By Vincent Chizoba a.k.a Cam’god
My eldest brother was one of the earliest men of my community who protested in my town about the kidnapped Chibok girls in the early day of 2014 after the kidnapping was announced. They went round the town demonstrating with heavy clubs like sword and cutlasses, some with their machetes and many other kinds of weapon dangling in the air. Later, they went to the king of the land, to the chief priest and finally to the soothsayers in the villages within to hear of means they could find the girls that was taken to an unknown land while they still suck their mother’s breast milk. My mother was shocked on the action he had taken. We knew him to be a stubborn man born out of brevity and strong will but we never knew that his stubbornness could lead him into gathering the whole village to demonstrate for the sake of the Chibok girls.
One night, after gathering the goats to their pen seeing the gathering of the cloud, I saw him with mother in the inner room talking. He said he was going to Sambisa with some other men to rescue the girls but mother refused. Mother said he was not going to risk his life in the political tricks of our looters.
“You are not going for the unknown girls, they don’t exist anywhere but in the mind of our politicians, two superstitious sword it is!” she retorted.
I saw the blood in his eyes, I saw the pains hidden in his pride. His eyes shot like that of a thunderbolt. He shouted on top of his voice telling mother how weak she was. He said father could have supported him at first statement of going to Sambisa to rescue the girls if he were to be alive. He told mother that she was heartless and not mother enough because if she had been a mother, she could have understand the pains on the legs of the Chibok girls’ mothers in their own shoes. We all sat down watching brother in fierce argument with mother. He hissed almost all the minutes he spent the argument lasted. Before we could know what was going on, he picked up his clubs and pushed mother aside. Off he went out of the house under the heavy rain, then mother went after him and I followed.
I felt the rain hit me on the cheeks, the thunder struck and the lightening came with ferocious but mild images on my eyes as I opened and closed them while running towards them. Within a second, he disappeared into the thick darkness. We could not see him again. Mother stood in the middle of the road weeping. She cried and cursed the lonely cloud of how he never stopped my brother from taking the steps he had taken. I held her hands when I approached where she stood; I felt her heart beating faster than the panting hands of our village drummer. She looked weak, defenseless and confused under the striking rain. Going home without her son would be provoking the spirit of her husband and that of her family. She stood there motionless, eyes sharp and furious like that of the Eagle. She had done enough harm to herself fighting to protect the only son she cherished a lot. We stood speechless, our spirits spoke differently, our eyes, making another trace of how possible we could go on the rescue, to stop him from embarking on this mission but he was gone, gone to the thin air to save those we never met and would never meet in our life. Two superstitious swords crossed paths. They lied to us of those that only exist in their eyes; they bedeviled our minds through mixing those things that feared us the more. The mixture of corruption and greed, the mixture of bribery and lies, the mixture of looting and embezzlement, the mixture of tears of the masses and their laughter made us who we are, the commoners. Doom would befall them all!
Superstitious found fertile ground in our minds and we have no time to escape it. Accountability needed no longer be faced up to, everything could be blamed on them for the cause of our misfortunes yet, they drank wine in high places forgetting the tears that dropped down from our faces in the course of looking for identity of who we are yesterday.
Gathering up the last strength within her, she dashed out from the spot she stood and ran as fast as her legs could carry her. I was afraid of what lay in wait for us at home, I was afraid of what might happen to her. Would she ever survive the shock that my brother have put into her? Would she be able to sleep this night? All this thought ran to my mind as I ran after her. Unfortunately for her, she fell down cripplingly when she hit her leg on a hefty stone that lay on the ground in wait of the madness of the day. She summersaulted and fell back into a ditch beside the bush. The world came clashing on me when I saw her rolling and rolling without stopping. I could not stop her from falling; I couldn’t help her from falling into the ditch. Finally, the madness stopped as I watched in tears as she was drown by the water. The world became still. I shrieked and shouted for help but no help came by.
I remained there till the next morning when she was brought out of the ditch. She was dead. She died for the longing of her only son, she died trying to protect the only son she had from going to Sambisa forest to rescue those girls we never knew forgetting the girls at home.
Brother later came back without the girls and the wound of our dead mother still lingers in our hearts. Now, where are the Chibok girls?