A Word To The Good People Of Sankera And Buruku

Development, Stories 2/09/2020 by Sesugh Akume

Yesterday or so, I saw social media reports that the Logo local government chairman, Isaac Terseer Agber, along with his (unnamed) driver survived a boat mishap on Thursday (27 August) evening, at about 6:30 pm, crossing River Katsina-Ala at Buruku, on his way from Makurdi to Ugba. He and the driver escaped drowning, and the vehicle was later recovered at about 9:45 pm.

Virtually all I’ve seen are effusive expressions of thanks to God for sparing his life. Others even say his enemies will not succeed, etc.

I am concerned, very concerned that we are fast losing our minds, have become numb and desensitised on issues that border on our very own survival and existence. Less than 2 years ago when a mishap of this nature occurred where scores died, it was in the news. I remember the Benue State House of Assembly member for Logo then also went to commiserate with the bereaved families, as they were all from there. The governor (this one in his second term) also went to the scene (represented by the SSG and said the usual things said when such happen) and that was it.

Let it also not be that we all worship human beings as gods we look up to for survival and can’t state the obvious for the fear of man.

This time, a chairman of an entire local government luckily escaped death, but it made absolutely NO news at all.

It tells me one thing, that we have normalised this absurdity. It’s now okay for one’s boat to capsize. If they die, that’s how God arranged it. If they survive, good luck, it’s not their time. Bad luck to their enemies.

With respect, it’s animals that think and exist this way. I’m sorry, but this is where we are heading if we aren’t there already. It’s important for the living to note that those who are dead cannot die from drowning at Buruku again. It’s you and I who are alive today who can. Second, life can be made predictable. With a bridge, nobody would stand the risk of dying crossing a river in this time and age.

Normal people use life-threatening and crisis situations to make their own societies work. When disasters happen, a line is drawn in the ground, saying Enough is Enough. The situations are x-rayed, the causes identified, along with the solutions, and immediately mechanisms are set to solve the problems to avoid reoccurrence once and for all. What on earth will make us come to this point, for goodness sake!

The person who was a House of Rep member for Sankera when the last mishap happened almost went back to NASS again. Even though people died repeatedly from that crossing during the time he was in the House, this bridge was never for once an issue. He didn’t lose the election for this reason. In fact, it wasn’t a factor at all. Same for the Senator for the area who didn’t make it back.

The one who went made no promises, and in fact, made no commitments whatsoever. All I know he said he’d do was ‘I will treat you well’, this can’t go beyond stomach infrastructure. The Senator equally doesn’t care. The House member for Buruku who has equally been in NASS while scores died crossing is now a Senator. His incompetence was rewarded, because, quite frankly, competence and having one’s heart in the right place is never an issue for us.

None of them in the National Assembly will come to brief us on what they are doing there in NASS (a bridge across that river is Trunk ‘A’, the responsibility of the federal government). By the way, we don’t deserve the accountability. They bought their way there, they always do, so owe nobody anything.The only thing is, in December they will send cows and cash around, to their party people and that will be it.

During their party meetings nobody will raise these issues that pertain to our survival and existence. Those who dare would be shut down. They wouldn’t want the politician to be upset so that he can drop more ‘transport fare’.

Those who its beneath them to collect such pittance from politicians and can’t be bought stay away from the entire process. Some feel overwhelmed and powerless (which, in fact, is not the reality) so we keep recycling the same people and praising them. Hailing them. When we are dying. Who is deceiving whom? **** The alternative to crossing at Buruku is to go through Katsina-Ala, a needlessly long route. That road itself is unmotorable. The contract for it which terminates in February 2021 is not anywhere close to 10% completed, in my estimation. Effectively, this means we are cut off from our own homelands. But do we care? We all stand a risk of needlessly dying trying to access our homelands. We also have the option of something about it, if we want.

And please, don’t bring God into this matter. If anybody dies crossing the river in those rickety boats, don’t say God ordained it so, He did NOT. Don’t say it’s their destiny it is NOT. Don’t mention enemies, if they exist, they have nothing to do with this.

My point is, let it just not be that nobody said anything. Let the record bear that we didn’t lose our minds all at the same time and resorted to the survival mode of animals. Let it also not be that we all worship human beings as gods we look up to for survival and can’t state the obvious for the fear of man.

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