Superstition fuelled by ignorance

Growing up in a small town has its many benefits. One is the ease of catching up old with friends.

I haven’t seen Tayo for at least a decade, we have kept in touch over the years – thanks to the ease of tele-communication.

We both were sorry to hear about the death of a dear friend. “Did you make it to Mama T’s mother?” I asked.

“Ha, no. Am not going there” Tayo replied. She thought that Mama T’s death was due to the wicked people in the family.

“They killed her as ‘they’ have seen her star to be a bright one” Tayo concluded.

Majority of people in my town were Christians so very common to blame all misfortunes on witches.

Really? But we have played in this family many times and everyone were really nice, surely, it was easier to ‘gobble’ us up then than now.

We moved the conversation on.

“Wouldn’t it be so nice to have high school reunion?” I suggested amidst excitement of catching up with old-time memories.

“That would be so cool” Tayo agreed.

So I asked about class mates I hadn’t heard from in a long time. “Where is Bosede now?”

“Ha, she died a few years ago” Tayo said sadly.

Bosede lived in Lagos and died during labour of her second child. “That’s really sad” I said.

Bosede was fun to be around, sat beside me for a whole year in SS2.

Before long, Tayo added one need not think too much about Bosede’s death as the news in town was that her Ijebu husband ‘used’ her. I was confused and asked that I thought Bose’s death was a clear case of negligence, given she has lost lots of blood during childbirth at her local church, also that she did not get the right attention on time – forgetting the details, her husband was branded money ritualist.

“You know Ijebu people” she added.

I was supposed to understand that the Ijebus in Yorubaland are known for having ‘strong’ juju and insane appetite for getting rich quick.

Very sad, that many more people die everyday like Bosede and no one is held responsible, rather, the poor widower was placed in a situation to convince ignorant crowd of his innocence.

At this time, I realised we needed to shift our chats to something fun to get away from all the witches running after our people.

We both agreed to take a nice walk in town.

On the way was a bright painted petrol station that I was spotting for the first time with a bar attached.

“That’s a nice addition to town, don’t you think?” I said to Tayo.

“Yes, it is, you know the owner” Tayo said in affirmative.

The owner happened to be one of our mates in secondary school. According to Tayo, the reason she is doing so well was that Mulikat used the ‘omens’ of all men she has ever slept with to secure her wealth.

Officially, I gave up.

Why is it so hard to see things the way that they were?

Local vs. general elections in Nigeria

If we could do it for presidential election, surely we should realise it is important to put the same efforts into electing local representatives as well.

This year has been full on for Nigeria elections from presidential, governorship to local representatives. On April 11th, there were yet another elections going on, for Osun state it was State Assembly elections. The roads were deserted as there were warnings that businesses should not open on election day. This ordinarily should translate to everyone needs to participate in the elections only that people did not as they really do not see the point as local elections are usually won by whoever has upper hand.

Deserted road April 11th

I wander round for hours. The common response from people was the fact that elections took too long of their day and the fact that they had done the same only 15 days prior for Buhari.

Now I realise in order to increase the number of people participating in elections then it must be a lot more friendly to voters. It is a bit too much to ask to wait around for up to 3 hours in the morning just to get accredited, and to be told to come back for another long waiting voting session later in the day.

It is one thing to bully people not to open up their businesses, it is a whole other story to get the same group of people to vote for the right person.

We call on the President to help on all sort of issues, but in reality, the President is in most cases far removed from the people hence it is important to elect someone we all know and trust to represent locally with the hope that local issues will get deserved attention.

Today, I read about fresh attacks in 3 Plateau villages whereby villagers were butchered in their sleep.

I called my niece to see if she was okay, not too surprising she has not heard about the killings and no one around her talked about it – this is within the same state.

Reading a bit more about the genesis of killing spree in Plateau state, it has striking similarities to many senseless killings going on around the country – fights over land ownership and from there escalated to religious and political killings.

Who is better to inform the general public about the truth of such atrocities than a trusted local representatives?

#BBOG has attracted sympathies from lots of people around the world, how I wish locally we can be concerned about needless shedding of blood in all of our regions enough for us to be interested in local elections. If the right people are in key positions, there is likelihood that peculiar local issues will get the right attention.

Very sad what is happening in Plateau state, probably will continue for many more months to come unless it bothers enough people to call government attention to it.