I swear, I promised not to get involved – beyond sympathising with the families of the victims that is. It could have been me. My mother-in-law took another flight at the very last minute. She got to Lagos about 20 or so minutes before the crash of the Dana flight. All I wanted to do was focus on the families of the victims and how they must be feeling, how to help in whatever way I could
But now, not five minutes ago, someone sent me the manifest in Whatapp. See – and I am slapping my head as I type this for want of something to hit – Nigerians can be so damn INSENSITIVE! It’s not just the manifest; I understand that some people think they are doing good when the pass those things around. They think someone might be travelling without telling anyone else in the whole wide world where they are going and so passing around a manifest quicker than an emergency response I might add, is the best way of alerting people to the presence of their relative or friend. Yes, let’s say that’s why they did that.
In reality though, Nigerians (human beings) like to gawp in horror and fascination at such things, which is why photos started making the rounds a few minutes after the crash, sent from smartphones, held in the hands of people whose job was NOT to disseminate such information, people who SHOULD have been trying to help. This is Nigeria after all. We know what emergency response is like. But instead of trying to do, they stood there probably invoking the blood of Jesus on their families, they clicked their fingers and shook their heads thanking God loudly that it was not them. Their eyes were unblinking to hold their smartphones steady, even as noses turned up in disgust at the odour of burning.
Please be human kind. Spare a thought for the people who have lost someone today. If you get any photos of bodies, please delete them. You do not need to be in possession of that manifest save for your own morbid fascination. The list will be made official soon enough in a manner that will give the victims and their families some much-needed dignity.
If you don’t want to find out that you have lost someone in this manner, don’t be a channel. Bad news spreads. Believe me, the families know.
It could be your mother, brother, sister, friend.
It could have been my mother-in-law.