By: Naijamedialog / November 10th, 2020 / 158 views
My Sexiography …
– Season 1 Episode 8
EXODUS FROM KANO:
I think it was the year 1999. Yea, I’m sure of it. How could I ever forget that year? A very terrible year for me and all those who lost their lives during the kano riot. Moslems killing Christians, northerners killing outsiders.I’m still not sure what really sparked off the crises, all I knew was that it was a sunny Wednesday afternoon when it all started. I just came back from school and was in the process of taking out my lunch from the kitchen when I heard a very loud shout. Curiosity took the better of me, and I rushed outside to investigate. There was serious pandemonium outside, everybody was running helter skelter.
I was confused. At that exact moment, my mum and my cousin rushed in, my mum was very agitated, fear was written all over her face. I have never seen her like this. When I asked her what is going on, she shouted at me and my cousin to enter the house. My cousin quickly did, but I was stubborn, still trying to know what was going on. Mumsy shouted at me again, I was about going in when I saw a huge, rowdy cultlass wielding crowd. They were shouting war songs in the Hausa language. People were running away from them. A pregnant lady was unfortunately unable to move faster. The crowd descended on her, and in my very eyes she was matchetted like a slab of meat. Someone from the crowd pierced this lady’s stomach with a matchett, then used the tip of the matchett to pull out the unborn child. All this happened like slow motion in my eyes. While all these was going on, my mum and I were rooted to the floor, we couldn’t move.
” mummy!” My cousin shouted.
Her shout seemed to awaken my mum and I to the approaching threat to our life. My mum grabbed my hand and pulled me inside our apartment and she quickly bolted the door and the windows. I was so very afraid, infact afraid is an understatement. My cousin started crying, mumsy had to quickly cover her mouth.
Eventually the callous crowd came to our apartment. They started banging on the door and windows. They were shouting at us to come open the door if not they would set fire on us.
My mum pulled my cousin and I towards the floor, she was shaking like a feverish old woman. I was angry seeing my mum in this condition that it took serious sheer will for me not to go out there to display my perfected Chinese moves on those rifrafs. Mumsy however held me down.
Meanwhile, the fools outside kept on trying to pull down the door. After like a minute, our situation became worse. The apartment started smelling of petrol. These heartless people were dousing the full house with petrol. Realizing this, a certain kind of calmness came over my mum.
She had just realized that there is no escaping this, so she held my cousin’s hands with mine and she started praying.
“Shege! Dambansa!” Our landlord’s voice boomed out. “Dankutuman boroubaka!” He continued venting on the crowd.
Our landlord is a well respected person in the community. On realizing who he was, the crowd pulled back. He somehow stopped them from setting fire to his house. They moved on after sometime and the landlord came to our window to tell us they have gone. We all sighed out with relief. He told my mum to open the door. At first she refused, still not sure if our landlord was to be trusted. Eventually she did. Our landlord took us and the other tenants to his other family house. You need to see the numbers of dead bodies and burnt houses we saw on the road.
I was quite shocked while watching NTA network news by 9 only to hear the newscaster say just 3 people died in that horrible incident. Ever since then, I made up my mind never to believe anything on the news.
The killing continued for good three days, I couldn’t eat, hardly slept. People were screaming around us. It was like a real war zone.
Eventually, the Nigerian army came with military vehicles to convey people to the barrack.
“This is the Nigerian army!” We heard from a megaphone outside our landlord’s house. ” this is the Nigerian army, we have come to rescue you, come out from where you’re bidding. We are taking you to the barrack” the broadcast continued.
They kept repeating this message for some minutes. Our landlord escorted us outside his house. He said he can protect us, but mumsy would have nothing of that. He gave my mum some money. We boarded the military vehicles, they made their rounds and then began the journey to the barracks. On our way, stones and arrows from no where started coming down on us. An arrow pierced my cousin on her shoulder.
The driver of the military vehicle quickly zoomed us out of the area. A soldier attended to my cousin’s injury. He kept saying we should be prayin that the arrow is not poisoned. We got to the barracks eventually, a lot of people were already there. It was a dismal and sorrow filled place. Many people were crying, wounded people were stretched out in every corner. Some people were praying, I belive for their relatives who have not been able to escape. We were however given where to stay and food to eat.
Our stay in the barrack was stretching towards 2 weeks, situations in the barrack was gloomy and bleak. There was hardly food to eat. We were being given just a loaf of bread as food for the entire day. The situation became very hopeless, that most people even died of starvation right inside the barrack. On Saturday of the second week, a lorry of bread came into the barrack. It was a donation from an alhaji. But rumours started circulating round the barrack that the bread was posoined. Out of fear nobody ate from the bread. On the third week, the barrack commandant informed us that the crises is over and we are free to return back to our homes.
Right from the barrack, without a single luggage, except the clothes on our back we boarded a vehicle using the money our landlord gave us. We took a vehicle to a park where we boarded a vehicle going to Kogi State. We slept over in the house of a friend of my mum.
Next day saw us on the road travelling to Edo state, specifically Edo north, where my town is. We got home around 1pm to the joy of everyone just in time for Christmas. And so ended my Kano experience!