In our collection of letters from African journalists, novelist and author Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani appears at whether or not a tradition of blaming every little thing on future is holding Nigeria again.
The latest meningitis outbreak, which has thus far claimed nearly 450 lives in Nigeria’s north, could have uncovered one of many explanation why that area of the nation continues to have among the grimmest statistics in nearly each space of growth.
Even earlier than the Boko Haram militant Islamist insurgency, there was alarmingly excessive figures on toddler and maternal mortality, poverty, baby marriage, youngsters out-of-school, to say however just a few.
The area can also be one of many few on the earth that’s but to be licensed freed from polio, the infectious illness that always cripples youngsters.
With regards to the meningitis outbreak, Zamfara state has suffered essentially the most deaths and hospitalisations out of all these affected.
Whereas addressing journalists just lately, State Governor Abdulaziz Yari absolved his administration of any duty for the illness’s unfold in his state.
As a substitute, he mentioned the issue was that individuals have been sinning in opposition to God.
“Individuals have turned away from God… that’s simply the reason for this outbreak so far as I’m involved,” Governor Yari mentioned.
“There isn’t a approach fornication will probably be so rampant and God won’t ship a illness that can’t be cured.”
In accordance along with his perception in regards to the well being emergency’s origin, Mr Yari proffered an answer which has nothing to do with any motion or inaction on the a part of his authorities.
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani
“It’s unattainable to domesticate a spirit of innovation and transformation when folks consider themselves helpless about their plight.”
“An important factor is for our folks to know that their relationship with God shouldn’t be clean,” he mentioned.
“All they should do is repent and every little thing will probably be all proper.”
These feedback have drawn criticism from many Nigerians, notably from Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the emir of Kano, who is likely one of the nation’s most necessary Muslim leaders.
However Mr Yari merely amplified an perspective that’s not unusual within the nation.
Within the 2011 post-election violence that broke out in elements of northern Nigeria, 9 latest college graduates assigned to work with the electoral fee in Bauchi state had been killed.
Isa Yuguda, the state governor on the time, ascribed the younger folks’s deaths to a better power.
“They had been destined to expertise what they skilled,” he mentioned.
“No one can run away from their future.”
He added that human beings ought to at all times settle for their future, whether or not or not it was “in our favour or in opposition to our curiosity”.
Thus, Governor Yuguda implied that there was nothing his administration might have executed to guard the younger lives from their ghastly destiny.
He was to not blame.
In January, I met a 21-year-old lady in Maiduguri, north-east Nigeria, one of many hundreds of thousands of individuals displaced from their houses by Boko Haram.
Whereas residing in a camp for displaced folks, she was befriended by a person who works with the Civilian Joint Activity Drive (CJTF), a bunch of that was shaped to assist oust Boko Haram.
One evening two years in the past, he locked her up in his official car, muffled her screams and raped her.
A number of weeks later she found that she was pregnant. Her household, his household and the native CJTF boss intervened.
They determined that the sufferer would marry her rapist. That was one of the best ways to save lots of her from the disgrace of being a single mom, they believed.
She informed me that she didn’t think about any higher different herself and so willingly went together with their determination.
Thus, she turned the third spouse to a person who was paid by the federal government to guard her and different refugees; a person who raped her and fathered her first baby within the official car he had been supplied to hold out his job of defending her and different weak folks.
I used to be eager to know what her husband felt about what he had executed to her, how he had so brutishly altered the course of the girl’s life eternally.
“He informed me that’s the approach Allah needs it,” she replied to me. “He mentioned that’s my future.”
This perspective of attributing life circumstances to forces past folks’s management is antithetical to progress and growth.
It’s unattainable to domesticate a spirit of innovation and transformation when folks consider themselves helpless about their plight.
Some northern Nigeria leaders are, fortunately, beginning to converse out in opposition to such regressive beliefs.
The Emir of Kano described Governor Yari’s feedback as “Islamically incorrect”.
“Once we discuss a troublesome setting, we realise that 90% of that issue, we are able to handle, as a result of it’s self-inflicted,” the Emir mentioned.
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