Maassa maan tavalla?

Välinpitämättömyys ei ole ongelma vain länsimaissa, myös kehitysmaat ottavat opikseen "meistä". Aracelli Aipohin blogissa on kuvaava kertomus liikenneonnettomuudessa menehtyneestä naisesta lapsi selässään. Ohikulkevat autot jatkavat vain kulkuaan, aivan kuin mitään ei olisi tapahtunut... Mitä tapahtuu meille, jos jäämme pysyvästi kyynisiksi ulititäristeiksi, joita kiinnostaa vain oma eteenpäinmeneminen? Voisiko sen ohella huomata ainakin ihmiset, jotka sattuvat näköpiiriin ajoittain?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Neither gold nor silver...

During my lunchbreak yesterday, I had to quickly go to the Nigerian Institute of International Affairs on Kofo Aboyomi Street (Victoria Island) for an errand. I was explaining my mission to the guard when we heard an ugly screeching sound: tire against asphalt road. It was immediately followed by an even uglier sound: a thud.

A quick glance at the gate and I saw a bullion van. It was followed by another vehicle, the police escorts. They didn't stop, not even for half a minute. They didn't stop even though the van had hit a young lady who was now sprawled on the road. There was a baby on her back. She wasn't crying, the baby. She just sat there on the road. The mom was unconscious. People had gathered around her, trying to lift her up.

They said she was lifeless...dead.

During the night, I kept on hearing the screeching sound and the ugly thud. I couldn't accept that the driver and his companions simply drove on, as if it was the most natural thing on earth to do, as if it was a stray dog that they had hit.

Why didn't they bother to stop? Was it because she was carrying groundnuts on her head? Was it because she was just an "ordinary hawker?" Was it because the vans were being pursued by robbers? Was it because this is how it is in the country? Was it because...?

I don't know, but I know that she is somebody's wife, somebody's mom, somebody's daughter. Somebody's friend. Somebody's neighbor. She isn't astray.

As I drove out of the Institute, a couple had hailed a taxi and were, I believe, taking her to the hospital.

She was hit by a bullion van, a van that was carrying neither gold nor silver, just a bunch of maniacs. All of them are guilty, not just the driver. They will go on with their lives. Tomorrow is just another day...
posted by Araceli Aipoh at 5:10 PM


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