The recent escalation of the Nigeria outrage at brazen bandit attacks in Abuja has exposed the churlish attitude of many Kenyans towards their fellow African nation. The anger over the attack on Christians in Abuja has been shared by many Kenyans on the social networking sites. One person commented on my blog, “So the whole world now knows that we are Nigerians and we hate Nigeria too.” He is correct in a way, as there is widespread anger across all communities in Nigeria at the attack on Christians. It is an attitude that needs to be erased if Nigeria is to have any chance of revival.
The anger is understandable but the anger must be channeled in such a way that it does not fester. If the same public outrage is not channeled effectively by religious leaders then normal citizens will not be motivated to join the fray. This is the danger if Nigeria is to ever achieve a modicum of unity. If ordinary citizens are not stirred by outrage they will not understand the necessity of unity. They will also not understand that they have a role to play in ensuring that unity occurs in Nigeria.
Many have commented on how much time it takes for an outrage to fester before it dies down. While I agree that time is important it is not the best solution. If people do not see the need to unite against a common threat such as the proliferation of terrorists groups in Nigeria they may never do so.
For instance, the outrage over the attack on Christians in Abuja last week has prompted Nigerians to unite against all Muslims. They have united against all Islamic cultural values in Nigeria including its fundamentalism. Religious leaders need to realize that to attack a group based on its cultural values is unacceptable. This type of cultural profiling is unacceptable and this is why there is no peace in Nigeria until this scourge is quelled.
The outrage culture in Nigeria is also a symptom of anger management. Anger erupts out of frustration and lack of self-control. People must take responsibility for their actions or this unrestrained rage will spill over. The question is can a single cultural value be stamped out of the human mind? Are we prepared to face such challenges?
While Nigerian outrage culture is unfortunate and very raw, it is also a symptom of a lack of self-control and social etiquette. We cannot remain in denial of our problems. Nigerians need to come to grips with their crisis and come together. The best way to do this is to make sure that citizens are aware of the ways that they can all work towards a common cause: ending the rampant and brazen bandit attacks against Christians in Nigeria.