Tears from Borno -By Mbasekei Martin Obono

Filed under: National Issues |
Mbasekei Martin Obono

Mbasekei Martin Obono

 

It is wrong for the media, politicians and public servants to stop evoking the different emotional stories of tears from Borno because elections are over. It is very callous and insensitive to carry on as though all is well with the North-East when our fellow citizens are being slaughtered daily. Children with bright future and hope are killed, kidnapped and forced into unholy unions. There ought to be a citizen who cares and a government that protects.

Nuhu and Isaac are the two security guards and gatekeepers. They do not run shifts except on weekends. One person would have to take a day off while the other remains. I have asked both Nuhu and Isaac what their future plans are because I am concerned about young men in their prime being gatekeepers, when they ought to be in school.

Nuhu comes across as a very humble and hardworking person, who is ever willing to assist.

After observing that he does not use his weekend breaks, I decided to ask why. His response was “Oga, I no get where to go.” He was silent for a while with his face down, shoulders almost snapping out of the sockets that held them to his body. His bright face suddenly wore a sorrowful look. “Oga”, he muttered, trying to muster courage to suppress tears and keep down the emotions that were giving him away. “I been dey J.S 2 when dem enter my local government come burn my school, kill people and carry some go. I come run leave school. All our family run. I come run come Abuja to find work. My family dey another local government with my father, mother and my senior brother but nobody dey our village.”

He could no longer control the emotions he had tried to keep down and then bursted, “I wanted to be a soldier. Na my dreams be that. But I no fit because I never write WAEC. I be 24 years old. Nobody dey go our village; the place dey empty; na only our cows dey there.”

As I returned from a trip a few days ago, I noticed Nuhu’s absence. I inquired about him. Isaac told me Nuhu travelled while I was away. I was happy for him. I felt that finally Nuhu’s family might have returned back to their community that had been sacked by Boko Haram terrorists years back. I thought the progress recorded by the military during the last days of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration had restored peace and order in his community for his family to reunite.

“I heard you travelled. Where did you go to?” I asked. “I go village.” With excitement, I asked him, “How was your trip, your family, your cows?” I asked the questions with so much excitement; I was impatient to read his mood. He was quiet again, so I asked what went wrong. “Boko Haram kill my senior brother. Dem slaughter my brother and my two cows last week.” He paused for a while, fighting to hold back the tears that formed a pool in his eyes.

He went on, “My senior brother go village to plant crops as rain don dey fall. We never go village for three years before Boko Haram come slaughter am. Dem kill plenty people last week, dem carry small children from four years old to 10 years for Hilux motor from the village. Maybe dem go kill dem, sometimes dem go use dem fight. I no know. My brother think say Boko Haram no dey again, he just go to farm for our land. We go bury am; that’s why I travel. Many people don die. Dem kill my friends, dem carry my classmates go fight. Till now, we never see them.” There was silence between us, not knowing how to console him, I kept quiet.

Whatever happened to the campaign promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari that he would stamp out Boko Haram in the first one month of his administration or is it not over a month yet?

He went on, “Oga, me I want go back to school. I want write WAEC. How I go take do am. This Boko Haram don spoil plenty things.”
My fingers may not be able to type the entire emotional narrative of Nuhu. There are thousands of Nuhus out there with worse stories and tears of blood from Borno. A few friends from Borno have confirmed that the situation has gone from bad to worse. Boko Haram is having a field day, spilling the blood of fellow human beings and citizens like animals.

It is wrong for the media, politicians and public servants to stop evoking the different emotional stories of tears from Borno because elections are over. It is very callous and insensitive to carry on as though all is well with the North-East when our fellow citizens are being slaughtered daily. Children with bright future and hope are killed, kidnapped and forced into unholy unions. There ought to be a citizen who cares and a government that protects. It is a collective effort. We are tired of learning conspiracy theories and the motives of Boko Haram attacks.

Let’s just fix this monster once and for all. Nuhu can’t go home; he cannot see or stay with family because terrorists have separated them. He has been forcefully separated from the irreplaceable love and care that comes with being at home. He doesn’t have the option of chasing his dreams. At night, many of us have a bed to lay on and a pillow to rest our heads on. There are many Nuhus in the deserts of Borno with very harsh weather, who cannot close their eyes or blink for a second, for fear of kidnap or attacks.

Its high time we asked ourselves if we have chosen politicians who realise the urgency of stopping the tears from Borno.

Whatever happened to the N58.79billion (fifty eight billion, seven hundred and ninety thousand Naira) raised by the Gen. T.Y Danjuma and Fola Adeola Committee on Terrorism Victim Support Fund? It is because of the likes of Nuhu that President Goodluck Jonathan set up the committee. Where is the money, what has been done with it? Whatever happened to the campaign promise made by President Muhammadu Buhari that he would stamp out Boko Haram in the first one month of his administration or is it not over a month yet?

The President has been gallivanting all over sub-saharan Africa and touring Western countries but he is yet to wave the magic wand that would bring restoration and change to the people of the North-East. Its high time we asked ourselves if we have chosen politicians who realise the urgency of stopping the tears from Borno.

 

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