Still on Farouk AbdulMutallab …matters arising!

How is Citizen Farouk AbdulMutallab, feeling now? What are the realities that are now staring the young lad in the face before judgment day? How is he coping with the realization that predictably, he will be manacled for virtually the rest of his life? And that attempts at jail - breaking would hardly work in that security conscious and organized society? And more saddening, not even Mallam Osama Bin Laden and his fellow monstrous comrades in arm would be able to reach him in his cell to deliver him from Yankee's gaol!

What odds are now being presented to this young man by the nascent other side of life? It will be interesting ascertaining from the horse's mouth, the cost of loss of freedom to move, to be heard, to express yourself, to be part of your family, to have a sense of belonging… to love and be loved in return.

It is easy guessing that the young man would be regretting by now. His reportedly pensive mood at the first court appearance indicated as much. To confirm that, latter reports have it that he is delighting the Yankees with what is described as actionable revelations.

The price he would indeed be paying is quite high considering his posh background and upbringing. And what a loss to the world of a bright mind who would have made a contribution to human advancement! Broadcasting giant - CNN helped us much by taking us to the premises of the palatial Kaduna home of the AbdulMutallabs. His family home, CNN revealed, holds its own among those of the high and mighty. Though the CNN correspondent could not gain access into the interiors, he confirmed with pictures that it is indeed magnificent and splendid. What else would you expect from a father that is one of the largest individual shareholders of First Bank Plc, one of Nigeria's biggest banks and who as well is a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria? What else would you expect from a dad that is eminently qualified to be a member of the famed Kaduna mafia? Men of mean resources and candor don't get enlisted in that mafia. Typically, the Kaduna Mafioso is easily among the influential, the shakers and movers of Nigeria. Talk of maneuvering of Nigerian politics and power - play; they are there in the Kaduna coven.

Farouk was born in the enclave of the Nigerian bourgeoisie. Of course, he was a ready guest in the residences of the mafia. He did not have to struggle for whatever he would want. This is a citizenship he acquired by birth not via sweat. Like the Roman citizen of old, he was entitled to the rights and privileges that the status conferred. He could junket round the globe - getting anywhere within the nation and the world without much ado. He could dine and wine on the tables of nobles delighting his palates from lavish cuisines. His father belonged to this privileged class of the phylum Homo sapiens in Nigeria. Of course, nothing less would have been expected of a loving father who would sacrifice much for his scion. Naturally, any responsible father would want comfort for his own. This dad is any child's dream – graciously welding political and financial powers.

What on earth didn't Farouk get at the asking? According to reports, he attended some of the most expensive foundational early year schooling. It is also claimed that from as early as 12, he proceeded with his education outside our shores – within the West African sub region and for most part of the latter schooling years was resident in the United Kingdom.

While still a student in London, he had it easy – travelling across continents, living in expensive residential areas. Just name it and Farouk had it. CNN again helped reveal that in his quest to know his creator more, he had to fly at a time, across the Atlantic from Britain to the United States to attend some Islamic teachings and seminars. How impressive, the young lad had an instructive thirst for the divine and if he had received proper lessons in peace - the claim of Islam, he could have become a great cleric. So sad, his search landed him in Yemen and there rather than see God, he met dark minded men who programmed him for the satanic and mindless mission to kill himself and innocent others on the Lord's birthday! By Jove!

Pray, where on earth did Farouk leave the traditional brother keeper role of the African? Even if he had been out of the shores for long - would the young man not have been seeing his father in court, attending to the Talakawas of Kaduna? Was he altogether immune to the sufferings around him and the modest efforts of a few philanthropists in trying to right the several wrongs that are endemic in our society? If he was so consummated by the wrongs of the so called mighty demon called America, what about the evils that are listlessly perpetuated by the tribe of "oppressors" like his father, who through corporate and political scheming perpetuates inequality in the land?

Farouk's father's social class has virtually been holding the Nigerian nation by the jugulars, hardly betraying emotions about their fellow men that reek in abject depravation, poverty and squalor. They glide the land in sleek and expensive to the roof cars, live in posh housing, whereas, all around them are relatives and fellow countrymen who are barely able to feed themselves or attain meaningful livelihood.

Pray, what did Farouk do about these socio-economic inequalities? It is a norm that charity need begin from the home front. Why did his have to come from off- shore? What was the answer of citizen Farouk to the injustice in seeing himself gliding from one oppressive school to the other while teaming others of his generation especially around Kaduna and Northern Nigeria are certain to live the rest of their lives in ignorance -without education even where they are interested? Farouk's hypocrisy really depresses.

The case of Farouk should be useful caution to those who wield socio - political and economic powers in this land. Farouk has taught a succinct lesson that they cannot be immune from the society. The failure of the Nigerian state is attributable to the privileged tribe of Farouk's father. Rather than help confront the social inequalities of the land, they seek the easier selfish way. Rather than confront social imbalance, they create safe havens for themselves. They would expend the heavens to educate their children so as to further widen the gap between them and their fellow men. Rather than correct our poor medical facilities, they would consult Saudi, English, French or American doctors, frustrating our teeming brilliant medical minds. But for ASUU and their persistent legitimate strike actions, our universities would have become ghost towns and our bright minds would not compromise opportunities to escape the frustrating working environment and poor pay. They think they can hide, but they delude themselves don't they?

Now imagine what rubbish Farouk has made of the name of his household and also of the faith he seems to want to defend! Now, rather than the parents heartily pointing at the successes of their young, brilliant engineer son, they will have to live for the rest of their lives trying to douse off the evil name that Farouk has visited upon them. Do we forget all so soon that some family names become a liability to their kith and keen? How pitiable!

Should Farouk by miracles escape Yankee gulag, he will likely write a book on the value of freedom and liberty. Of course, he is now seeing the value of unparalleled freedom that he had before his hellish attempt on Christmas 2009. Definitely the realities now starring him in the face must be quite grim now. My guess is that the Nigerian in him would have him regretting his action quite unlike the executed three fundamentalists that bombed Bali, Indonesia bombers whose infamy snuffed lives out of some 202 victims and maiming hundreds of others, who throughout their trials gave wicked and unrepentant smiles till they died at the stakes.

We cannot but thank God that Farouk mission to kill was averted. Naturally, the story has had the nation and indeed civilized humanity aghast. The reason is simple travel by air is enough risk and worry. The dread is obvious for unless there is some miracle, air mishaps are often times disastrous, with survivors hardly escaping fatalities. Anyone that has a safe landing from air travels that are clear negation of natural trends – like confronting gravitational forces is indeed lucky. It is only a satanic mind that would contemplate endangering the lives of air firers. And more so, intending to extinguish innocent people through that weapon of destruction called the bomb.

Another reason why the suicide mission of Farouk is puzzling to our hearts is that such folly path is strange to our culture. Several African and Nigerian cultures abhor taking one's life or taking the life of another for whatever reason. The Ibo culture for instance forbids suicide. Anyone who commits suicide brings disgrace to his remains which gets dumped in the evil forest.

Also there is the natural fear of death. That explains why every man, especially the Nigerian will weather the storms that are presented by the hardships that strewn his socio- economic circumstances. It's a thing of culture that the Nigerian would greet life with dumbfounding optimism. Isn't it amazing that despite our pitiable circumstances, we so manage our predicaments and lot to the bewilderment of the larger world. Any wonder why they labeled us - the world's happiest people? Certainly, citizen Farouk is an aberration of the typical Nigerian. If you doubt it, just see how many foreigners the miscreants in the Niger delta have kidnapped. There may be unfortunate loss of some lives, but by and large, even in their felony and their poor socio - economic circumstances, they hardly kill. Yet, this misguided spoilt brat wanted to force down the suns of these innocent people. Thank God they took their salvation in their own hands or rather, they should thank God for deciding it wasn't time to exit the good world.

However, there are interesting issues around the young man which necessitate this contribution. First is the evident consequence of abdicating parental responsibility to another. It is revealed that the young man who embarked on the hellish attempt left the shores of the land from as early as twelve. From then on, he had to move from place to place and got watched over by foster parents.

Some background story has it that he at times got depressed. Sometimes, in trying to shirk off loneliness he would fornicate with women of easy virtue only to repent and regret. He must have had a good religious upbringing. He was known in the mosques. He would stay relatively longer in his Kaduna home mosque and like Christ would reason with elders. He went on Islamic religious pilgrimages to US and sadly to Yemen where he got the lethal arsenals.

By our culture, a young mind needs much parental input. Where were his parents when it mattered most? Naturally, every man goes through the age of rationalization, reasoning, questioning and making enquiries. The family left this young mind to influence of religious zealots who misguided him at this crucial hour. The result is the huge price that the family and indeed the entire nation have to pay.

Our resource endowed parents who for the demands of their jobs or feeling of higher status are abdicating their divine primary responsibility of raising mentally balanced children to guides need learn from the experience of the AbdulMutallabs. Agreed, it could be impracticable to expect working parents have all the time and resources for raising children amidst other conflicting roles. However, with tenacity of purpose, one could still pass on our cultural norms, values and virtues to them. That kind of attention in my opinion would have gotten Farouk well guided and counseled against the evil intention of blighting the daylight from fellow mortals. And for God's sake, if parents would not be there for their children, they need not breed them.

Finally, the Nigerian state need be engineered to being conducive to the average man. One can only hope that our political and economic leaders would not keep deluding themselves into believing that they can be completely shielded from the society. They can never be islands. Willy nilly, the poverty of the environment would keep staring them in the face. If they do not confront and amend our socio-economic well being and cohesion today, they can be assured that the same ills will eventually boomerang and consume them. If in doubt, let them ask the AbdulMutallabs of this land who are now licking the wounds inflicted by their inglorious Farouk.

Niyi Egbe

A media and marketing practitioner based in

Lagos. Nigeria.