Blood in our foundation

As a kid I grew up having the name FEDERAL running through my veins, from Federal University Staff School, Federal Government College to Federal University of Technology. In all of this I remember with nostalgia my experience in Federal Government Girls’ College Owerri Imo State; it was more fun as a boarder. We had dormitories with bunks, with our little windows that could take one person at a time especially when we tried to escape from our Matron.

I woke up Tuesday morning to the news of the heinous murdering of over 30 students in Federal Government College in Buni-Yadi, Yobe State by Boko-Haram Insurgents in their sleep. My heart is heavy and my eyes are filled with tears, I don’t know any of those students but it could have been me. My two sisters and I went to a Federal College, these children were burnt while they were sleeping, for those who tried to escape through the window were caught, not just killed but had their throats slit. JESUS!!! These are people’s kids, they weren’t goats. How can a mother be comforted, what can you tell a father or how can you explain it to the little siblings at home?

What’s going on? When did we become this barbaric? What do they want? Are these humans or do we have an alien invasion? Some of us in other parts of the country are carrying on with our lives as though nothing happened. We have a constant spill of blood and it’s sipping into our foundation. This blood will cry out someday, if we don’t speak up now or do something, when the axe is out every single tree will be cut down, the tsunami won’t just sweep across the evil men perpetrating this act but everyone.

The Motto for Federal Colleges is Pro-Unitate (unity) it’s time for us to speak up with one voice, regardless of tribe or religion. ENOUGH OF THESE KILLINGS. We are gradually becoming used to deaths that we are more concerned with the number, One death is equivalent to a Thousand deaths. Let us do something so people won’t have to refer to Nigeria as “There was a country“. If we need foreign aid, let us say so.

Lord, just as Your Word says anyone who kills by the sword will die by the sword. For as many as they are sponsoring this sect, may they be revealed, may their source of income dry up, may their plans fail. Boko Haram means western education is a taboo yet sophisticated weapons are used, this is beyond religion. Lord for our security system we pray for wisdom on their part to defend our citizens as well as fish out these monsters.

I don’t know what else to say, we have prayed and fasted as a nation, a State of Emergency has been declared, it looks as though we are not making any progress but I choose to believe this too shall pass. I don’t know when but I choose to believe. I pray for strength on all the families who have lost someone, words will never suffice, I can’t mend your heart but God can do all things.


Stripped at midday


Time-check 1.30 a.m.; the sound of the footsteps I’ve grown accustomed to for over 3 years. The first time I heard it, I thought he wanted me to get something for madam since she was pregnant but it turned out oga needed my back-side. He opens my door and I immediately grab my wrapper above my chest with a sleepy eye, I murmur good morning Sir; with a stern face grabs my hand and says if I utter a word he’ll strangle me, I was totally confused. My mind flashed through the day’s activities, I couldn’t remember breaking oga’s favourite drinking glass; I ironed his shirts well and placed the hanger in the exact position madam instructed me. While I was still lost in thought, he drags me up, switches off the light, with my back against him his hands went for my pants and while I tried to struggle he hits me hard on my face; his right hand grabs my mouth and with his left hand he holds my fragile waist and I feel something enter my anus.
This was the beginning of my nightmare. I couldn’t tell anyone; after all they were my “Messiahs”, my father is late and my mother lives in the village, I’m supposed to be the child living in the “city”. I eventually summoned up courage and told (mama) madam’s mother, she warned me never to mention it again.
This isn’t just another make believe story. This is a true life experience by a house help I’ll call UC. My friend and I sought professional help from an agency handling such cases. Investigations revealed two other relatives of the men were sexually molesting her too. Oh!!! We cried; thought our battle had ended only to hear the charges against the men were dropped; the men said she’s an adult and it was consensual.
My dear UC has been stripped of her panties in the dark but on this day SHE WAS STRIPPED NAKED AT MIDDAY by the lies of these men.
Today is celebrated as the United Nations International Youth Day with the theme “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward”. The youths are recognised as one of the most mobile social groups in the context of migration. UC is one of such migrants; moved from her village to the city with the hope/promise of a better future. Did I mention, she was neither enrolled in school nor empowered with any skill acquisition all the time she lived with the family.
I have a few questions: –
• Is there no law for such cases i.e. house helps?
• Are we saying those men should be walking the streets free without justice?
• If a young lady above 18 is raped, can the law address it?
• Do we have homes where ladies especially house helps, who have been sexually abused and are above 18 can be rehabilitated?
The house helps are a minority group and they are voiceless. They can’t go on Twitter and tweet #househelpnotsextoy, publish a post on a blog or share a video on YouTube. Plans are underway by the agency to unite her with her family in the village.
These are my fears: –
• What seed are we sowing into the society, if she doesn’t go through some form of rehab?
• What lesson is she taking with her, when the society through the law couldn’t defend her?
• Who do we blame tomorrow, if she becomes a sex-worker?
Let us all remember “The woman is the only source of life to the world, once she’s defiled, everything coming from her is defiled too.”