Why Are We Crying? We Are All Guilty

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I am sitting at my computer, transfixed by the images on the internet of the grieving parents and relatives of the over one hundred people that died in Port Harcourt at the weekend in an aeroplane crash. I am still reeling from the news that one of my younger brother’s closest friends, someone we had all grown up with also died in the crash. Each time I shut my eyes, I can still see his bashful smile as I opened our front door to him and he asked whether my younger brother was home. Occasionally he would ask how my medical studies were going; occasionally I would ask how he was doing. He was like a younger brother, his sister was my classmate, his parents we called Uncle and Auntie and they were there at all our celebrations just as we were at theirs. And yet, today he lies lifeless, murdered, like so many other thousands- by you and me- his fellow Nigerians.

I do not choose my words lightly. We murdered that young man, just as surely as we murdered all the young school children on board that flight, children going home on their Christmas holidays. The fate of these children holds particular poignancy for me, for I too, remember flying home at the end of school term for Christmas. I remember the harmattan haze that often meant that flights were cancelled, which on more than one occasion meant that we had to sleep at the airport. I remember particularly the apprehension in December 1983, just after a Nigerian Airways plane had crashed, killing many; but despite our fear we eagerly looked forward to going home, to circling the dirt brown, harmattan dried fields around Enugu and to touch down into the warm embrace of our families. These children and these families will not know that joy. And we are all responsible.

We are all responsible- starting from the owners of these aeroplanes who cut corners, wanting to make a quick buck, regardless of how many lives they put at risk, ignoring the myriad other opportunities to make money in Nigeria. And before you leap to exclude yourself, saying, “I don’t own an airline”, I will point out to you, that each time, you doctor, owner of a private hospital, provide drugs of doubtful quality and efficacy at an extortionate price, you are equally responsible. Each time you delay referring a patient when you are well aware that the illness is beyond your capability, you are responsible. Each time we turned aside and paid a bribe, or jumped the queue because we knew some big man; from the market woman who slips in rotten tomatoes into the bottom of the heap cheating her less eagle-eyed customers, to the airline regulators who are supposed to inspect and maintain safety standards but either through incompetence or sheer corruption shun their duties, to the journalists who collects brown envelopes and turn the other way when evil is committed, to the civil servant who signs in at 8 and disappears thereafter, to the legislators and politicians who prefer ferrying Ghana must Go to providing true leadership, we are all every one of us guilty of murder. And I do not excuse any sector of society- the teachers and lecturers who abandon their classrooms, the pastors and imams who abandon their callings and have become sucked into the quagmire that our Nigeria has become all carry their share of blame. Because we all went to the thanksgiving services and celebrations of these people who had acquired their money trading in human lives, we drank their beer, or Five Alive, danced to their music and hailed them. And so they thought it was acceptable. The person in charge of running a National Immunization Programme thinks that it is acceptable to misappropriate funds that mean that young children die; administrators at schools and universities mismanage their resources, blighting the future of the young. Pilots and airline stewards fly planes that they know have not passed safety checks, because the alternative is hunger for them and their families. At motor parks, we freely tolerate the sale of strong alcoholic beverages and then climb aboard cars crammed full, driven by half-drunk drivers, saying our prayers as we board. Politicians are more interested in their internecine petty squabbles and how to make money than in building up the country and showing leadership. And we all celebrate mediocrity and materialism and flamboyance and in doing so, played our part in bringing this tragedy to pass.

And if perhaps you are thinking- I am abroad, I am not involved- I say to you “It is a lie, you too are culpable” For each time we condoned the kleptomania and corruption of our leaders and our society, for each time we turned our backs on Nigeria, justifying our decisions to ourselves- my children are still young, I need to finish my degree, my family needs the money I’m sending back- we too are responsible. For each time you saved up all year, maxing your credit cards to the limit to go back home and live lavishly for a little while, boosting the asinine materialistic culture that thrives there, ignoring the poverty around, you are culpable.

I am not suggesting that any of these decisions or life choices are easy, far from it. All I want us to do is to acknowledge that even as we make these decisions – to emigrate, to take ten per cent, to bend the rules, to glorify ill-gotten wealth- that there are negative consequences to balance all the positive reasons we have for making our decisions and culpability in murder is a part of it.

Thousands of Nigerian children die each year because they are not immunized. We demand debt forgiveness, improved aid, and when we get it- are the children immunized? No, some people are busy squabbling about which company will supply the vaccines. You can apply the same analogy to the water sector, energy sector, the banks, and virtually every sector of the economy. At election time, it is all about money, we do not care who is elected, and we continue to say “Wetin we go do? Na only God fit save Nigeria”, abdicating our God given responsibilities.

Tragedy after tragedy happens as a result of our sins of omission and our sins of commission and we move on, forgetting. Who killed Bola Ige? Nobody has ever been held to account but we moved on. Who killed Dikibo? No one knows, bu

t still we moved on. The list is endless- disaster after disaster occurs, often manmade, often preventable, but no one is held to account and we move on. Instead of tackling these issues, we are caught up in political scheming and one-upmanship, seeking power not because we want to make things better but because we want to improve our individual lot. The roads are bad, so we plunder and scheme and steal to buy 4 wheel drives, there is no electricity, so we buy generators, the Police is a farce, so we build high walls and hire security or travel with armed security escorts. Our schools are bad, so we open new expensive private universities or send our children abroad; the country teeters and so we go to have our children abroad to gain foreign citizenship as insurance. Our hospitals do not function and then we go abroad for check-ups. And so we continue to ignore the rot, trying to slap a plaster on what we know is a huge gaping sore. We are appointed to jobs where we are not given the equipment we need to function and we stay there, pretending that all is well. And in doing so, we acquiesce to murder.

What emergency plans are in existence for searching for and rescuing victims of a major disaster? What medical expertise exists and is ready, and how are they primed for mobilization? There is a National Emergency Management Agency and there are people employed there, where were they in the thirty minutes it was alleged it took for any form of rescue to begin? What contingency plans do they have in place to deal with incidents like these? How much money has been allocated to this agency since its inception? Is it adequate? How can we still be asking Julius Berger, a private company for any sort of basic assistance when we encounter disasters like these?

When are we going to say enough is enough? Today, tomorrow or never? Are we going to continue in complacency, wringing our hands and saying what can we do? When are we going to say “a decisive no” to evil and begin to build a real society?

While we ponder the answers to these questions, let us remember that it may be our kin or us next time. And let us not forget the millions of Nigerians who do not fly in aeroplanes but who everyday suffer from what we have done and what we have failed to do. How are we going to atone for the lives of these children, men and women, extinguished through our own omission?

It is time we stopped crying and pointing fingers at the aviation industry, or at individuals for in the end we are all guilty of murder. We can choose to continue as before, and simply move on, or we can decide that there is value in the life of every single Nigerian and that we will do all that we can to protect it. But regardless of our choices, let it be clear that by our actions and inaction, we are accomplices to murder.

To my brother’s friend and the hundred that died with him, please rest in peace and forgive us for failing you. For in tolerating the evil that pervades our society, we all had a hand in your deaths.

About Ike Anya
Ike Anya is a Nigerian public healh physician and writer currently based in the United Kingdom. Founding Secretary of the Abuja Literary Society, he is co-editor of The Weaverbird Collection of New Nigerian Writing to be published by Farafina this year. His poetry, essays, and short fiction have been published in the UK, Nigeria, America, and India.

Posted in: Nigeria Matters

52 Comments

  1. Ifeanyi Udekwu says:

    I’m not to blame Ik. I stood outside your society and watched from without. I begged and pleaded. I threatened and antagonized as an oversensitive noble academic’s child decrying the society itself and wishing for power to do something about it. I did not pray as is the standard today. In fact, I dare say that with all the prayers going on and nothing beyond that you’re right…… Those who pray are to blame! I am not!

    P.S. Very nice piece though

  2. Peece says:

    we do not care who is elected, and we continue to say “Wetin we go do? Na only God fit save Nigeria”, abdicating our God given responsibilities. (Taken from the above article)

    @Rachel time to stand up and take responsibility for saving Nigeria, only it’s people including you, at home and abroad can implement change. ‘Nigerians Save Nigeria’

  3. Rachel says:

    7years after and 153pple lose their lives to the same avoidable air crash! Nigeria is still at the same level!! This article is still so relevant today. Unfortunately no lessons were learnt from the 2005 incidence! God save naija!

  4. jerri jheto says:

    We are all to blame for the ills of that country in one way or the other. Now that we’ve come to some realization, it’s about time we start to educate the people. Change the system that divides one against the other.Let’s have true leaders. All the ones we’ve had did us wrong.They filled their pockets and let the people suffer.Let’s change that ideology.

  5. Ugo says:

    I was motivated to drop a few word for all and sundry.I was with a circle of good thinking Nigerians in Eindhoven, Holland a day before Easter 2008.We dwelled so much on how sick our country is turning into.

    At the end of it all, I asked a question, “How do we help this society we all grew up in see the light of the day”. I am still waiting for feedback from them until now.

    By I think I have an idea. We have to go back to our immediate extended families.If we get it right with our little nephews and nieces.

    I think things could go for the better from there.

    I cry each time I think of the future of those young Nigerians who couldn’t travel abroad for good education, who were not given a foreign nationality by their parents.

    We can be a beacon of light for the young ones.

    Yea, we can do it.As Barak Obama would say, a change I can believe.

    Let’s join hands and give hope to the youngs ones.I am a volunteer.Pls let’s know how you want to partner with me to change Nigeria.

    Pls get in touch via uodiegwu@yahoo.com.

    Aluta continua, Victoria Acerti!

    Shalom.

  6. daddysgirl says:

    LOL! #41. especially at the "flying home" part. I totally agree with you. to the author, sorry you lost someone close to you. i did not get a chance to "fly home" I do hope something changes in the future of our country. Believe it or not some people are still just trying to put food on the table for their families back home and can't even afford an electronic, radio or tv, not to talk of knowing how, where and when the rich and famous travel or fly. I certainly do not think, that poor man in the farms in the village, toiling away trying to fend for his family is a muderer. may be you do not know that several people are still living such life, BUT HEY YOU ARE STUDYING IN LONDON! i wonder how you got their? I bet your flight ticket alone would have paid for atleast one of that poor man's child school fees.

  7. Unknown user says:

    This passage is really good and soul-touching. We all should do some thing, inorder to know how we can upraise our country from this total downfall.God blessed us with all the natural resources, but still nothing is being done, especially the govt. sector. People are poor, with nothing left for them. It's really unfair our poeple.

  8. Mike says:

    Great piece

  9. titus says:

    Hold on everyone, why the choleric blood? To put the above article in a clearer light, It is in our hands and not the leaders, destruction or bliss. For who makes the leaders? Who creates the atmosphere for such leaders to thrive? The people. We. Whether we are aware of it or not, we are responsible. It is said that he who blames another gives up the power to change.

    You ask, so what should and must I do? Very, very simple yet the hardest. If you believe you suffer unjustly, look at the people who are your neighbours, and make good all that you have ever done to them. Even if you believe yourself to be in the right! No man has the right to let another suffer! If you are pure in this, no man will let you suffer unjustly either; they will be put to shame by your spiritual greatness.

    We suffer because it is through that that we can make amends of a wrong doing. To bear suffering without complaints, but instead learning from it and changing course makes one free from the wrong and thus the cycle is broken. Until we as a people reach that level, we will continue to experience suffering. So my brethrens, we hold bliss or damnation in our hands. Let us guide our people and country with a burgeoning power of Love, Love and Love in our thoughts, words and deeds to a promising future. Let us Love thy neighbour as thyself as our Loving Jesus sang to us. Therein lies the tincture for a new Nigeria.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Well put!! Hardly enough to change the Nigerian conscience.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I agree. We're all to blame. The parents who lost kids, every nigerian citizen, you and I. Just few weeks before this sad event, we lost many lives in another sad crash. After this event, nothing serious was done. Everyone said, "At least it wasn't my brother or my daughter…" Now it has hit us hard! Innocent kids! If their influential parents had insisted for a change after the first crash, if they had taken that event personnally, then i'm sure that their kids would still be living. I schooled with this kids in Loyola and I also feel the pain. This should be a lesson to us to always treat all problems like they're ours. We should all be concerned with our national problems. Quit saying, "there are people in charge.." or "it's not my problem.." All of us have a role to play – Us outside the country and those in there. We all have a great role. We've learnt a lesson, but sad these kids had to be the price for the lesson. If such a great calamity happens again, in the aviation sector or any other, then we've failed ourselves, our country and these poor people who died!

  12. Bosah says:

    Stupid balderdash !!! I am not a member of your e-group. A friend probably sent this to me mistakenly. I still really am unable to make any sense of it. Just like Okoly and Whyte, please I would like to be more enlightened on why my old man in the village who is 70 years old and a retired principal would still have to find a teaching job in a private school, in order to make ends meet His pension has not been paid for close on 6 months, and so he has no choice. and he is a murderer!!.. Or why we all had to run away from naija in search of greener pastures only to shoot off from a safe distance.. Why it should be so difficult to get a residency job back home if you are not one of the "chosen few", but you are labelled equally "guilty" of murder by a member of that club How insulting !!! Anya should let us all know why it was so easy for him to immediately get a residency job in National Hospital and proceed from there to UK to study in the prestigious LSHTM if he has not benefited from the system he is quick to critisize.Please did he follow "due process" then or was he assisted because of who his father is, and if he was, what moral justification does he have today to climb the pulpit He has suddenly discovered the good man and preacher in him! We all know how it was for us regular joes. Growing up was difficult, school was difficult(of course, needless to say, we didn't go home by air!!). Even adult life is difficult. I do not want my children to suffer like I did, and I would not be bothered in the least if they chose not to be Nigerians. I for one do not feel any attachment to that country,as I did not benefit from it and would please not want to be labelled a murderer by you or any other person that was born with a silver 'foot in their mouth'. All these hens that had their tails pruned for them in the rainy season should let the rest of us be. Bosah.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Excellent Article

  14. mw says:

    I can see from the nearly 40 comments here that this has provoked quite a reaction. Means you touched a nerve, Ike. Means the article succeeds. It is passionate, uncompromising and unrelenting. It is beautiful, in fact. I wish I'd written it. Molara

  15. judu says:

    An emotional outburst….well written in your usual manner.

    You will need to try harder though to explain how my father's brothers and their children in my village whom I share my meagre income with are to blame for the situation in Nigeria.

    Such articles are useful in so far as they can spark someone to take up the gauntlet and act!…….Nigerians talk too much.

    Perhaps they are rendered comatose by the fact that …..'he whose head is used to break the coconut, will not join in the eating'. They all want to 'eat'.

    Instead of acting, we are all waiting for 'miracles' and 'holy ghost fire' to solve our problems.

    'Nuff said.

    judu

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ike,come on. You moaned all page long and suggested nothing. What can be done What do you suggest I do (not Nigerians….Me)

    At the moment Okoly's(#34)fatalist point of view seems pretty close to home.

    As I watch my nephews struggle to use the occassional Igbo word I realise that this going back business na wa o.

  17. Anonymous says:

    it's quite unfortunate what is really happening in our aviation industry especially all these innocent souls that were lost,the likes of pastor Bimbo Odukoya who happened to be a blessing to this generation and those school children cut off in their primes.Anyway,your article is nice.it's goodreading your article,in case you have any other in the nearest future,kindly send to my mail box:omolola.larogbo@ubagroup.com or omolola_larogbo@yahoo.com. Have a lovely day.

  18. Obi-Whyte says:

    Ike,

    Another good piece from you. There is no excuse for bad behavior. However, this is where my agreement with you ends.

    The doctor uses fake drugs because they are easily available. He was also forced to start a private practice among the deprived and illiterate. This is convenient for malpractice. The ones who are employed by government have not received their salaries in full and regularly for about 24 months, or even more.

    We all now know that the policeman on the highway makes returns to the Tafa Baloguns in the force.

    The knowledge and experience of the current minister concerning aviation is questionable. The senate questioned his character severally before his current appointment.

    The poor civil servant, who is stupid enough to reject a bribe or report such, would be frustrated out of service by the "ogas."

    The plight of pensioners encourages anyone in the civil service to save for the rainy day.

    The state-sponsored drama in Anambra State has shown that our votes do not count.

    I can go on forever.

    With the exception of the "connected" ones, all the doctors, other professionals and any Nigerian who left our motherland for menial jobs abroad are victims of the system. All the other people mentioned in your piece are more of victims than enemies of the state.

    I accept we can contribute to nation building in our little ways, but that would not be possible under the terrible situation in Nigeria.

    Until our self-anointed leaders see the need to rehabilitate the systems, we can blame the president, the dishonest governors, the unserious members of the legislature, the segment of the academia that confers legitimacy on successive corrupt governments, the corporate Nigeriaas they like to be called these dayswho want a third term for selfish reasons, the sons and daughters of corrupt politicians, and public servants who live in mansions abroad, etc.

    Common Joes like me should be kept out of this blame game. We have enough trouble living, as it is.

  19. Okoly says:

    Ike,

    Totally flawed logic. I normally agree with you but not on this one. The Nigerian people are the victims, not the perpetrators. I will like to know how my poor aunt in the village, struggling to raise six children by petty trading, contributes to the ills of Nigeria. How is she as responsible as Jeremiah Useni and others, indicted by the Justice Nwazota panel, over the rot in our aviation sector By the way, what became of that panels report

    I always laugh at the patriotism of we Nigerians abroad, we like to deceive ourselves – and the gullible, we are abroad to acquire some skills with which we will one day return to salvage Nigeria. Once outside, we read the papers online everyday, join some feel-good group where we proffer solutions to all Nigeria's problem, and generally look back at Nigeria with that nostalgia with which we remember our childhood or secondary school days. I left because the place was too difficult to live in. I was never going to achieve my full God given potentials in that land.

    I have asked several of my "patriotic" friends here; what do you miss about Nigeria They never have an answer. At best they miss their friends and family, they miss having "gatemen", housemaid and drivers, and they miss the fact that as "bigmen" in Nigeria they were above the law. Let us face it, there is nothing to miss in Nigeria, I doubt there is any country on earth – that is not at war where the average person is not better off than the average Nigerian.

    My immediate younger brother truly believed in Nigeria and said he wasn't going to leave. Well 7 days after his wedding on the way back from his honeymoon, himself and his wife were killed in the Bellview crash, till this day nobody knows what caused that crash.

    Our people are intellectually lazy, we hate to apply mental rigour to any problem, we prefer to use empty platitudes like "the will of God", "insha Allah", "the wicked have done their worst" and now "all of us are to blame" to justify our ineptitudes. Until we start applying deep thought to our problem we are forever doomed.

    Do we think we are the first wave of migrants in history America and indeed other multicultural societies got their composition by creating an environment in which the human spirit and intellect thrives. They actively seek the best people from everywhere, and this is one of their strengths. The Irish, the Russian Jews, the Italians and indeed the first white settlers, fled to America to escape poverty or persecution in their home lands. They all planned to save some money, acquire some skills and return to their native lands. However, their native lands never got better in their lifetimes, their kids were raised Americans, and so America became home. Nigerians abroad face reality, for this is your fate.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I came to the US 10 years ago and wondered in amazement at African Americans…always complaining what the white man did to them, using one excuse or another as the basis for their problems.

    Now I sadly realize all black people are guilty of this problem. Everywhere we set our foot, you name it….UK, Brazil, Europe, we are at the bottom of the pile. It is amazing that white people still let us in.

    Why are we are the bottom Because we choose not to face reality and no one wants to do the dirty work. In fact the quickest way to disrupt a cohesive group of black people is dangle some money/goods and we will sell our mother. I am sure that is why slave trade flourished for years.

    However, when the problems come, we are quick to point ours fingers at someone or something. As a race, we are quickly becoming a perennial joke.

    Yes. Very good article. I have one suggestion….before anyone complains about Nigeria, you must provide proof that you are contributing something meaningful to society. Even on this board, we like to do damage with a pen from the comforts of our house but how many writers on this board have done anything for her country.

    Shame, shame, shame on all of us.

  21. Patrick says:

    Eloquent piece but flawed reasoning. Logical extension of your arguement means that the victims of the crash committed suicide. Did they They are Nigerians afterall. Death does not change that fact.

    I lost a brother one of the plane disasters. Did I murder him or did he commit suicide

    I'm sure that you concede that this is not a palatable conclusion – not even if you argue that your illustration is only metaphorical. Life choices are not easy to rationalise with the laws of ethics. The actions that life circumstances force us to to take must provide the background against which such actions are judged.

    The greatest factor in the wellbeing of any society is the "systems" that they have evolved to govern themselves. A society does not need to be made up of only disciplined well-behaved people to make it function. What is needed is a system that apprehends and punishes deviation from the accepted standards and restrictions. This is glaringly absent in Nigeria. Political power should not be underestimated – the establishment of any such system depends on it. The concept that if we all magically become disciplined law-abiding citizens that Nigeria will get better is laughable. The premise is crucially flawed – no society will EVER be lucky enough to consist of only or mostly saints. It CAN'T happen. Law and order must be enforced.

    This leads us straight back to our political class.Nigeria is a victim of its political class. Our political class has facilitated the emergence of the monstrosity we call Nigeria. We can't escape from the reality that we are at the mercy of the politicians until we decide to do something about it.

    If the arguement in the article was predicated on this fact – that we have not risen against the politicians, it may have had some merit. The arguement only truely applies to Nigerians in power; to people who are in the positions to implement the systems enshrined in our constitution and statutes.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Awesome piece. And truth. Sometimes I wonder where we can even start from I jusyt heard of a guy that went home after years of living in USA to make a difference. he contested for a position and won, and same day, assassins came to his house, shot him and left him for dead. His family brougt him back to USA immediately for treatment. Today he is alive but wheel-chair bound! I have always asked htis question: HOW DO WE START TO MAKE A CHANGE HOw also do we stay alive to complete it – Estella

  23. Anonymous says:

    Unfortunately we will continue to tell such stories until we are willing and able to value the life of every Nigeria and to bring to account anyone whose action either directly or indirectly leads to a preventable loss of life.

  24. Anonymous says:

    A revolution is coming. It really is the only way we can take the bull by the horn. It might take a year or perhaps ten, but its coming.

    My people, just you wait and see.

    O.O

  25. Anonymous says:

    clear, precise, raw truth, deep, guilt and anger provoking….Nebo

  26. Anonymous says:

    Mr man, wake up!

    I am no murderer, If you are one, then you ought to turn yourself in to NPF.

    By the way where in the world are you London I see. So you can sit down and drum up some melodramatic critcism about Nigerian and Nigerians. What are YOU doing How have YOU helped Of course you want to learn ID so you can help Nigeria fight malaria. Ha! children are dying every day. The sooner people like you move your butt back home, the sooner we may have hope.

    Our only hope in fighting this corruption is in the unborn generations.

  27. okay oguike says:

    well written lets all do our bit , but will that do

  28. Anonymous says:

    True words

    May God help us!

  29. Anonymous says:

    Mind numbing situation we find ourselves in. Finger pointing is easy but by our very attitude(s), we collectively deserve this blame..

    enyi.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Ike,

    This is very good. The ball is now in our court …as it has always been! When will we start to act!—i wonder Obinna

  31. Anonymous says:

    Ike… well said worthy KCOB ,but with a ruler like OBJ….the future is indeed bleak..Nigeria remains a disaster waiting to happen…God be with us all.CHUX

  32. Anonymous says:

    Far off the mark. I take no share of this guilt. I want answers, not questions! Why was the meteorlogical report 2 days old, why was there an abandoned vehicle 10 yards from the runway, why did the fire service take 90 mins to come and ran out of water within 5 minutes Accidents happen. An air France plane came down in Canada (litterally dropped out of the sky), only 1 person died! Over 300 survived because of the competence of the emergency services. I have had enough of this finger pointing towards the airline. Lets look at who the real murders are!

  33. Anonymous says:

    …pain shared…

    chikwe

  34. Anonymous says:

    I hope this article is well circulated! Its worth reading. Kareemat

  35. Anonymous says:

    Your articles are very informative and timely. You are our pride and have made many of us outside the country updated on the happenings in Nigeria.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Ike,

    I have always admired your sense of objectivity and style of writing, this article mirrors most of my views on the incident and Nigeria at large.I am glad the accusing fingers points at us all, yes indeed were are all guilty. I was sad when I read that the Perm Sec of aviation was fired because he is a very close family friend and a seasoned civil servant, however if that is what it takes to make things better, so be it. It cannot continue to be business as usual. People in authority should be made to answer for these lapses.

    I feel so frustrated about this and other issues going on at home, I am tired of reading all the finger pointing and negative articles about Nigeria, I want to see positive changes. What can we do to make things better Yes the problems seems herculean, but they are NOT insurmountable.

    What can I do to make Nigeria better

    Meanwhile I am sorry about your personal loss.

    God bless Nigeria.

    Olayemi Claridge

  37. Anonymous says:

    Moving, thought and action provoking. Heartfelt piece of writing……and sadly so close to the truth.

    OGQC1988

  38. Anonymous says:

    he hit it right on the spot where it hurts most.

  39. Anonymous says:

    what else are we expecting to hear. I on tears as i go through carefully.You have said morethan enough. FORTUNE.

  40. obemata says:

    Kudos Ike…well canvassed points.

    However, I take no share of this collective guilt!

  41. Anonymous says:

    Ike,

    Excellent job,it's time we all wake up and start doing something to make a decisive change. Alabi.

  42. Maverixz says:

    Thanks for the candid but simple truth that many of us would rarely admit to!

  43. Anonymous says:

    This is one of the reasons I came to this country. Not to come and count the skyscrappers or watch the beautiful cars. Or live with the illusions that I am better than anyone because I am in America. I came here to empower myself intellectually, politically and financially. I came here to make sure when I go back home I can make a huge difference. It is a shame, that a country so blessed like Nigeria will continue to trive on lies. We have no national emergency service nor plans. There is no search and rescue service. What happened in Port Harcourt is a disgrace. It is not like the plane fell off the sky. It landed and only overshot the runway. If that incidence had happened in the US I bet you all the victims would have survived it.

    Nigeria is a shame and we all need to empower ourselves, go back home and take up positions of influence to make those desired changes. Nobody is going to do it for us. I appeal to all Nigerians living in the US not to come here and play and say you cannot help. You can determine your own destiny and the destiny of your fellow citizens if you would make the proper investment in yourself while in America. As for me I have made a decision to go home and join the political process so I could influence decisions some day. It will not happen over night. But those changes must be made.

  44. Anonymous says:

    Ike is right. There is the maxim of the log in our eyes. If we individually deal with our own contributions to the Nigerian failure, we will soon see practically that Nigeria would have become a success. No more buck-passing please.

  45. Anonymous says:

    Na wa o. The truth has been spoken but where do we go from here EA

  46. Anonymous says:

    You have said it the way it should be said; no beating around the bush! Are we going to wait for disasters like this to happen to us directly before we take actionThis is the time to make positive changes and Nigerians should not allow this to be swept under the carpet. There must not be a repeat of this type of horror!

  47. Anonymous says:

    WELL IMPRESSED

  48. Anonymous says:

    Like i said before, the Nigerian goverment murders its citizens like that from time to time- it's what they do!!! O ma se o!

  49. Anonymous says:

    Your article was well written and in very good taste. I must commend you for a job well done. Yes! We are all to blame! Including those of us that reside abroad. We are all to blame! It seems our country Nigeria never learns from it's mistakes but keeps on repeating them continuously. It has only been seven weeks since the last air crash in lagos and now this recent tradegy in Port Harcourt. My heart really goes out to all the friends and relatives of those that perished.

    Wasn't this the same airport that had cows wandering in the runway when an Air France Jet landed Wasn't it in Murtala Muhammed Airport that it was reported that there were pot holes on the runway that some foreign airlines had to suspend their flights I can't imagine a country with so much oil wealth but still has all these problems. Look at Ethiopia! That country is one of the poorest countries in Africa but they have one of the best managed and reliable airlines on the continent next to South Africa. Most of their pilots actually studied in the aviation flying school in Zaria in Kaduna State. We call ourselves the Giant of Africa but yet we don't even have our own national airline! What a big shame! Instead we go to Europe and buy all these aged aircraft (That aircraft that crashed was 32 years old!) that don't even meet the standards to fly in Europe but are acceptable in Africa. I believe nothing is going to change despite the President calling on the Aviation industry. It's all going to be nothing but cheap talk then unfortunately life goes back to normal. That's the gospel truth. As a certain proverb says "The truth is a bitter pill to swallow"

    As I was reading the recent articles on the "Nigeriaworld" website I came across an empty statement that was made by a spokesperson for the airline. He said that this tradegy was an "act of God". This statement is just an example of how we don't want to accept responsibility for our poor maintenance culture in Nigeria. Earthquakes, Hurricanes, Tornadoes and Floods are an act of Nature and NOT poor maintenance that results in continuous air crahes.

    We are all to blame!!!

  50. Anonymous says:

    Excellent and candid write-up

  51. Anonymous says:

    This literally brought me to tears, Im so sorry for your loss.

    Kind Regards

    Abbie

    atestnny@yahoo.com

  52. Anonymous says:

    Ike, I stumbled on this. You said it as it is. Akin.

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