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Observations of a Young Nigerian Female . Powered by Blogger.

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I am young, "normal" and I like to write. People say I eat too much, people don't know what they are saying.

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A Story That Could Be Shorter and Happier


“I want to inform the general public that we have met with the critical stakeholders in that community, and I want to assure you that ehh… the security ehh… challenges will not escalate. The leaders in the community have agreed to ehh…keep an eye on their subjects. A curfew has been placed on the areas where violence has been prevalent. I can promise you that with the decisions made in this meeting, peace has come to Mesa State”
“Ok sir, I understand there are curfews in those areas now, and that is great, but has security been beefed up in the affected areas?”
“I asked, has security been beefed up, that is, has security been increased in the affected areas?”
“ok, yes. The Inspector general of police has decided to deploy enough police officers to the affected areas.”
“alright, so the IGP has decided, has he actually deployed the security personnel? Also, you say enough police officers, how much is enough?”
“young lady, the IGP knows his job, and if he has decided to do so, what is the problem again?”
“Sir, I do not doubt that the IGP knows his job, I just…”
The interview between a delegate from the Nigerian Police Force and an ABTV correspondent was interrupted.
“Light has gone”, my brother said, still staring at the blank TV.
I rolled my eyes, “way to state the obvious”, I thought.
We had all been in the sitting room, watching the report on the Mesa Crisis; my dad, my mom, my younger brother and I. 5 minutes later, my father had successfully turned on the generator, but the interview was over and they were showing a political rally.
My father left the sitting room and a few minutes later, I could hear him talking to my elder brother on the phone. Everyone tensely waited for him to end the conversation.


“Yes Sir, I’m fine Sir”
“That’s good. We just watched a report on the Mesa killings; they said they are sending troops down to Mesa and that the leaders have agreed to make sure there is peace. Everything should be fine soon.”
“Ok Sir, we couldn’t watch it, there is no light here, but I hope they’re right because everybody here is afraid.”
“It will all be fine, May told me the masters admission list for her school is out and your name is on it. That is very good.”
“yes sir, I’ve already talked to the people at the company I was telling you about, they will let me work and get my masters degree at once.”
“very good, very good. When did you say your service year is ending again?”
“June, Sir”
“Good, so in two months time you’ll be back in Kaka to settle down. That’s good. Alright. We’ll talk later.”
Conversations with my dad are usually one-sided and short; no pleasantries or wasted words. He goes straight to the point and ends the conversation when he’s done.
He’s a loving man anyway, and I know he must be really worried about me with this crazy crisis. For nearly a month now, there have been horrible, unprecedented killings in Mesa State where I’m currently waiting impatiently for my National Youth Service stint to end. When I was sent here, my mother testified in church with a fat hen; I was safe, some people were less fortunate. My friend Peter had been sent to Barka; with its daily bombings and shootings, and the remarkably unbearable climate. Now, I wish I had been posted to Barka. The given motives behind the killings in Mesa are so utterly absurd they could be considered humorous, except, nobody’s laughing at this. Every day, for a couple of weeks, people have been brutally murdered. People who have had nothing to do with any form of violence have been violently sent to their graves. Children have been violently woken from peaceful sleep and made to bleed to death in their fuzzy pyjamas. If I'm asked to report on the crisis, my report would look something like this:

Location of crisis
Mesa State, Federal Republic of Hadin
Mass genocide, 302 confirmed dead, women and children included, most victims are Christians, youth corps members appear to also be targets
Duration of crisis
3 weeks, 2 days and unfortunately still counting
Perpetrators of Crime
Disgruntled Cattle Herders
Religious Group
Opposition Party
Cause of conflict
Illegal murder of trespassing cow
Ethnic Cleansing
Religious Vendetta
Classic case of “scare the masses”                                
Conflict Resolution Procedures Carried out
-          Meeting with stakeholders (whoever they are)
-          Curfew imposed
-          2 extra checkpoints occupied by the same sleepy security personnel
-          Conferences, talks, lectures and seminars themed, “THE MESA CRISIS”
-          Social media posts, memes and hashtags including;
Results of Conflict Resolution Procedures
-          More people dead
-          No electricity
-          Same old sickening fear

Anyway, I’m glad the crisis will end soon, I have my whole life planned out and there’s no plan for “being slaughtered by madmen with machetes”. I left university with a degree in Fisheries, but I am a web developer. I have two more months of youth service before I can move back to Kaka State, start a masters degree program, while working at a brand development agency. In a year, I’d have made enough to marry Gwen in a small ceremony.
Gwen is the love of my life. We have dated for 4 years, 3 years in the university and one year after. I can hardly wait to be married to her forever. Gwen doesn’t know it yet, but in three years, we’ll be happily married with two sets of twins and they will be named; Adetunji, Ebiere, Chukwuemeka and Zainab.
No longer thinking about the crisis, I pick up my phone and call Gwen.


“Hey baby”
“Thank God, you’re alive. How are you, love”
“I’m good. What would you have done if I was dead?”
“Ah! Me, I’ll kill myself and run away”
I love Joel, I always have, even when I friend-zoned him in our first year in the university. Joel is the sweetest man I’ve ever met. Joel makes me laugh like no one else can, with his fat sense of humor and my not-regular one, we have a lot of laughs. I keep expecting him to realize that I can no longer help loving him, but he has not, he woos me every day. I don’t know what I would do without Joel; he doesn’t know it yet, but we’re going to grow old together with a boy and a girl named Sapphire and Troy.
This afternoon, we are not talking about the future or laughing as usual about random things, I’m worried sick that he is stuck in Mesa.
“Babe, I’m really worried about you. Well, I’m also worried about myself; I mean, you’ve spoiled me beyond repair. If you’re killed, what decent man would have me?”
“I’m fine, sugar. Also, if I die and you fall in love with anyone else, I will hound the unlucky fellow from the great beyond. Don’t worry about me. Let’s talk about something else.”
“Right. Your sister, May told me you still don’t read her blog. Why?”
“Ahhhh! Two of you should leave me alone o! It’s not that I don’t want to, I just keep forgetting to. Everyday, the two of you will be gossiping and slandering my good name.”
“Nobody is gossiping”
“what does she even write on the thing? Her sissy thoughts about a world that she knows nothing about. That one thinks everything is nice and easy. She is not writing anything important; I don’t have the energy to read stories.”
“Just read the blog for…”
I was interrupted by a dial tone. I try to call back and his phone is off. I can only pray he stays safe.


The house is strange this evening. Everybody is worrying about Brother Joel in Mesa. Mother is praying in her room and occasionally, her voice can be loudly heard binding evil forces in Mesa, then she quiets down again.  May is cooking dinner and she is taking way too long.
“Sister May, you have been pounding one pepper for so long, see the other ones, you’re not even touching them, you’re not even looking at the thing.”
“Donnie, are you not worried about Brother Joel? Did you not see the report? See how people are dying, just like that” May says. She looks so serious, like Uncle Biology when my classmates start asking him questions about reproduction. (He usually follows the look with “you students don’t know what you’re doing to yourselves. You don’t want to learn. You only care about sexual organs…” it’s funny every time.)
“But Sister May, the policeman said there is going to be peace now, that everything is fine. They are taking care of the problem.”
They are taking care of the problem eh? Who are they?”
“Sister May, it’s them na, the leaders. Those people in the corridor of power”
“What corridor of power?” May asks
“Did you not do government in secondary school? There is a corridor of power and the people there are in charge of things. I’m hungry.”



“Hall hofficers har to be hon ground tomorrow morning to secure the harea for the Prime Minister’s political rally. Write it down”
I was right beside the IGP, but he always speaks as if his audience is miles away. Also, Oga has a problem with the letter ‘h’. I scribble in my note pad, it is unnecessary, but if Oga IGP thinks I need to write, I will write.
I look up from my notes and ask, “All officers, Sir? What about the ones you said you will deploy to Mesa today?”
“Oh! Mesa! Ehh…send a bus load of officers down there; let them be there for now.”
“Ok sir, coaster bus?”
“What? Lonad, hof course not! Regular 15 seater bus, did I tell you I have officers running haround looking for where to go? We have work to do here.”
“Of course, Sir. So can I send for the officers right away?”
“Now? There’s no rush. They can go hearly in the morning tomorrow. Just inform them.”
“Alright Sir”
I don’t argue; this is how it goes. I do what I’m told.
I remember the first and last time I tried to “do what is right”; the general had nearly fired me. There had been a riot in the lower parts of town, and the general had asked me to send 2 trucks full of officers to Banana Estate to protect the people there, and 2 trucks of officers to the scene of the chaos. I had argued that it was wrong and more officers should be sent to Akpata to restore order, Banana Estate was not even close enough to the riot to be considered a sensitive area. Oga general had almost yelled his head off, “Har you mad? Did hanybody hask you for hadvice?  Because you har hinside here henjoying hair conditioner you think you know something. If you send the boys to Akpata, will hanybody there find them something? Sabi sabi boy. Come on send them to Banana Estate let them collect small money for fuel! Rubbish boy!”
I have since learned to keep my misgivings to myself. I write in my note, “send 15 officers to Mesa”.


It is 8pm and everywhere is dark. We are stuck in the corpers lodge for fear of being butchered like pork. There is no light and it appears everyone has low batteries. Beside me, I can hear Lucius praying, his white chaplet glows green in the dark. He keeps losing focus and having to start his “Hail Marys” over again. I have to take a leak so I get off the bed and walk to the bathroom. In the passageway that separates the rooms and the bathrooms, I walk past Gloria, who seems to have some battery power left in her phone. She’s apparently talking to her boyfriend, “I miss falling asleep in your arms, darling…”
I chuckle loudly as I walk past, tough Gloria who was Platoon leader in camp is being mushy. I can’t see her face in the dark, but I know she must be glaring at me. I think of Gwen, maybe when she’s done I’ll borrow her phone to call Gwen. My sweet, funny, bossy Gwen; I have to remember to read May’s blog or Gwen will have my head.
As I close the bathroom door, I hear the loud roar of voices that we have come to fear and expect. My heart begins to race. It’s happening. I bolt the bathroom door and sit on the bathroom floor with my head in my hands. There are so many sounds; the shouts of the assailant, the pounding of their feet on the floor, kicking the doors in, kicking flesh. I can hear Gloria scream, I hear shouts, yells, pleading voices; somebody keeps saying, “Oh God. Oh God. Oh God.”
Under the bathroom door, I see a light stop and the door is kicked in. I put my head between my knees and cover my head with my hands. Suddenly, something heavy and sharp hits my head and pain is all I can feel. A warm liquid pours down my back, the sharp and heavy object hits me again, then again and again. Right before I black out, I hear one of them say, “Imagine, this one has wet himself here”.


The voice that brought the news that changed my family was like any other voice. It was normal, sounded a little tired and it said, “Mr. Jeffrey, I’m an officer from the National Youth Service Council…”
Sister Gwen is sitting on the floor in my house, I called her. She looks like a statue; since she let out a scream at getting here and confirming the news, she has been like this.
For some reason, the TV is on; I guess no one has thought of turning it off. ABTV is on and they are showing the Prime minister’s rally live. I feel like there’s a lump in my chest, reaching up to my throat. I walk to the table and turn on my laptop. For long enough, I have ignore the thorns in this world and concentrated instead on the rose petals, I can’t say nothing anymore.


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