I hope you are all having an amazing holiday. I know I have! But I have been saddened by the news I'm sure most of you have heared. Its about the 23 yr old Nigerian boy that attempted the supposed terrorist attack on the plane to the U.S. The story is headline on news all over the BBC, CNN and my trusted Al-Jazeera.
It is such a sad sad situation, and I feel like it could be anyone of us. At first I felt so angry, but now I just feel saddened by the whole situation. This boy is a Kaduna boy, lived around my area, and looks like any normal middle class northern kid. Infact, he is quite priviledged, his dad was a minister, and head of First Bank. He studied Engineering in UCL, and International Business in Dubai. The world was literally at his feet.
According to my mum, his dad married a lady from Yemen, and that was how he was introduced to the country where he later went to study arabic. After which he said he wasnt coming back, and wanted to study Sharia Law, which is when his dad informed the American embassy that he feared his son would do something stupid as he had developed extremist views.
Infact, he is now alledged to have been involved in the whole Boko Haram fiasco in Northern Nigeria earlier this year.
I have tried to rationalise what could have made someone so "normal" decided to take such drastic actions, and I guess we'll never know. I hate him for being selfish and heartless enough to try and attempt(even though it was a pretty weak one) to take the lives of innocent people on xmas day. People who you dont know, and are just trying to enjoy the holidays. I hate him for promoting hate in the name of Islam, the most peaceful religion on earth. I hate him for the untold difficulty he has caused/will cause for airport security and travelling. I hate him for the countless visa refusals that will be given as a result of this. I hate him for ruining the image of Nigeria and adding terrorist to our already terrible tags. But most of all I hate him for bringing shame to his family, and father, whom from all I hear is a gentle person that gave him all the best a child can be given.
To say this year has been hard on Nigeria's image would be the understatement of the century. From the sony advert, to District 9, the various Niger-Delta wahala and kidnappings, Child witches and now as if this wasnt amazing enough, we can now add the "terrorist" label to our glowing c.v. Let us not forget that the average foreigner only knows what they are fed by the various media sources. Where is Mrs Dora and her rebrand of Nigeria???
But the same goes for everyone in one way or the other. Think about it, for me when I think of say Congo for example, the tags "war, cobalt, vast rape and poverty" are what comes to mind. I am sure that there is so much more about Congo I do not know, but these are the most popular news that are reported about them, so it is stuck.
This is a such as sad sad shame........
May 2010 be a much better year for Nigeria.....Amen!
P.s dont forget to send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org for my upcoming 100th post! Am so excited, it has been an amazing year!