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What’s your life worth where you live?

So, for almost one week, Canadians and their friends from across the globe waited with bated breaths, first for the City of Ottawa, their own version of our own FCT; the National Capital’s Commission and an array of environmentalists to take a decision on this year’s Ottawa Bluesfest. The furore was over killdeer couple nesting on two eggs at the venue of the f birds with national relevance – a killdeer and it’s two eggs. The birds had nested on the same grounds where the famous musicfest is to celebrate it’s 24th anniversary this year. Last year, the festival attracted 300,000 people from all over the globe and an estimated 123,000 social media followers. 

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Day passes to the festival range from $60 to $80 with each visitor expected to buy a drink and perhaps a bugger. But Canada almost lost that whole thing to two birds and their two eggs. Government and its agencies gathered an array of experts and enthusiasts; spent eight solid hours moving the nesting ground from under the bird’s feet in such a manner as not to disrupt their peace and bird rights. Sorry this is already a boring piece, but kindly spare me a few more lines.

Imagine how amusing it is for a Naija citizen following the killdeer story when unknown or pampered herders were on the rampage again on the Plateau. It takes more than a good dose of Canadian weed to stay calm as we count 86 lives wasted on the Plateau according to official sources. Enemy estimation puts the figure over 200. We’ll never know for sure because in Naija where the living has no value, we don’t valuate the dead. We gather their remains where we could transport them in the pickup vans that you won’t dare transport a living Canadian pet and give them – mass burial, then we wait for the next attack.

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Mass burial! When a country buries it’s compatriots in mass graves when it’s not officially at war, it loses its qualification to be counted with those who would spare nothing to save a killdeer and its two eggs. Those who are protected don’t know that we are wasting – we are nearly 200 million while Canada is recruiting immigrants to shore up it’s own to 35 million. When you count mass murder in tens, hundreds and sometimes thousands, human life loses its essence, quality and value. A Canadian killdeer has national status a greater importance than a Naija person. 

This is how our president reacts to the killing on the Plateau that was happening while he and his party were busy fixing square pegs in holes meant to make the 2019 selection process a political walkover. Those handling the President’s Twitter accounts prioritized what was most important. On the day herdsmen were bathing in the blood of the innocent on the Plateau, the presidential twitter handle had one single tweet on it! It was the usual platitudinal tweet saying something about government’s commitment to bringing the perpetrators to book and sympathy for those who have lost loved ones. 

That was 290 characters distributed between government’s care and sympathy for the dead. Nothing was said about the unwary travellers who were subsequently ambushed and killed for the answer they gave to the simple question – Christian or Muslim. A Miyeti Allah statement is being debated for its relevance although the language is very familiar.

For the APC Convention, the president’s handlers had twelve – yes, a dozen tweets – 290 characters times twelve. It expressed the president’s confidence in the ability of his fractured party to rally itself on time to coast home to victory in 2019. Come to think of it, governance has never been about the preservation of the sanctity of the life of the citizens as it is about the preservation of the status quo. It’s the same no matter what party is in power. 

Rather than rally against those who waste them, the victims of this shitstem are on Twitter tackling each other and heckling anybody demanding for a re-scaling of priorities. They do not understand that their miserable lives put together weigh far less than two Canadian killdeers and their two eggs. 

The male Canadian killdeer and his mate guarded their eggs in turn. While one went hunting for food, the other kept vigil. When the humans showed up with their cranes to erect their podiums, these two Canadian birds raised hell. Even though they do not vote, their voices were raised as if to say ‘ Heh guys, we’re here in our natural habitat determined to raise our young.’ Those who wield power in Canada listened to them and stopped work until they could figure out how to have fun without destroying life. The APC wouldn’t stop it’s convention for the deaths on the Plateau because in Naija where life is cheap, we bury our dead – those whose remains we could find; those directly hit shed their tears, those who are not directly hit snigger and the party in power is busy – campaigning for a second term – because that’s all that matters. 

 


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