BEYOND THE SURFACE by OJO GLORY from METHODIST GIRL’S HIGH SCHOOL
Fear hung in the air as I awaited my fate.
This got me thinking about the beginning of all my misery.
I sat down watching the television like any other day, for the first time I watched the news. The Newscaster was talking about the latest attack of the Boko Haram in Borno State. I was shaken to my bones to see how much harm they had caused in Nigeria. I was blinded by the comfort and safety I felt in Lagos which made me so oblivious to the fact that terrorism had caused so much harm and damage in another part of the country. I decided to research further, I read on terrorist groups like Taliban, Isis, Al-Queda and Boko Haram. It was horrific.
Boko Haram, the worst of all, left millions of Nigeria internally displaced and so thinking of being in the situation of those people affected by Boko Haram scared me. I reassured myself believing that no harm could come to me. My father worked in an insurance company and was very wealthy; nobody could go through the security of my estate: I thought.
Weeks later, my father got transferred to the North to head the branch there. I wondered why an insurance company will be needed in the North when the only thing to be gained were losses because of the deaths. I thought back to the statement I made, Nobody could go through the security of my estate, and I had to rephrase it, I could go out of this security and get myself killed I said, and I was only sixteen, I was just too young to die.
My family relocated so fast I was still in shock, I did not even pack my suitcase myself, I was literally bundled and taken away. The worst aspect of it all was that my father did not reveal the state we were going to in the North. To top it all up, we took a road trip.
Halfway the journey, my father spilled the beans, on the state which we were going to stay and this made me panic more. He said we were going to stay in Borno state. I wondered what the point of driving a distance of 6,379km, a total of ninety-two hours just to get ourselves killed. I cried and begged thinking I could weaken his resolve but all to no avail he was blinded by the monetary gain.
We finally got to Borno State, everything was alright until we got to the town where we were to stay. We were welcomed by chaos. As we drove into the town, there was a stampede. We did not understand what happened until we saw some men dressed like Army Officers, a memory clicked in my numerous research on Boko Haram, they always dress like Army Officers. Fear set in as I felt drenched in sweat. My parent was also terrified, we tried to escape by reversing but they shot at us. My mum was hit by a bullet and died on the spot. My father sustained an injury and that was the last I heard of him. I was untouched because I dodged for cover. I trembled with fear, before I could digest what had happened I was dragged out of the car by them. I was put in a van and taken to one of their camps. I was taken to a well-furnished room, I wondered why I was given such a special treatment.
Two men walked into the room, the first man stared at me weirdly and signaled the others to leave, he took strides towards me and slapped me, I fell down crying in paying. He pulled me up by my hair, dragging me towards the bed, I knew the end result of it. I was raped, I had so many dreams but they were all shattered, My life was ruined.
They moved her from place to place, I watched women become widows, men widowers, children become orphan peoples houses being set on fire, leaving them homeless without any food. Where was the love? these are the effect of terrorism in the world, wonderful dreams were destroyed, innocent blood was spilled on this very soil that ones used to be peaceful.
I asked myself what where these terrorist motives were for doing all they did. I wondered if it was all a state-sponsored violence, or because of the different ethnicity, religion or linguistic groups or even education. I drew the conclusion there were no justifications for their actions. Their craving for power drives their motive to kill.
My fate has been decided, I am to be used as a suicide bomber. I have no concern about dying I am only concerned about the innocent lives I would be taking with me. I used to wonder why those suicide bombers would just volunteer to kill themselves, but now I do, because this is hell.
The day is here, the day when I say goodbye to this earth the bomb is attached to me and I am dressed in a Burqua and taken to a local market in Maiduguri where I was to take people with me either to heaven or hell, the bomb time reads one minute, my heart starts to race fast, and my life just hanging by a thread . My brain begins to calculate. I just cannot let all these innocent people die. I spot a canal and act instinctively, I have just ten seconds left to live and my last thought is that terrorism is beyond the surface. It is much deeper. I dive into the canal ending my life even before the bomb does.