But the biggest issue that transcends all these is Terrorism. Monday afternoon, 16th of April 2013, everyone was having a good time around the world. In Boston, United States, everyone was having fun at the annual Boston Marathon, children ceasing the moment to picnic, after all it was beautiful spring weather and the winter had been torrential. People of all ages out on the street of the most academic-genius city in the world. . . the city of the cerebral Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the city of the delectably-intellectual Harvard University and its world famous Harvard Business School, the city that has raised the most geniuses than any other single city in the world . . . people on the streets participating in the marathon for several reasons - some for their friend who died of cancer - again one the tragedies of life. Some to prove a point to their kids and spouses that the still got some zing left, some to raise money for their community or for some Not - For - Profit endeavour, some just for the fun of it, and suddenly at the finishing line, someone sets a bomb . . . not fireworks, BOMB, and decides that the best way to contribute to such a beautiful day was to cause mayhem and kill innocent people - Children, who had come for their own walk while their parents ran the marathon, men who were there to cheer their wives to the finishing line, sisters and friends who came to cheer their brothers and colleagues as they ran their own marathons for whatever course they have chosen. And some animal called man thinks his contribution at the finishing line is to kill and maim as many people as possible in cold blood, for whatever cause he, she or they profess. Shame on them, may their lights turn to darkness. May their children forsake them, may peace elude them forever.
But something else caught my attention - the swiftness with which the people of the United States reacted to the incidence, from the ordinary citizens on the street, to the first responders who were even present on normal duty at such an event, to the Boston Police, and all the way up to the President of the United States. Words have it that the people on the street came out in droves to offer help to the injured, startled or cold - whatever was needed- blanket, water, food, shelter, whatever. The kind of solidarity that has made the United States of America the greatest country in the world. Within minutes of the bombing, rescue trucks and ambulances lined the entire street and adjacent streets, evacuating people to hospitals, doctors were on hand doing resuscitations, conducting surgeries, treating the injured. The Boston Police, FBI, CIA, true to type, already jumped into action, combing the area, within minutes they discovered unexploded devices which they safely disposed, serious investigation came underway, cross checks at airports, they understand that the first 48hrs after a crime is the most critical.
Clear reports of casualties already out, 3 dead with details fully disclosed - Krystle Campbell, 29, a restaurant manager from Medford Massachusetts, Lu Lingzi, 23, Chinese national from Shenyang and a graduate student at Boston University, Martin Richards, 8 year old boy, his mother suffered a brain injury and his 6-year old sister lost a limb, both to the bomb blast. Total count, 182 people injured including 8 children, 13 of the injured suffered severed limbs, two brothers 33 and 31 lost a leg and the story goes on and on. Within the hour, one Saudi national already arrested, later released. and the President - Barack Obama, on whose watch the incidence happened, was live on air spitting fire - Our prayers are with the victim, we will find who did it and why, any responsible individual or group will feel the full weight of Justice! Social media agog with minute by minute details of the events and the updates. The London Marathon which is about to be run in a few days, already stepped up security and the race will go on as planned. Within 48 hours, they had video and pictures of the two people susupected to have carried out the attack. Amazingly, in just 5 days, the identity was clear, two brothers from Chechnya, they were apprehended, one dead, the other alive after a massive manhunt that nesessitated the shut down of the entire Boston area for a whole day. The quick result provoked street jubilation in the United States and around the world, but most especially, in the Boston Area.. . .
I don't know if this says anything to you, but it does to me. In Nigeria, several bombings, never a clear report of casualties. The other day five luxurious buses that seats about 70 people each, full capacity, were bombed in Kano, and till today, we do not know the number of the dead or injured, not to talk of the identity of the individuals, nothing, only confusion. The Catholic Church bombing, apart from the figure the church gave, nothing else was exact. The bombing of the This Day Office building and the UN office in Abuja, nothing, no single clear information from any authorized person. Several days after the UN office bomb blast, the leader in whose watch it happened says, "Every country suffers terrorist attack, maybe it is our turn" then, "we will fish them out" . . . then fast forward almost 1 year after, "We will set up a committee to look into the possibility of granting amnesty to the terrorist group". Not one person convicted. We need to cover our eyes in shame!
What is happening on your own watch? Are you failing or acting swiftly? Every man is the architect of his own fate. We are consciously or unconsciously deciding our future by our every step. It is time to stop being weak and placid, it is time to stand up strong every time and be counted - for yourself, for your family, for the nation. It is possible, Yes You Can, Yes We Can, and Yes, We Will!