Celebration in a Ghost City!
Adapted from “Dirge for a Dance” by Dr Lani Stephens <email@example.com>
It's festivity and holiday season in Nigeria: But in Jos City, the Christmas was unlike anyone in history. It was quiet and calm. Not the calmness of nature or choice, but of fate. Even more silent than the Silent Night itself. The New Year dawned on us today in a man-made ghost city . No joyful shouts of “Happy New Year!” No fireworks! No bangers! No drumming and singing processions in the streets! No Passover services ! No Last Day Gathering! No celebration joints anywhere in the city!
No drinking and no dancing! I never heard a trumpet blare till daybreak. Of course! The celebrants have been killed last month! The mourners have lost excitement for Celebration! The fearful have fled to the neighbouring cities! The government still imposing curfew over the innocent, and feeding the arrested murderers in their so-called detention, pending when they would be freed as usual, to come out and kill even many more! They are not killing for Sango the god of thunder; not for Allah of Islam, not for Yahweh of Judaism or Jehovah of Israel- they kill because it's their religion to shed blood. They are of their father, the Devil. Since the military intervention on November 29, 2008, no fanatic has come out again to kill and be killed for Allah. Of course, they are not religious faithful but simply terrorists in camouflage. They have suddenly fled and abandoned the promised paradise; the promised 6,000 virgin girls having breasts like mango. (Some of the scriptures used to coax and incite good Muslims into violence.) Why would a terrorist dread the state authority rather than the Almighty if truly his allegiance is to Him? They burn houses they wouldn't build. They kill graduates they wouldn't be. They destroy schools they wouldn't attend. They loot wealth they wouldn't gather- all in the name of a religion. What is such a strange philosophy of violence doing in a home of peace and tourism? No wonder the city of Jos is derogatorily now been nick-named home of war and terrorism instead. But for the leadership that deals deceitfully with its citizenry, the blood of the innocent is always on you, and the anger of God would hunt you all your lives, for knowing the truth but promoting falsehood. For taking away our singing on the Plateau and giving us a dirge for a dance!
Happy New Year to the friends of Plateau State!
Happy New Year to the enemies of Plateau State!
Happy New Year to the bereaved in Jos City!
Happy New Year to the terrorists!
Happy New Year to the arrested 500 foreign mercenaries!
Happy New Year to the Nigerian Police and Immigration Officers at the borders!
Happy New Year to the generous Nigerians who provided Nigerian Army and Police uniforms to the terrorists!
Happy New Year to the hypocrites!
Happy New Year to lovers of humanity and people of goodwill!
Happy New Year to the victors in the genocide!
Happy New Year to the victims of the genocide!
Happy New Year to the good and law abiding citizens of Nigeria!
Let us celebrate! Celebrate of course!
Do celebrate your righteousness! And celebrate your wickedness!
Wishing you God's commensurate rewards and bountiful harvests for your deeds. It shall definitely come!
Celebrate in the ghost city we have made!
Dr Lani Stephens is a Creative & Performing Arts consultant, based in Jos, Nigeria; <firstname.lastname@example.org>