What is more violent than to rename violence for political purposes? To ignore the cause, and focus on the feedback effect of hundreds of thousands, hopelessly clinging to the harshness of poverty.
What is post election violence? Violence is violence. Conventional names such as ‘religious’, ‘ethnic’ and ‘election’ merely serve as tags to categorize the failures of a people to themselves, engineered by the failures of a government to its people.
What else is there to expect when driving on the streets of rural areas in northern Nigeria one looses count of the homeless boys and girls begging for food, when you can cut the tension built by religious intolerance with a knife in cities like Kaduna and Jos, when for years local government chairmen and even governors have sponsored religious clerics preaching warped doctrines.
Equally disturbing is what to expect after over six years of aimless and senseless killing of innocent citizens, a sitting president has been unable to (or unwilling to) develop an exit strategy to staggering levels of body count which has for over 6 years plagued a region that constitutes the majority? What else is to expect but more violence?
Only this time, the number of headless bodies and missing persons will fall under the newspaper heading ‘Post-Election-Violence’, so as to once again, escape questions which are sure to romance the hearts of a perplexed international community as to how thousands of bodies came to litter the streets, or to give meaning to the grievances of heart-broken family members, and clog reason for mass burials in markless graves.
Let us leave the intellectual gymnastics aside. Elections will be held in almost all the state’s in Nigeria, but lives can only be lost enmasse in several parts on northern Nigeria after the 2015 elections. There exists no unique formula to understand why. We cannot keep to blaming the tags. Violence is violence in all its garments. The time for discussing how it will be avoided is almost gone.