“Je suis Charlie’, Nigeria, Africa And The Hypocrisy in all of us

"Je suis charlie', Charlie Ebola,  Wolinski,  France carbon massacre, France Rally, Press freedom in Nigeria, AfricaIt is no longer news, Charlie Hebdo, a Paris based satirical magazine had come into the frntline in the last few days. The event on January 7, 2015 puts a lot of spotlight on the Magazine, Paris and France at large. At the end, two Kouachi brothers (said and Cherif)who many will rather refered to as terrorists instead of islam fundamentalist, went in and shot 50 bullets which killed at least 12 people and wounded many which reports says include four Charlie Hebdo magazine staff, two Policemen, a  visitor to the magazine office among others. Some of the Magazine staff killed were reported to be good Muslims.  At least report claimed Nisha,  Saley and Wolinski were.

Talking about events that led to the killings, many had argued that Charlie Hebdo team went to the extreme of constantly depicting, demeaning the personality of  Prophet Mohammed in bad ways through the magazine’s cartoons. Some claimed there had been excesses that could only be tolerated in a secular place like France but could have been addressed in volatile nations in Africa where we always carried things to the extreme.

Fundamentalists amongst us in Africa would have killed many more if such magazine is domiciled in Africa. We should not forget in hurry, an attempt to host Miss World Pageant in Abuja Nigeria was greeted with uproar. The event had to be cancelled and moved to London hurriedly. That is the height of Africans’ impatience with anything religion. So to some other fundamentalists, that action was overdued. Unfortunately for these people, the Imam of drancy in France rushed to the scene of the event to affirm no religion encouraged such massive shedding of bloods irrespective of the provocation.

While as Individual,  we do not support or tacitly endorse past activities of Charlie Hebdo magazine. Given the opportunity, we would have called for caution based on the sensitive nature of our environment.  But then, we like many other right thinking citizens of the world does not see reasons why bloods will be shed in defence of a ‘Prophet or ‘god’ which is considered alive and has all the power to avenge himself. Life is precious, sacrosanct and should not be taken by anyone in the name of religion.

The Kouachi brothers wanted us to believe they were acting on behalf of Prophet Mohammed or Allah by shouting ‘Allah u akbir’ meaning the ‘name of the Lord be praised’. But we all know at least from knowledgeable moslem community and not what  fundamentalists want us to believe that such acts are not supported by Allah or the moslem ‘ s holy book. More will be written on this in no distance future. For now let us concentrate on our point.

Hypocrisy is not new. It has been with us for ages. Hypocrisy makes us cover up what is real and expose stuff that are insignificant in others. It helps human to leave the logs In their own eyes while they will try hard to remove a stick in the eyes of others. In fact we understand hypocrisy better when we take a deep look at the origin of the word in Greek which  is ‘hypokrite’ meaning ‘ a stage actor’. In fact an online explanation did say ‘one will be an hypocrite if you criticise another for wearing a sweater during cold  whereas you are always on two pull overs’. An hypocrite is also a person who professes a belief in something he does not hold dear at heart. Humans could be hypocriites and this tendency sometimes make the world unbearable to live. Since that incident of JJanuary 7, 2015, we have had all manners of reactions from everyone. Big, mighty, insignificant or just wannabees. Presidents of nations like Barrack Obama spoke out and went ahead to show solidarity with the French community by paying a visit to France Embassy in The USA.

Twitter and other social media platforms went agog with posting, conversations around the Incidents.  This is expected as no life should be lost. We also believe freedom of speech and Press should be guaranteed. There are several civil ways the Kouachi brothers should had protested if they felt their religion had been maligned. Yet they aimed at silencing the voice of the people involved through killings. Unfortunately, the voice of Charlie Hebdo had become louder than what it used to be. Even five year old who never heard about that magazine now know what it stood for and the search for that brand name online had gone beyond the roof.

Talking about hypocrisy In Nigeria and Africa, we all know the plight of Nigerians, Kenyans, Sudanese, Somalians among others and their experiences in the hands of terrorists like Al shabab, Boko Haram among many other deadly organizations with affiliation to alqaeda and havoc they had unleashed on African citizens and territories. In fact in Nigeria, their activities had been on daily occurrence especially in the North East Nigeria.

Thousands of Innocent lives have been lost with not much reprieve.  Nigeria Army is said to be working round the clock but it appears lack of sophisticated equipments is making us lose many gallant officers as well as citizens to the hand of these evil inclined organizations.  Amidst this, as soon as 12 lives, precious though, were hacked down in Paris, Nigeria President and other top Government officials like Mrs Ngozi Okojo-Iweala commenced a ‘ me too’ solidarity message. Here it is a norm for lives to be wasted without and official information for days.

It is also allowed here if thousands of lives are lost and all we could do is ‘ we all are winning the war’ while we concentrate on other ‘important state matters like election campaign’ among others. In fact we seem to have lost the touch, empathy and concern for lives wasted. Things move on everyday as If nothing had happened even if 2000 lives were wasted daily. Our concern is how to ensure we continue in power as well as ensure our own immediate families are saved.

Paying visit to the site, sympathising and showing leadership concern Is not that important here. The government here will lead no rally to show the world we are poised for definite change. We will neither raised the security alert, tempo to the maximum level where the perpetrators are brought to book withing 72 hours like France did.

Talking about rally also, Africans can really carry the hypocrisy to the highest level. There are about three or four African Presidents who flew to Paris to join other world leaders in the rally, which had been reported to be the first of its kind in France, against this evil massacre. We learnt President of Egypt, Mali etc were among African Presidents who attended the rally. In Egypt, Al Jazeera journalists have been jailed for a year for the same freedom of speech and Press this President claimed he was supporting. What a level of hypocrisy.

Nigeria, Kenya, Mali, Cameroon among others had been touched by the activities of Boko Haram, Al shabab among others, no such large support rally had been held on Africa soil. Yet we could waste Country resources going to Paris to join a global rally. In Nigeria, we will rather blame the foreign media for beaming searchlights on the carnage than addressed the issues. Yes we know there may be a level of biases in Cable Network News (@CNN) coverage of various crime committed in the USA  and that of Africa, but if we put our acts together, CNN and other foreign media may have nothing worthwhile to say in the negative.

This is a wake up call against hypocrisy.  This needs to stop, we must act now.

Photo credit: wikipedia

Written by Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito is a Communications specialist passionate about Nigeria and Africa Development. Before now he had freelanced for a trade journal for over four years. He is a Brand communication, Digital media consultant and continuously raises the bar of progress. An out of the box thinker and analyst. his opinions are shared on various online platforms

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About Yinka Olaito

Yinka Olaito is a Communications specialist passionate about Nigeria and Africa Development. Before now he had freelanced for a trade journal for over four years. He is a Brand communication, Digital media consultant and continuously raises the bar of progress. An out of the box thinker and analyst. his opinions are shared on various online platforms

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