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American death vs Nigerian death.

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As gun shots poured into America two days ago, leaving in its wake, five dead police officers and two African-Americans, the world shed collective tears, mourned the dead and began to re-think and re-discuss the height of endemic racism plaguing America. It was the headline of every media house worldwide. Sympathy flowed towards America on various social media platforms.

Such display of solidarity against gruesome murders anywhere in the world has become the order of media discourse in recent times.

However, some argue that more attention is often given to western issues. Reno Omokiri, a Nigerian lawyer and social activist, in his Facebook post lampoons certain Nigerians who joined the bandwagon in shedding international tears while their house burnt. He points Nigerians to valid Nigerian issues that needed more attention than burning America.

Yes, many Nigerians, like other citizens of the world mourned what happened in America. Let’s not fault that. When media Goliaths like CNN, BBC, SKY, FOXnews, and others flood the airwaves with a particular stream of message, the world moves to the rhythm.

The question remains, how many evils from Africa or Nigeria can these international media houses contain? Where are the local media houses? Why can’t they desensitise the international eyes of Nigerians?

Every other day, an incident rocks Nigeria. Should CNN or BBC report daily about the numerous deaths in our hospitals? Should they report about the incessant brutalities meted out by various militant groups in Nigeria? How many events does the local Nigerian media house report? How many Nigrians watch local news?

This is is the fact: Nigerians are addicted to international news and events. These news sensitise them and make them align with international happenings? Go to any corporate organisation in Nigeria or any Nigerian bank and you’d notice that they all love CNN.

A death in Nigeria is worth a thousand reports, first of all, from our own local media. It should also be followed by proper investigation.

The outpouring of emotions that followed Mr. Castille’s death was brought to the front of the world through his girlfriend’s camera phone. She reported it live and the world watched as Castille’s light dimmed. After that, the media houses followed up.

Someone joked that if Castille’s girlfriend were in Nigeria, one of the two things would have happened while she live streamed her boyfriend’s death: one, she’d run out of data from her phone or the police would have shot her and any other witness around. The latter is the big issue.

No Nigerian authority values human life. None. Nigerians exist in a world of probabilities. Anything can happen. A policeman can shoot to kill at will without getting arraigned. Death in Nigeria has become a norm in the society.

I think we need to start putting more value on Nigerian lives, we need to start treating ourselves like gold before international organisations worry about us.

A dead American matters more to America and the world because they cherish their own. Nigerians need to care more.

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Literary author, experienced technical author and a creative writer with a passion for literature and how words work. Michael holds a PhD in creative writing and is a distinguished fellow of the Higher Education Academy, U.K.

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