Effects of war on Nigeria yesterday children

When time is not enough to heal wounds – War Wounds.

If time can indeed heal all wounds, I would not remember the case of Amina each time I think of Boko Haram especially the effects of mindless killings on children and the youths when tomorrow gets here. Today is my tomorrow and the wounds are still raw because no justice has been served and perpetual killing/injustice is still going on. Their tomorrow will come fast and perhaps may react differently. Those who have been killed, were gone. Those who faced daily torture especially the abducted girls of Chibok whether sold out as child-bride or (finger-crossed) released to their family members, will have the rest of their lives to tell the tales.

In a country like mine, human lives were the cheapest, sad but that is the truth. With the resent twist about the news of powerful Nigerians being the main sponsors of BH – No surprises.

Most of the people involved in BH were youths, they are young and for the reasons best known to them, they allowed “big” people to manipulate them into killing their own kins, friends, neighbours and school mates.

I know that GEJ, my president is somewhere still handling Boko Haram case with kid’s glove – he said this himself a few months back.

Amina and I attended the same secondary school, she was very outgoing with lots of friends. Both of her parents were from *Ile Ife but they decided to build their mansion in Modakeke. Ordinarily, there is nothing wrong in people having a home where they liked especially when they have paid all their dues. One problem here was that Modakeke and Ile-Ife were like Omo iya *awusa. (loosely means siblings that passionately hated each other). Amina’s parents made this decision in the late 1970s when everyone in the area thought life will forever be peaceful. Their house was one of the few beautiful ones in town at the time, even today several decades later, Amina’s house still stands out.

By December 1,  1980, everything changed. A new king installed in Ile Ife.

This is where Amina’s story came in. For me I already knew I was in hot soup since I was about seven years old. I knew how terrible it was to have both parents being native of the same town – no where to run, we were doomed and just lived by the mercy of the new Ife king – whose only mission in life was to see the end of every living soul that belonged to Modakeke or if that failed, to take away all their farmlands so as to keep them as servants forever – this is real. As it turned out it was not that easy to wipe out everyone in a group but easier to take over their livelihoods forcefully. This is where the torments begins.

As terrible as this sounds, I was a bit happy and felt safe as I was among a group of people whose lives were filled with daily paralysing despair – we had similar fate.

Amina’s story was different. Her family lived in the middle of Modakeke. She and her siblings knew no other place since they were born. They of course could have run as it will only take just about 20minutes power-walk to be in safe haven of Ile Ife – but they did not.

Since December 1980, there has always been one thing or the other that leads to displacement of people usually chasing them out of their farmlands in broad day lights and when resistance of any kind is perceived, the attackers will come around first thing in the morning usually around 5am and just hack/gun them all – the aim was to take away their farmlands anyways, either dead or alive means nothing to the perpetrators.

Amina’s story was in early 1990’s. Here is the dilemma for Amina who was only sixteen years old at the time and her brother 14 years old:

– They needed to protect their house, if they run away their mansion is likely to be razed to the ground as they may be seen as enemy within.

Alternatively,

– They could run to Ile Ife where their extended families were, but really have no place to live there, they will be leaving their home and livelihood behind.

Amina’s father was away on business. Amina and Tajudeen though children were forced to make decision – they chose to stay and defend their home and support the people whom they have known all their lives.

Why am I relating Boko Haram with Modakeke and Ife crisis?

-Both heavily involved youths as casualties and as fighters

– In both cases youths are brainwashed to kill their own kind

– In both cases Elders/royals that were meant to protect/educate/enlighten were the monsters, keeping their own children away and wasting other people lives

– Both started as nursed hatred/revenge then get political therefore government fold their hands and pretended all is well.

 

 

*Awusa = Walnut. Nigeria walnut is different from western walnut. When broken, there is a thin layer of cover between two halves that prevent one from touching the other.

*Ife and Modakeke belonged to the same ethnic group, spoke the same language albeit slightly different accents.

Proximity of Modakeke and Ile Ife – Imagine London and Kent or Seattle and Belleveu in WA – so no defines boundaries.

Nigeria – We are not all homophobia

Folakemi

Universally, we evolve day after day. Laws change, people adjust and life goes on.

If we were to solve our many social issues in Nigeria, we need to start looking inwards, pulling examples from amongst our own people of today. This could only be achieved by investing in research. To lead the country, one needs to make decision based on the facts arrived at through extensive research of the people.

At Obafemi Awolowo University, Ife campus where I was worked in mid 1990’s was a young man, I’ll call him Yemi. He attracted quite a lot of attention because of his femininity gestures, cross dressing and heavy makeups. He was a transvestite based on my physical assessment of him. Yemi was polite, usually on his own and smiled a lot. To me, he did me no harm, pays for his purchases and have never seen him get in argument with…

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