The First Casualty in Any War is ….

By

Noel A. Ihebuzor

Aeschylus said that truth is the first casualty in any war. I disagree. Truths do not tell themselves. Truths are told by human beings. Lies, the antonym of truth, are also told by human beings. To tell a lie, a human being makes a first choice. That choice involves stilling the voice of conscience. It involves a deliberate choice to conceal the truth. It involves a deliberate choice to be dishonest. A deliberate choice to be dishonest implies the death of the human conscience. In any war, and at any of its phases, when men decide to tell lies and to raise the stature of lying, they are signaling that something – the human conscience – has already fallen casualty within them. The death of conscience then accelerates other deaths.

The first casualty in any war, indeed in any conflict, is therefore not the truth but the human conscience. The death of conscience then accelerates other deaths. Once the conscience dies, other deaths follow in quick succession and with depressing geometric progression. Conscience, ndo!

I look at Nigeria and marvel at the death of conscience in a number of persons who seek political offices. For such, democracy and elections are nothing else but conflict and war.  I marvel at the same death in their agents and their supporters. I marvel at the volume of lies that are churned out and hurled in the direction of the public, all meant to deceive and to confuse…and I am filled with a strong sense of dread. God save us

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