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Baga.

Image via http://www.snitchngr.com

Once upon a time, Baga was a peaceful town with lots of fishermen and farmers. Baga once housed homes, families, love, hope. Baga is in the Kukuwa local government area of Borno state, Nigeria. Starting from April 2013, Baga was no longer safe, 200 Baga people were killed. Now Baga is host to terrorists, the bodies of her people littered all over. Baga survivors are refugees in a foreign land.

People wonder why there is such a fuss about #BlackLifesMatter. It may have started with the loss of African-American lives but it is inclusive of all black people. More than 2000 Nigerians are dead and 1.5 million displaced in the recent Baga massacre. Bodies were even too much to be counted. Of course, the world (and sadly including Africa) chose to ignore the attacks because somehow, the lives of twelve French citizens are more important than that of more than 2000 Nigerians. Even back home, Baga massacre was not considered newsworthy as Charlie Hebdo. The president who promised to protect us in 2011 is only passionate about his being re-elected and has overlooked the security of the nation. Instead, he is extending his “sympathies” to the Charlie Hebdo terror attack victims ignoring the Baga massacre. Apparently mourning for and protecting Nigerian lives is not a presidential duty.

Thirty-one days to the general elections and most Nigerians are scared of the outcome. Some are running back to their home-towns because of possible election violence. Honestly, I’m afraid too, I wonder how much will change. I don’t want to be a sacrificial lamb because someone preferred candidate did not win. The two major presidential candidates have stooped to hurl insults at each other. What happens if any of them don’t win?

Despite all, I believe in Nigeria, I love Nigeria. Nigeria to me is like that sweet chocolate cake you love but is bad for your health. I know Nigeria can never be a perfect country but I want it to be a safe not terrorized country. I want to be able to fulfil my childhood dream of travelling around Nigeria, standing on magnificent hills in Plateau and exploring the ancient city of Kano. I want fishermen and farmers in Baga again.

Image via Tvc news
Image via The Street Journal

Author:

I'm OnyinyeOlufunmi, a visual artist, writer and psychologist from Lagos, Nigeria.

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