Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Of Tsunamis and Africa

Japan is experiencing extreme trauma in the wake of the tsunami and flood triggered by a 9.0 magnitude earthquake. These natural disasters caused a major nuclear emergency, and this is the beginning of a chain of events for which no one knows the end. We hope that Japan survives and recovers from these tragedies, and is able to cope with the loss of lives.

One cannot but thank God that He somehow decided that Africa should not be subject to earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, or even the common snowstorm. Indeed, it may be that He took one look at Africa, and decided the continent had more than enough travails already. No need to place another straw on the camel's back.

Imagine if there was a tsunami at Lekki Peninsula. Envision a massive wave towering 27 feet high, the height of a three storey building. The first set of people to be consumed would be the thugs (popularly known as area boys) that routinely harass hapless tourists basking in the sunshine. Pandemonium ensues.

Yorubas stop speaking English and run to their cars. Ibo traders start selling "Original" swimming trunks, and offering rides in their personal cars at $500 per passenger. Brave Hausa brothers stay behind to buy and sell the dollars from the new venture. Niger Delta indigenes demand their share of the petrodollars. Jos indigenes continue fighting. Banks insist on getting their COT.

When the flood gets to Lekki Expressway, wealthier kinsmen try to cruise through in SUVs but are swept away like every other motorist. The brand new multi-million dollar road immediately disintegrates and develops massive craters.  Furtive calls are placed to the cellular phone number of the nearby police stations and fire departments. The officers on duty could not find the phone in the candlelight.

People, property, politicians, and cars all get swept away by the flood. Thieves snatch cell phones at gun point as people drift by. Hospitals desperately try to reach doctors to call off their strike.  The state government gets creative and creates an express lane for buses. Thankfully, there are no nuclear power stations to emit radiation and disperse the carbon monoxide in the air.

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