Attahiru: Death, Thou Too Shall Die!

General Ibrahim Attahiru

By Festus Adedayo

The death last Friday evening of Nigeria’s Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Ibrahim Attahiru and ten others, in an ill-fated flight in Kaduna, Kaduna State has once again thrown Nigeria into mourning. Though death has become the usual meal on Nigeria’s menu, General Attahiru’s death, as well as those on his entourage, shocked Nigerians to the marrows. The deaths of these soldiers seem to be speaking to Nigerians in riddles. However, like every human being, the moment we leave the cemetery, the life that we felt was not worth living upon sighting the dead lying still, is suddenly mollified and we continue to assume our individual mortality.

As the holy writ counseled, moments like this present eternal lessons of our human existence and should be more desired.

When we see the dead lying inside their lonely coffin rest homes, we should substitute ourselves for them. In other words, the question to ask is, what if I was the one inside that coffin? Most of the atrocities in high and low places are committed because we assume our immortality and magisterially divine that our own death is farther down the alley. “It will not happen to me in Jesus name” or “May Allah forbid!” are the words that come out of our subconscious whenever we see our friends, colleagues and fellow travelers on life’s lonely road being lowered into the sepulcher. But why should Allah, Jesus forbid a process that is the culmination of our humanity?

Except for human beings whose bodies are dead to death; who have witnessed enough dead in a lifetime and almost see themselves as dead, a death beside us should awake us to the need to live right and prepare for the last day. Life is too worthless and unworthy of the glories and beatification that we unnecessarily accord it. While I agree that life will be meaningless without all those fleeting icings that we mistakenly take for life’s cake itself, we should remember that, like General Attahiru and our brothers who paid the supreme price on Friday, we will die our own deaths at the intersection when the final whistle is blown. I extend my condolences to the families of the bereaved

Dr. Festus Adedayo is a popular Ibadan-based columnist


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