Yesterday, my mum and two brothers were on a flight to Abuja around 4pm. Around the same time I saw blackberry updates about a DANA plane crash somewhere in Lagos killing all passengers on board, and I had a mild heart attack. I couldn't breathe properly until they had all gotten home safely. I also had two friends who were supposed to be flying from Abuja yesterday, one who's exact name was on the flight, but fortunately couldn't make their flights.
Unfortunately, a lot of people have not been as lucky as I have and will be having the worst 24 hours of their lives. That moment you hear someone you love has died are indescribable.
As much as I am glad none of my family or close friends were involved, we are all connected in Nigeria so it is a loss to each and everyone of us. Lo and behold as the names started rolling out we started discovering that 6 degrees of separation.
My friend lost his older brother. Another friend lost her uncle and his son.
A friend lost 2 of his cousins.
Another lost her father.
A friend's father just missed the flight.
Even though I didn't know these people personally I am incredibly burdened by this because it could have easily been me having the worst day of my life.
In Nigeria we hear of unnecessary deaths everyday due to negligence. Bad roads kill, incompetent drivers kill, armed robbers, Boko Haram and insecurity kill, failed healthcare system, corruption and mismanagement kill. We have almost become desensitized to news of death, as a bunch of people were killed in Bauchi yesterday by a bomb.
@tejucole said "Bad things can happen anywhere. Fate is cruel. But in Nigeria, corruption, carelessness, and lack of professionalism do fate's cruel work. Cutting corners, praying, ignoring statistics and science, giving thanks for narrow escapes. It's no way to live."
I couldn't have put it any better. I really wonder how much more we as individuals and as a nation can take. A friend said a woman who lost her father in the Sosoliso crash also lost her husband yesterday in this crash. I cannot even begin to fathom the trauma she'll be going through.
At some point Nigerians will have to realise that this attitude of prayer is holding us back. When things like this happen we are consoled by being asked to pray. But what exactly are we praying for? That it doesn't happen again? But as surely as day comes after night, we know it will happen again.
Dele Momodou everyday on twitter asks us to pray for God to teach our leaders how to save Nigeria. I don't think Nigerian leaders or Nigeria as a whole deserve any of my prayers. We have not made any positive steps to solving any of the problems we have been going on about for the past 52 years.
Nigeria and Nigerians baffle me daily. President Jonathan has declared 3 days of mourning but I am sure he realises that we mourn everyday here. His failure as a leader is enough to declare a permanent state of mourning.
The worst part about it is that we will talk about it for a few days. But very soon we will get on with our lives, we will forget and no one will be held accountable. On Discovery channel they have documentaries trying to figure out why planes crashed or ships sank 40 years ago. Nigerians have no such perseverance. Only those that lost their loved ones will never be able to move on.
In a way, we deserve the calamity that has befallen us.
May Allah rest the souls of those lost in peace and grant them Alijanah. May Allah give their loved ones the strength to bear the loss. And more importantly may Allah save us from ourselves.