There is a story in the Muslim Holy Book, which always gets me pondering particularly each time the subject matter of today’s article recurs. In the Qur’an 2:30, Allah told Prophet Muhammad about what He said to the angels before human beings were created and the angels’ response. He told the angels he was going to place mankind on earth from generation to generation. They angels responded to Him, with the knowledge that they had, that Allah was going to create those who would make mischief on earth and shed one another’s blood.
The angels added that if the wisdom in creating mankind is that God be worshipped, they (angels) praise and glorify Him and never indulge in mischief and so, there may not be any need for humans to be created. Allah simply dismissed their observation, saying, “I know that which you do not know.” Of course, Allah knows that the benefit of creating mankind outweighs the harm that the angels mentioned; that among human beings will also emerge the truthful, the modest, the pious, humble people who love God and will avoid spreading mischief on earth and not shed blood.
He created Adam and Eve and from both the multitude we are in the world today. But since Cain, the firstborn of Adam murdered his younger brother Abel, human beings haven’t stopped playing out that prediction by the angels that one of the most despicable human acts on earth sometimes, almost like a pastime, is shedding blood. And even the animals must be cringing at the motives and manners of this human act. I always wonder how the angels who hinted at this detestable behaviour would be feeling now.
How, for instance, are the angels taking last Sunday’s action of Stephen Paddock, the 64-year-old Las Vegas, United States mass murderer? What could have made a privileged, rich whiteman acquire 47 lethal weapons to kill fellow beings, people who he had never met, people who didn’t offend him? He shot dead 58 people and injured more than 500 in 12 just minutes before turning the gun on himself, leaving the world to decipher his motives. President Trump described Paddock’s act as ‘pure evil.’
Was it pure evil or perfect insanity?
Of course, Paddock who now holds the record for the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history had many predecessors.
On June 12, last year, A gunman later identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen stormed into a packed gay nightclub Orlando, Florida, killing 49 people and injuring 58 others before being shot dead.
On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, 20, forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, shot and killed 20 little children and six adults.
He killed himself at the scene. Lanza had also killed his mother at the home they shared, prior to his shooting rampage.
As far back as 1966 Charles Whitman had, just like Stephen Paddock, stockpiled guns and ammunition on the top floor of the University of Texas Tower in Austin.
He struck on the d-day, in what is described as the UT Tower massacre, killing 16 people and wounding more than 30 before being gunned down by police officers. He left a suicide note saying he had become the victim of irrational thoughts. A postmortem revealed he had brain brain tumour.
Beyond the United States, other countries also have their fair share of members of the human race unleashing carnage on fellow beings for unimaginable reasons. If it’s not lone shooters, it’s genocide sometimes masterminded by a tribe or group against another or even by government against citizens.
In most of these inhuman acts, the use of guns and ammunition is a key factor. While it appears that murder is a human problem, those of us who recognize this act as ignoble must strive to curb it by promoting love, fairness, equity and justice among all regardless of race, colour and faith.
The world must also end massacres by controlling guns. While many people in the world are dying of hunger and poverty, individuals, groups and even governments are investing huge funds in acquiring weapons and building arsenals for the purpose of killing others. Not only are the actual massacres evil and insane, even the thought, preparation and capacity for wreaking the havoc mark many of us humans as either pure evil or perfectly insane. Who will save human beings from human beings? Animals?
Re: Wishing Nigeria good recovery
Thank you Mr. Oladeinde. As always, you have hit the bull’s eye with your polemical satire. Nigeria will not recover until we decide to stop living a lie! I hear some of our people say Nigeria will be great again. For goodness sake, has Nigeria ever been great? What is the value of Nigerian citizenship? Look at our security agencies and federal appointments. They are so lopsided towards the North that I keep wondering how if our Southern legislators and governors understand the dynamics of the new politics that is playing out in the country. Our ruling elite implore citizens to be patriotic, but are they? They are very wily and with the way they are going, we must pray that all of us won’t be dancing with the python soon!
–Chukwudi Iheanacho, Igando, Lagos State.
Abdulfatah, any Nigerian who patronises your column “OPEN SECRET” would not be surprised at the archival nature of your piece on 57th anniversary of Nigeria’s independence; coupled with the correct data on causes of the slumping nature of the country’s economy being caused by inept political leadership in the past five decades. Your position was shared by analysts on Channelstv programme on 57 years of Nigeria which covered three areas. These are Economy, Security and Leadership. One of the analysts placed Nigeria’s problems on fraudulent population data and proved his point through distraught voters figures at elections in comparative terms with the claimed population data, which was politicised to skew its effect in favour of a particular area of the country. With such a data as premise on which the assessment is placed, a true situation is a senseless effort. On the issue of education, the analysts predicted that with 30% as qualifying score for admission into tertiary institutions, education, which is one of the three parameters of accomplishing progressive economic advancement, has been mortgaged; since products of such educational background would obviously be incompetent to handle enhancement of Nigeria’s economic status in future. And all these are proceeds of inept Nigerian leadership. Could anybody have imagined that any state, not to talk of five in any area of Nigeria, would oppose restructuring of Nigeria, which is an essential part of true federalism, just on endangered global crude oil proceeds? That also confirms how uninformed some Nigerian leaders are on economic trends across the globe. PMB’s call, for due process on restructuring, is potent. It would be magnanimous of the presidency to present a bill to NASS on it. That would make it faster, won’t it? God save Nigeria. –
Thank you very much for wishing Nigeria good recovery. He who wishes a sick man good recovery should be thanked, because it’s a show of care, but are his children aware of the fact that he is ailing? If they are aware, are they caring enough to spend their time, energy and money for his recovery? A 57-year-old man who is sick and instead of looking for doctors and drugs that will help bring him back to life, they are busy stealing from him and are in supremacy battle. To hope for his recovery is to hope against hope. May God grant his children the grace to have change of mind, love their father and pray for his good recovery. –08060266***
If wishes were horses… I don’t know really what to talk about a 57-year-old man that is yet a bachelor. How did we get into this mess? Some say military intervention killed our growth but how have we fared all this while we practiced democratic government? Those in government now are praising their administration while Nigerians feel the pain. Getting out of recession they tell us. Really? My check, three years ago fuel was 87 naira, four cups of beans one naira, one cup is one naira now, the comparison can go on. Let our leaders work harder. There is nothing to celebrate.
–Tony Enyinta, Isuikwuato, Abia State.
At 57 we have seen the good, bad and ugly in governance, but we pray that good things will be our portion as we mark Independence. At 57 we would have gone far in development if not the corruption in governance. This government is trying to curtail corruption in governance and all of us must support their effort. The diversification from oil to agriculture and other sectors is yielding result on our economy. All hands must be on deck for better najia.
–Gordon Chika Nnorom.
I was brought very close to tears after reading your well-marsalled piece with which you wished Nigeria good recovery. Indeed it was apt and very timely.
Abdulfatah, the main reason it is becoming clearer to patriots that our yesterday has become better than today is because truth, justice, equity and the fear of God have been blatantly sacrificed on the altar of politics: Whatever advantage any group has, it steadfastly holds on to it as a matter of life and death not minding how much the other groups and, in fact, the oneness of the nation is being hurt by such attitude. And once a group or groups feel alienated, they see themselves as outsiders and, therefore, have no sense of guilt working against the system. This desire to hold on to fragile advantages to the detriment of even the nation itself, has resulted in the agitations we are witnessing all over the country today. In this kind of situation, the best brains are not given the opportunity to put their intellect in the service of the nation; and mediocrity is enthroned. Hence the level of decadence being witnessed in the country today. Otherwise, why should a country so well endowed with huge and brilliant human resources, be struggling to achieve success in even one aspect of its national life? Even to maintain the legacies that we inherited from the erstwhile regional governments has become a very serious challenge. In roads, railways, education, electricity, health, agriculture, employment and worst of all morals we have failed woefully. If Nigeria must not die, therefore, it must be restructured to create space for everybody so that peoples will develop according to their resources, ability and needs. When that is done, the damage that the military did to the unity and progress of the nation will overtime be reversed. Whoever thinks that military force will be able to stop the agitations, has to think again because most Nigerians are now aware that what they have presently, is not working but rather enslaves them. All we plead for is that every agitation should be peaceful and civil while those in authority should do well to listen to the cries of the citizenry because the agitators are asking for an equitable and just country and are not interested in the dismemberment of the nation as no group in the country will benefit from such a situation. Thanks.
At 57, we should have advanced in every sector of endeavour to move the nation forward with the abundant resources at our doorstep. It is very unfortunate and sad. We have what it takes to make Nigeria great, if not for corruption in governance, which we must find solution to.
–Mrs. Ijeoma NN. Lagos.