As I sat there, thanking God, it suddenly hit me; some other people have been tossed into the darkness of mourning, my family's escape is another's misfortune. I started following the news and the more I read, the angrier I became. My friends heard me raise my voice like never before and I was so distraught I fell ill, but mine is minor. My sister-friend cries because her brother is no more and I am too afraid to call her. I am ashamed of my cowardice but what will I tell her? What words of mine will bring her comfort? I cannot bear to bring her more tears and grief. Also, truthfully, I am afraid of what will not be said, the rage, the utter belly wrenching devastation.
I cannot sleep for I hear voices screaming for the sweet mercy of a Saviour to make the passing painless, I hear some cry for a miracle. I close my eyes and all I can see is the sight of wreckage; of lives. My pain is nothing, inconclusive in the sight of a true sufferer's agony. I wish I could hold my sister-friend's hand. She has held mine in times past. It is quiet, I am quiet holding an unknowing silence for the forced out, for these people didn't choose to die, they were forced out of life...My mind says 'Enough' so I sit to write.
The sadness in my heart collides with the rage in my belly and I am defeated.
I am defeated because lives have been snuffed, lives that will never come back, lives snuffed through carelessness, greed and avarice.
I am defeated because try as I might, I can't bring myself to believe that anything tangible, that will speak of brutal but necessary change is going to happen.
I am defeated because this crash defines a definite change in the lives of many, children without parents, husbands without wives, wives without husbands, parents without children and though people will tell them, time will heal them and they will go on, it is not true. They will always remember that a corrupt, deranged government took precious people out of their lives.
I am defeated because some people will be sacked, days of mourning will end, some ministers will be probed, some presidential tears have been shed but what will then happen? Things will go on as usual and the government will still cut corners with the peoples' lives, money will be carried off in Ghana-must-go bags and there will still be no electricity, clean water, good roads and a sensible and frugal approach to government funds.
I am defeated because the probability that this will happen again is likely. It happened with Bellview, with Sosoliso and now Dana but who knows what other airline is going to put people in an overaged vessel and risk lives, get lucky for a time and clap for the stuntsman who saved their necks and instead of learning lessons, will repeat the same again but only to fail and kill people trying to live their lives as normal as usual.
I am defeated because we have seen the plane but what about the buses on the motorway burnt down while police men wrestle with bags of rice? What about the cars, tyres blown off while the man carries a hole in his head from the assassin's gun and the woman is held down, neck strained, thighs struggling while the devourer has his wicked way.
I am defeated because Presidents will still have befuddled First Ladies, leaders stuck in a belief system that as long as they have plenty, they are better than those who have none. People, educated yet illiterate will shout protests in protection of men carrying divine orders to assault limpid followers as a sign of heavenly ordination. Female students will be defiled on air, rapists basking in the assurance of inglory,impotent criminal investigations and blatant denials of their debasement.
I am defeated because more of my country men will flee the land when the powers of who you know overshadows
I am defeated for tribe will still be in the place of race, the words of unsent prophets will be heeded more than the quiet voice of the heart. Man will still slap woman and rich will slap man for 'do you know who I am'? Protests will rise but fall once bales change bags, and 'occupy' will be used for photo moments, personal agendas, private
I am defeated but soon the winds of forgetfulness will blow on my people's faces and they will scramble for rice and garri, in exchange of the soul of their children's future. Touts will fight each other for one thousand naira and Mama Comfort's apeteshi, while politicians will smile richly into palaces, carrying briefcases of our progress to mortgage with indifferent maximum profit investors.
I am defeated because I fear that one day in the future, I will , like I am now, be sitting on my bed by midnight typing out my defeat again.
This rage in my belly jams into the bleeding of my heart. I am too exhausted to weep. Somehow though tears hit my hands as I sigh.