In times like this, one needs to think deeply before putting pen to paper to write on any sensitive matter; let alone bomb. Still fresh on one’s mind were the October, 1st Independence Day - celebration bomb blast and that of New Year Eve at the Mogadishu Barracks in Abuja last year. Sounds unbelievable bikos wi no sabi dis kain bomb bomb mata. Like millions of Nigerians, mi sef de wonda hau pesin go tink so te, na hau to yuz bomb finish anoda pesin laif. Apart from the Nigerian Civil War where awa oun ogbunigwe and all sorts of bombs were freely used, the recent Niger Delta war of the militants and the destruction of Odi and Zaki Biam respectively, no bi awa stail to bomb awasef. Ivun mi, kpakpa, I have never had the “privilege” of seeing what a bomb looks like. Wetin konsain manpikin wit bomb?
However, after reading Sylvia Ifedigbo’s “When you detonate a bomb” (Next, Monday, 17 January, 2011 p. 27), I was emboldened to write this piece. The negative consequences of what this killer item is capable of doing were succinctly highlighted in the said piece. According to the writer, “when you let those agents of death go off, you maim people for life; human beings you’ve never met; people who have never offended you, some who speak the same language as you; some, of your faith; some, perhaps even your friends: for bombs don’t know about zones or tongues or creeds. They destroy without sieving”. The Abuja’s Eagle Square and Mogadishu barracks bomb blasts killed innocent souls; typical of what follows whenever bombs are detonated.
Bombs come in different sizes and capacities to do havoc. The destructive power of bombs is neither rated by their weights nor sizes. I am reminded of those giant sized musical loud speakers (boxes) of old in comparison with the modern smol smol ones of today that perform pleasant wonders to the ears. A bomb may be as small as a writing pen but could cause much more damage than a far bigger one in size. Also, once detonated, bombs let out wondrous sounds that may not necessarily speak of their destructive power. Unlike bombs with terrific sounds, we also have sailent bombs that operate silently. When recently a sailent bomb was released at a function, it resulted in serious pandemonium which almost disrupted the event. Bomb no bi hau big, na hau fa! We shall be looking at this in the following.
The event under reference was a high profile wedding reception party which took place recently in Abuja. Invitees were worried and hungry because of the late start of the programme. Originally billed to commence at 1pm, it kicked off way behind schedule at 5pm. When the chairman was called upon to make his opening remarks, a few people began to leave their seats for different directions. As they quietly eased out from their respective seats with “squeezed faces”, ushers walked up to them to find out what the matter was. Suddenly, a shout rented the air; “Hu bomb dis ples?, Hu bomb dis ples?” One of the invitees, who couldn’t withstand the negative impact of the bomb, went wild shautin his concern, distracting the attention of everyone present. While some jumped out through the windows, others did a “Ben Johnson” out of the hall. Nobodi won tek chans. And before one asks “Wetin de hapun?”, the 500 capacity hall was almost empty of the invitees who had been waiting on the Chairman’s address a few minutes back.
But for the courageous disposition of most of the invitees, the social havoc created by the “bomb blast” would have brought the entire event to naught. It took the smart and courageous intervention of one of the invitees who took over the microphone (abandoned at the “high table” by the Chairman) to announce to all that it was not “anoda bomb”but a “break of wind” from one of the invitees who may have used it to register a protest against the unplanned imposition of “compulsory fasting” on all invitees by the bride and groom. Having confirmed the kind of bomb that was released, the terribly shaken Chairman resurfaced later to address a completely agitated, disorganized and hungry audience.
Unlike the perpetrators of the two bomb blasts in Abuja, the Police, SSS and all Security Agencies would have no reason to be on the trail of the one who blasted that “sailent bomb” at the auspicious occasion of a wedding reception party.
(Received 16/02/2011; published 02/03/2011)