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The Apathy of Free Men and the Conspiracy of Silence

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Author: Okah Ewah Edede
Posted to the web: 5/30/2006 4:35:24 AM

I read the piece: “And the woman died” by Mr. Louis Odion, in the back page of the Sunday Sun newspaper, May 21, 2006, and I cried in anguish. The article haunted me and gave me the horrors. Tears flowed down my cheek like a cascade and my mind was numbed. “God! What have mankind done?” I asked bitterly. “Why is man a Judas? Why? Why? God, why?” I just couldn’t get it. The “whys” refused to stop pulsating through my mind in ectoplasm of blips! The tragedy that befell Ms. Ese Elizabeth Alabi is cruel. Ms. Ese Alabi was an illegal immigrant – having overstayed her visa to the UK – who gave birth to a set of twins and developed a heart enlargement complication known as dilated cardiomyopathy. She needed a heart transplant to live but could not afford it. Normally, this was no problem because the British system offers medical assistance through NHS treatment to the needy. But Ese was denied this aid because her visa had expired. This culminated in a legal battle for survival. She lost the legal battle and, due to lack of medical assistance, died a few days later. This cruel murder happened and humanity did nothing. Louis Odion, in his flawless article, made certain statements that saw me running through the dark alleys of memory. I quote: “… a system that could afford to stand by, watching an “illegal” – a nursing mother for that matter – die cannot, in good conscience, be referred to as humane. There can’t be a better illustration of how cruel human heart can be. A life left to die in cold blood… is no less gruesome as thousands taken in a pogrom…” Louis also noted: “Even more culpable are the Nigerian authorities. It is sadder that official attitude to her case back home was lukewarm… What stops the Nigerian government from making a bold intervention when the British authorities began to play politics with law?” These two statements by Mr. Louis Odion, in his flawless masterpiece”… And the woman died” got me thinking on the phenomena of the conspiracy of silence and the apathy of free men. I could remember that the free civilized world stood by in silence while Benito Mussolini ravaged Ethiopia unprovoked, and not for one fleeting nano moment did the free civilized world have a twinge of conscience! Not even when a small diminutive black man named: the conquering Lion of the tribe of Judah, Ras Haile Selassie, Emperor of Ethiopia, honoured the league of Nations, during its inept and short existence, with one great moment of human dignity by imploring, in a heart rending plea, to the souls of men for the rescuing of his people. Yet, the free civilized world did nothing. Caring but, a cow dung, for the lives of little black men. By the way, where in hell was Addis Ababa, anyway? The conspiracy of silence! Man, through the ages, has proven to be Mephistopheles Apostles. The free civilized world stood aloft for a moment too long, while civilized Germany, under the likes of Hitler, Goebbel, Himmler, Goring, Heydrich, Eichmann and Globocnik, gassed and roasted six million Jews in extermination camps such as: Belzec, Chelmno, Majdanek, Sobibor, Auschwitz and Treblinka ( all in Poland). Jewry suffered a holocaust while the free Christian world gladly went about its business. They totally forgot that Jesus Christ was a Jew. The apathy of men! Louis Odion’s flawless masterpiece: “...And the woman died,” made me remember Rwanda and the apologies of man. I remembered that the world was eerily silent while Hutus murdered Tutsis in Africa’s most gory genocide. I remembered the Northern Nigerian riots of the sixties (and date) where the Igbos suffered a pogrom and yet, humanity only gushed forth waterfalls of inept and feeble protest, while man called the bluff of man’s verbal murmur in pursuit of his sport of killing fellow man. The conspiracy of silence! The world stood by in apathy and the woman died; the Nigerian government collaborated by the conspiracy of silence and the woman died; the press shamefully kept mute and Ms. Ese Elizabeth Alabi died. Like Mr. Odion rightly stated. It is a shame really.
By Okah Ewah Edede 08056349025

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