Subscribe to Newsletter
Monthly Newsletter: Join more than 5,000 African literature enthusiasts!
Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our "Guide to African Novels."

Violence in Need of Repair

SHARE THIS

This our democracy has been costly if this past election is anything to go by. Add the cost of the inauguration and the price tag staggers up some more. Then again, money is cheap. And if you know anything about Nigeria, you know we have a lot of it. We’ve bankrolled far less worthy things in our history as a nation. We’ve lined the pockets of thieving politicians. There is no crime in splurging a little when it comes to the sacred rites of a democracy for which we yearn so strongly.

The cost that keeps me up at night, however, is the cost in lives, the body count that is in fact still rising in Bauchi and Maiduguri. Why do we have to climb up a mountain of dead bodies to get to our promise land? Isn’t there something deeply unsettling about how Nigerian lives are being spent so lavishly like they are going out of style? To pick a random starting point, since the independence day bombing, so many have died from ethnic/religious conflicts and post election killings that our country is slowly becoming a grave yard. We have to stop and think. I hate to sound like Prophet Doomsday, especially when everyone is trying really hard  to stay positive and give JEG’s regime a chance to make good on their rather generous promises. But everyone knows that I am not saying anything out of the ordinary. Let’s do the arithmetic–Independence day bombing: 10, Suleja bombing 13, Maiduguri: 6, post election killings: 800 with 65, 000 displaced and a host of other deaths in between. Some of the dead were young men and women, recent university graduates, who found themselves in the middle of a war that was not their making. Most of the perpetrators of these violent acts still run free and unknown. Meanwhile, the violence continues.

It is not just that these lives have been lost in the most senseless of ways but that their loss continue to go unavenged and as such unacknowledged.  Don’t you think it’s funny when you hear people say, “aside from the post election killings, the election was peaceful?” Since when did we become that kind of people who use idioms like “aside from,” “except for,” and “apart from” to bracket off lost lives and sweep them under the carpet like they are dried out flies. Play the numbers game, and you would be able to guess how many more people will die in the months to come and how many more of these deaths would go unaccounted for.

This our democracy is surviving but only because it is becoming more blood thirsty by the day. One day, we will get where we so desperately desire to be as a nation. But at the rate at which we are going, we can only hope that we are alive to see what that day will look like. My fear is that a democracy that is littered with unburied corpse, a democracy that is gotten at the expense of lives that we, whether we admit it or not, secretly believe to be cheap is a democracy that will haunt us forever.

Photo credit: Kate Knight

Tags: , ,

Ainehi Edoro is an Assistant Professor of English at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she teaches African literature. She received her doctorate at Duke University. She is the founder and editor of Brittle Paper and series editor of Ohio University Press’s Modern African Writer’s imprint.

One Response to “Violence in Need of Repair” Subscribe

  1. samuel dzombo December 20, 2017 at 3:52 am #

    Africa and its elections.It is always a big headache.

Leave a Reply

Welcome to Brittle Paper, your go-to site for African writing and literary culture. We bring you all the latest news and juicy updates on publications, authors, events, prizes, and lifestyle. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@brittlepaper) and sign up for our "I love African Literature" newsletter.

Monthly Newsletter!

Subscribe for African literature news, and receive a free copy of our
"Guide to African Novels."

Archives

Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Writer to Win Author of the Year

Bernardine Evaristo Becomes First Black Writer to Win Author of the Year in the British Book Awards

  Bernardine Evaristo’s winning streak continues as she dominates two categories of the 2020 British Book Awards: Best Fiction Book […]

Apply for the 2020 Morland Writing Scholarship | £27,000 for Nonfiction, £18,000 Fiction

Apply for the 2020 Miles Morland Writing Scholarship

The Miles Morland Foundation is currently accepting applications for the 2020 Morland African Writing Scholarships. The awards offer a fiction […]

The Million Naira Nigerian Prize for Difference and Diversity | Here is How to Nominate Someone

The Nigerian Prize for Difference and Diversity

As part of their goal to ensure visibility and adequate representation of minorities, The Working Group for The Nigeria Prize […]

This is Why I am Endowing a N1 Million Prize for Difference and Diversity in Nigeria | Chude Jideonwo

This is Why I am Endowing a N1 Million Prize for Difference and Diversity in Nigeria _ Chude Jideonwo (2)

Last year, I wrote a piece on CNN during Pride Month​—​a month set aside to celebrate sexual and gender diversity […]

Derek Owusu Awarded 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize

Derek Owusu Awarded 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize (1)

British author of Ghanaian heritage Derek Owusu has been awarded the 2020 Desmond Elliot Prize for his debut novel That […]

My Sister, The Serial Killer Wins Crime Fiction Book of the Year

My Sister, The Serial Killer Wins Crime Fiction Book of the Year

Oyinkan Braithwaite’s comic crime thriller, My Sister, The Serial Killer (2018), has won the 2020 British Book Award for Crime Fiction […]

Thanks for signing up!

Never miss out on new posts. Subscribe to a digest, too:

No thanks, I only want the monthly newsletter.