful, this week would have been one they wouldn’t forget in a hurry as they would have made some thousands from the sale of their loot but just as the saying goes “one day monkey go go market e no go come back”. That cool Thursday morning, they all went to the market but couldn’t find their ways back home as they couldn’t turn the hands of fate.
The foregoing was the atmosphere at Ahoada, a little village in rivers state whose villagers rushed to eternity as a result of scooping the dreaded crude substance from a tanker that has just suffered an accident. Instead of attending to the crash victims, they resorted to reaping where they haven’t sowed in betrayal of the biblical instructions and as fate could have it, the liquid substance wrought into a big bang resulting into an explosion that left a good number of them reduced to rubbles and a lot more writhing in pains in their hospital beds as a result of the degrees of burns they suffered. And you could imagine, was it all worth it? Is that the best way for one to die? Obviously, the answers are all in the negative.
It is the rather unfortunate scenario or incident that forced me to pick up my little pen which literary pundits say is mightier than the sword to write on the carelessness of my fellow country men and women that have forever left us all at the receiving end. But for the avoidable tragic incidents, all those who got engulfed in that inferno would have been in their respective houses or places of work doing one thing or the other while hoping for a better tomorrow even though it promises not to be in sight, forgive my pessimism. But on the contrary out of reasons which I don’t want to dissociate from greed they all met their waterloo and to a great extent made a few others who weren’t involved in the act of scooping the petroleum product, victims of circumstance.
When in God’s name are we going to learn our lessons? When are we going to realize the sacrosanct and sanctity of the human life which is a rare gift that comes only but once in a lifetime? Times without number, in the same state there have been exactly the same scenario and people burning up in flames yet the same people who sympathized with the earlier victims still go back to scoop the crude substance whenever a spill occurs and at the end of the day, they are quick to blame the government for being responsible for their misfortunes………………No way.
As i was going through the report on one of the national dailies that widely reported the unfortunate disaster, I came across a paragraph where an anonymous blamed it all on the slow response of the fire fighters, his point was that if the fire fighters had arrived the scene on time, the damages wouldn’t have been fatal the way it finally did. No doubt he has a nice argument but permit me to ask you Mr. anonymous, what happened to the adage that “prevention is better than cure”?Which nearly 60% of Nigerians know too well and understands. What happened to the dictum that “a stitch in time saves nine”? the truth is that we are always quick to blame the government for every single misfortune that comes our way but in our various communities we have not attended to the most little of problems that bedevil our existence as humans.
Had all those people who lost their lives evacuated from the vicinity of the mishap and alerted the requisite agency, the story would have been a different thing entirely. Even though the explosion was inevitable, at least human lives wouldn’t have been lost. It is true that properties running into millions would have been lost. Yes, but then the ball would have been on the government’s court to give out relief materials to victims who lost a great deal at least a quantum meruit as they have always done in previous concurrencies. What more! You can always replace any material thing but not life. Not even the greatest of scientists has taken a dare.
But on the contrary, they refused to be precautionary; they chose to make quick cash for inordinate reasons and in the process paid a price too high. Nobody cared to bat an eyelid, everybody joined in the “sin” which ultimately brought them all to their early vault. Father’s in the company of their wives and children all joined to play games with the devil and at the end of the day; they all ended up in one single grave reduced to their ashes. It is really a pathetic one I must say. God have mercy on us all.
It is high time Nigerians knew that we as a nation have attained a certain height whether we like it or not, we have rummaged a platform where certain ill news shouldn’t be heard in our climes again so that we can all join hands together to be that vanguard of change in order to eat in the same plate with other nations who have attained the height as developed nations if not for anything, for the sake of posterity. We should no longer race to our early vault for some filthy reasons. Yes it is true that a good number of the victims joined in the trade out of reasons too hard to be separated from poverty. But have they all now become rich? Has the end justified the means either? Of course they haven’t and the bigger hope of becoming rich someday lost in oblivion.
The incident is already in the past tense and this piece no doubt somewhat coming late but the message therein not tempered with in any way. The dead have all been buried even though the toll keeps rising at the birth of every day. The government has done reasonably well in footing the bills of all those hospitalized and the family of the deceased drying their tears every new day. What more can we say, but to ask for the souls of the departed to be received in the bosom of our lord. To the families of the deceased, may God grant the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss with fortitude. It is no doubt a sad one and another deficit on our part as a nation. God bless Nigeria.
You can follow me on twitter @yung_silky and I promise to reverse the case.