“Man born of a woman is like the flower of a tree that you see very fresh and adorable in the morning; but, withers in the evening”- Mebine.
All is revealed in death… I harbor no desire to speak, but speak I must for I do not wish for any unfulfilled and unsuspecting soul to languish in here, which is most likely to happen should you choose to continue to look the other way. It will interest you to know that I’m not the only one sent to this sepulchral confinement that is devoid of light and tasteful air, a place where the shadows of one’s agony haunts one for all eternity. Surrounding me are my lifeless friends whose only undoing is boarding the DANA flight 9j-992 on the 3rd of June 2012. And I believe I speak for most of them too.
One thing is certain about life: it’s that it’s too complex for the living to understand how it’s being run. Only a glimpse of it from the other side partially lifts the seemingly eternal fog that shrouds mankind. It took an accursed incident for me and my friends here to learn that. You will too if you happen to find yourself in our position.
Everything becomes clear when one has crossed that dreaded line. I unintentionally have, which is the more reason the veracity of my assertion won’t be in doubt. But if you doubt it feel free to prove me wrong.
It all lay bare before me now. I see the fine thin esoteric threads that ran intricately through each soul, with every event, every action, every decision- made and refused to make- spinning the threads and lacing them all through each person, thereby creating a behemoth and confusing web of connected souls. The average living, moves around unaware of this; ignorant of how connected they are with each other, and how the actions of one whether knowingly or unknowingly affect the life of another. The infinite whole as was the underlying intention of the divine plan by the Architect. Before my very eyes I see my death and that of those in my midst set into motion by the actions and inactions of my countrymen. Nothing it seems is without a flaw.
I once took refuge under the same inurement that plagued the various occupants of a geographical location named Nigeria. I always believed that once one look before one leap in that place one would be safe. Little did I know I was dead wrong until that notion cost me my life. No good is actually spared when it doesn’t speak or act persistently against evil. It’s the way it had been and will continue to be. I learned that the hard way. The sooner you get that into your thick skull the better for you.
I write this with a heavy heart for there’s only very few good people remaining in that unfortunate region, and they lack the will and direction to fight evil. But a day shall come when the good vanishes and evil will turn on itself. The Architect had no hand in what happened as I hear the two-faced religiously inclined majority proclaim. He created the world and handed it over to man to do with it as he pleased, and to feel free to rake in the consequences of his exploitations. Nigeria is part of that world. We did with it as we pleased and the consequences are now swelling and yet you mere humans dare mention his name. I say to you now that the dead does not need the prayers of the living, instead it’s vice versa. And comfortably pointing accusing fingers at each other will only send more souls to rot in here than solve anything. When will you get wiser? That plane was pulled down by what some did and what some failed to do.
My dear you’re plugged permanently into the web. That you alone dictate to your life is nothing but an illusion and that notion should be discarded if you want to remain alive. Getting involved in any activity that will ameliorate the ugly situation is always better than standing aside because either way you won’t be left out, and who knows it may be worth dying for.
Trust me when I say this is no place for souls who lived an unfilled life like me. The shame, frustration, sorrow, sadness, rage, resentment, all sticks with you for all eternity. So don’t just stand aside while things deteriorate and think you’ll be safe if you don’t participate. When the wind comes it’s the like of you that will go with it. Maybe a recap of my life on earth will jolt you into action…
My name was Ike Andrew. I was 30 and the second son of a widow. When I was young and my father was still alive, we were so close that it was difficult hiding anything from each other. He was a ruthless politician then and he taught me a lot of things. So I was surprised the day I told him I wanted to be a politician like him and he strongly advised me against it. But then a snake doesn’t give birth to a rat, does it? At most its offspring wears another color.
I did wear another color.
Years later after my father’s death it appeared to be only natural I assumed his mantle at the constant bickering of my mother. My elder brother never really cared as long as I could watch my back. I remember clearly our last fight.
“Politics is a dirty game,” she said. “It destroyed your father and I don’t want that to happen to any of my children.”
“It’s not so mum. Politics just like every other game is a healthy game. It’s the people playing it that are dirty,” had been my immediate response to her.
“Is there any difference between the game and the players,” my brother chimed in.
“Yes! There is. Come to think of it even God himself is a political being. I don’t know why it’s being painted in such a bad light. My intention is to right that misconception.”
“Tell me how can you get into the midst of dirty people and still remain clean?” She said and stormed out of the sitting room, leaving me and my brother to continue with the argument.
Her question only skirted my thought after that day. I took it as a mere rant of a frightened mother, over the gory nature of what I wanted to involve myself in, and began to fight vehemently to stoke my ambitious fire. But the more I fought the more I began to realize my mother had been right all along. After a while the fire began to dwindle. At some point I became fed up with the whole thing. There’s no redemption to this one, I concluded and became more and more passive as the years rolled by, while my country deteriorates. And before you know it I was gone with the wind, precipitated by my silence.
In the morning of the 3rd of June, I’d gone to sleep in my brother’s apartment situated in the Iju neighborhood of Lagos only to wake up on the other side; what most would call a peaceful death. A plane with 153 passengers crashed right into the building where I was sleeping peacefully and pummeled me into a depth of no return. Just like that I was gone, faster than the snap of a finger.
Hold on to steadfastness, lest you get washed off the earth by the strong evil tide!
My soul has known no rest since that day. If only I can cry! Purge myself of my pain and regret! Maybe I deserved to be here but what about those around me; the mother who didn’t know the sex of the child in her stomach until she got here, the child himself who didn’t get the chance to fight for himself, the family that lived together and died together, the general who survived years in combat but couldn’t survive corruption, the beautiful ladies that died with their beauty still intact etc. Were they silent too? It’ll suffice to say they were for if they weren’t they won’t be in here.
My only consolation comes from knowing that my transition is a peaceful one. I didn’t get to face the horror of having to face death. I didn’t taste the hopeless air that always accompanies its presence. My friends here had it worse. But we all share the same feelings of regret, anger and resentment. We share the same feeling of unfulfillment. We equally feel the emptiness our demise left in the heart of our beloved. For that we say we’re sorry. Our undying love shall be your strength. Keep holding on and always remember that passivity solves nothing. Act and speak like one for you are created to become one whether you like it or not. Do not partake in what will hamper the life of another and if you see someone doing so, make an unrelenting effort to stop that person. As you do that you create a good atmosphere that will help your life and that of those around you flourish. If only we’ll be given a second chance?
If you aren’t safe in your fatherland you’ll find safety nowhere else, I assure you.
Ike Andrew, representing the victims of the crashed DANA flight 9j-992 en route from Abuja to Lagos on the 3rd of June, 2012. And please! Please! Please! Do not make our death another joke.