Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Oluwatoyin: Horror made in Gombe!

On an otherwise exciting morning last week i woke up to the heartbreaking news oof the gruesome murder of Oluwatoyin Olusesan, a teacher in the Northern State of Gombe.Two days ago, an incident (the abduction of the ANPP gubernatorial candidate and former governor, Abubakar Hashidu from a courtroom) that had made national headlines occured in that same state.So listening to Rhythm FM that morning i was like "laid-back Gombe in the news again?Twice this week?"

But my talk isn't about the politicians and how they fool around.It's about Toyin.Poor Toyin.It could have been me and my friends.It could have been anybody. I grieved because i had served in Gombe during my NYSC year.And it was in a town that had an eeringly similar name to the one in which Toyin had been murdered in; another Government Day Secondary School.I became friends with so many of the townsfolk.I thought then, real friends.But now am not so sure again. I remembered the days when rocks will be raining down our roof in the night like we were in hailstorm season.I remembered the unspoken threats. And each time i thought about these, my heart sank further into my bowels. It could have happened to a colleague who the students virtually saw as an opponent because of her forcefulness and strictness.Of course, that was manifested in the frequency of her whipping sessions.The threat was given human form when some students verbally threatened to stone her.But it never happened because i got the Sarki to talk to the students.But it finally happened to Toyin. Its a shame that i now have a doubt about my relationship with my former students; Abu, Umaru, Haruna..Its a shame that feeds on fear.A fear that i will keep on fighting for some time to come ( honestly).Well, in case you've not heard, this is the story of Toyin's death ( culled from the Punch of Thursday March 22,2007).

"Muslim pupils at a secondary school in Gandu, Gombe state, beat a teacher to death after accusing her of desecrating the Koran. According to agency reports, the teacher, Oluwatoyin Olusesan, a Christian, was invigilating an Islamic Religious Knowledge exam at the Government Day Secondary School, Gandu when the incident occurred. The students attacked her outside the school compound after the exam and killed her. They also burnt some of the school blocks in the process.
The Vice Principal, Hajiya Hadiza Gombe said the teacher, who was employed on contract was assigned to invigilate the SS1 pupils who were writing their Islamic Religious Knowledge exams. She added that the teacher suspected that a foul play was about to take place when one of the students wanted to come in with his books to the exam hall. Gombe said when the teacher collected the books and threw them outside, unknown to her, there was a copy of the Holy Quoran among the books. The principal said before they knew what was happening, the students had started chanting Allahu Akbar (God is Great). All efforts to control the rampaging students proved abortive even when the school principal, Mohammed Sadiq, tried to protect the teacher in his office. The principal was also terribly beaten and injured while they set the teacher's car, three classes, the school's clinic, administrative block and library on fire..."

I kept asking myself; where are we heading to when students who are probably not older than 25 years start committing murder without qualms (no matter the guise under which it was done)?.It is a problem that is much bigger than the threat of Maurice Iwu and his INEC.It involves the loss of lives in the instant and the breeding of future Talibans in our midst.It also represents our failure as in nation in the area of religious harmony even after more than 40 years of pushy-jerky existence.Its an indictment of our so called leaders who stir up religious sentiments in order to score cheap political points.It ought to shame the overseers of that warped socialiization process:the Imams, Sarkis, Emirs and governors and of course the Parents.It ought to shame us all that this is happening in our country in this age of Carbon footprints and Nanotechnology.Some of us are still throwing stones when we should be showing love.Shame.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Story of Your Life

The Story Of Your Life

What you are about to read is neither a song
Nor the musings of a madman all day long
You might want to call it a poem
Or use it to clear your throat of phlegm
Your sighs say they are the rantings of a drunkard
Maybe the confused chants of a retard
Aware of these; i will continue to write
And like drowsy ants to sugar, loony coots i invite

These words i want to be; like probes
Prying into your phyches, itchings in your celebral lobes
No, this is not an exercise in braggadocio
Nor the vain blabbings of an act of fellatio
It can rehabilitate your warped thought processes
Or send you down hell's inner recesses
What you make of it i dont care
' cos it about to expose- your secrets laid bare
Yes! desperation rattles your heart; you are going extinct
The message you see is now becoming distinct
Ding-dong-ding time as you know it flies
Like a bird of prey, it feeds on your lies
Is this poetry? Your terrified soul ask
The answer you want comes; a lazy man's task
Still here it comes, the genesis of your story
That of a twisted life steeped in allegory
Your phobia for this turns into an allergy
But it must be told to heal you of this lethargy
I'll rather let your mouth spurn it
This is the story of your life, tell it bit by bit.

c Endi
Port Harcourt

D: To all those who had done something "real weird" in their lives.C'mon, tell it and sell it!