by Egghead Odewale
Oftentimes when something – good or bad – happens, I have observed that there are those who wish such event(s) happened to them or other people depending on the shade of such event(s). A number of times, Nigerians have wished that they do not have to confront the vagaries of life as the suddenness of some of the vicissitudes of living and livelihood in the country can be confounding. Per second, one can imagine the imaginable pari-passu the unimaginable.
Essentially, in the space of one week, a doppelgänger had his mind whoring across the Atlantic between the United States and Nigeria.
Imagine that April 15th, 2013 did not appear on the calendar alongside all the events recorded on it. Imagine that the Boston marathon did not present the chance for the Tsarnaev brothers to actualize their devotedly planned heinous imaginations. Or they actually had a seepage plot in which almost 72hrs would have been sufficient for them to get far away from the proximity of the site of the Boston bombings. Imagine that the security services were not four days late before connecting the culprits of a separate and unconnected string of crimes to the Boston explosions. Imagine that the relevant security and ancillary agencies did not have the dedication to ensure that the late Thursday evening criminals were hunted down or apprehended before the posterior realization of the connections to the Boston bombings. Picture a situation where institutionalized agencies and their severally adequately schooled agents were not coordinated, indeed cooperative, as a seemingly seamless drunkship of cobblers that maximized the efficiency and effectiveness of never-adequate resources.
Imagine that there were no shrewd public systems that are highly accountable to the genuine sovereigns of a truly democratic society – the people. Imagine that those sovereigns do not consistently and persistently demand accountability from public institutions. Imagine the ‘Manipulator-in-Chief’ of the political systems were not responsively forthright in abandoning all partisan affiliations – including recent partisan parliamentary welts that saw two proposed Bills pitched into the compost bucket – in serious consideration of the sanctity of life of the victims of the bombings. Or envision the Manipulator-in-Chief actually having to deal with two serious national tragedies simultaneously, both occurring on opposite sides of the nation’s horizontal symmetry, yet providing mature leadership through strident instructions across functional bureaucracies but taking glory for the effectiveness of all actors who sparingly get mentioned. Or imagine if the government systems at all levels – vertical and horizontal – did not feel the compulsion to deploy all necessary State resources (Federal, State and Local) to the apprehension of the perpetrators of crime everywhere (within the geographical embodiment, especially) and every time. That political leadership did not match moderated but apposite pronouncements with body movements and eventual actions. Checkout if the government did not feel obliged to facilitate active positive citizenship and uncommon national patriotism. Or the president and fitting Commander-in-Chief did not pull along his equally competent wife to swiftly present more than a vignette illustration of the presence of mind and physical being, right there in the city of incidence.
Imagine that the actual sovereigns after having elected representatives and leaders went back home to lay on their fluffy couches to take delight on best use of social media technologies. And that the citizens are a penchant band of ‘disobedients’ who will never have rationalized how public officials paid from taxpayers funds will want to further cause them to lose over $333 million in the period that daylight curfew lasted. Imagine that the residents had to live with over 24hrs of eerie existence punctured with explosive actions, which would have made Jack Bauer tensed were he tuned into any of the TV networks. And that in that surreal lurk of danger, the citizens still applied themselves straddling the fringes from citizens journalists to citizens investigators, sans any formal training. Imagine if the eeriness did not disappear sparking celebratory flash mobs reactions by Bostonians immediately after the lone surviving suspect was taken into custody. Imagine that spasms of dignity of public service did not flush through the beings in all of the services, no matter how remotely involved you were, during the long hours manhunt for the teenage fugitive.
Imagine that the human and materials costs of the Boston Marathon bombings and their aftermath were not paramount to all affected, and even those not so affected. Imagine that commerce has not been rejuvenated, almost immediately. Imagine that the One Fund Boston had not raised over $20 million, charities over $12 million and others more than $3 million all through crowd funding and sales of merchandise. Envision a situation where the medical systems would not carter for 264 injured or that each had to be flown out North or Eastward across the various seas. Or that those present at the point of blasts did not become emergency first aiders for the victims saving many lives in the process rather than merely taking pictures to share online. Imagine that the humanity of the city did not continue thereafter with “Boston Strong” plastered available spaces all round the precincts of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Imagine a system so advanced, as in so super-ultra-futuristically modernized as to be able to return life to the deceased victims of the bombings. Hey, pinprick!