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Thursday, 14 January 2016


Mr. Jones, a lawyer by profession, a voice for the voiceless and a fighter for the down trodden was a popular man in his local government. He was married to Omolara and they had a son whom they christened Tunde. He hated injustice from the depth of his heart and it was for this sole reason that he decided to contest for the office of the chairman of his local government, believing that he was going to impart more on cause for an injustice-free society. His opponent, Chief Funsho Folaye, a political giant in the state was very influential thereby making the race tough. The contest was keen and many tipped Jones to emerge the winner. However, about two weeks before the election date, Mr. Jones was assassinated. One of the arraigned assailants confessed they were hired by the Funsho to carry out the dirty deed. The case was taken to court but it was struck out due to lack of evidence as the assailant who had confessed to the crime mysteriously died in custody. Mrs. Omolara wanted to get to the root of everything and bring her husband’s aggressors to justice. She hired some private investigators but just three weeks after, she was kidnapped and wasn’t returned alive. In the end, young Tunde was the only surviving member of their family.

Soon after his mother’s death, Tunde moved in with his father’s younger brother, Mr. Tayo. Mr. Jones’ finances and assets were bequeathed to Tayo as he was the oldest and closest relative to Jones. Tayo however, was a sybarite and a spendthrift. He wasted no time, trying to live the ‘dream’. Ultimately, Tunde’s basic needs were never met and within a year, he was forced to drop out of school. Tunde tried to reach out to his mother’s relatives on several occasion but his efforts were thwarted on every occasion by his uncle. Tunde was literally turned to a house help and life became quite unbearable. Two years later, Tunde decided he had enough and ran from ‘home’. With nowhere to go, he was forced to sleep in shanties and under bridge and often engaged in menial jobs just to earn some money to fend for himself. As years went by, he made friends with some other homeless youths and had gone from artless to artful, participating in various crimes along with his friends.

Tuned was at a bar with his friends one night when he saw a girl who was seated two tables away from them with her boyfriend. He couldn’t take his eyes off her and kept starring at her throughout the night. Just as he and his friends were about to have their last drinks before embarking on their devious activities, the girl got into a heated conversation with the boyfriend. Annoyed, she stormed out of the bar. Tunde who was an opportunist quickly got up and followed her. He kept his distance so as not to attract her attention and at the same time he, looked around to ensure there was no other person on the road. As soon as he observed the atmosphere was fertile, he darted towards her and grabbed her by her arms. She turned around in surprise and tried to scream but Tunde who had anticipated this, quickly covered her mouth with his palm. She put up some resistance as Tunde tried to have his way with her but within seconds, her spirited efforts were subdued and Amaka was raped.

Hurt and lost in her thoughts, Amaka couldn’t come to terms with what she was going through. She couldn’t share her problems with any of her friends, let alone her parents. It was the second month and she hadn’t seen her period. That foolish Ejike; it was him who kept taking her to all those shanty bars while his mates were taking their girls to reasonable places for outings, she thought. She couldn’t even remember what led to her leaving the bar that night. She didn’t even care to remember. All she knew was this: Ejike was the father of the child.

Three weeks later, she broke the news to friends and family, after her mother began to suspect that something was amiss. This didn’t go down well with her family of course and her father demanded to know the man responsible. She wasted no time in mentioning Ejike, a young man her family so much detested. The following day, police officers armed to their teeth, stormed Ejike’s family home. The leader of the team banged the door thrice and just as soon as Ejike’s mother opened the door, she was brushed aside by the stern looking police men who wasted no time in turning the apartment upside down. As if on cue, Ejike who was in the bathroom stepped out to find out what the rancour was about. Before he could say a word, the butt of a rifle smashed his head and he collapsed to the floor. He was lifted like a sac and thrown into the waiting police van. All the while, his sobbing mother kept demanding what his son’s crime was but she was ignored by the truculent looking officers.

Efforts made by Ejike’s mother to secure the release of her son were all fruitless as Amaka’s father ensured that all her efforts were thwarted. Nine months later, Amaka delivered a baby boy but she died during delivery. She didn’t confess, she died with the truth, Ejike’s fate was sealed.

Amaka’s child was christened Ezeonyi. Amaka’s mother showered the child with love but the same couldn’t be said of her father. He despised the child from birth. Ezeonyi didn’t help things either, as he was a stubborn and disrespectful child. In school, he was fondly called Hulk by his colleagues because of his size and brute nature. He had a penchant for bullying his smaller colleagues.  One of his favourite victims was Emmanuel. Ezeonyi hated Emmanuel even more than his own father hated him. He would often poke fun at him in class and after class, Emmanuel was his punching bag. Emmanuel’s parent began to notice the bruises on his skin and also observed that Emmanuel often felt reluctant and unhappy to go to school. However, Emmanuel was very timid and had refused to divulge the truth to his parents. His mother who became very concerned, reported the issue to his school principal. The Principal swung into action and within a week, he had unravelled the truth. Ezeonyi was indicted and he was made to serve two weeks suspension. Upon his return from suspension, Ezeonyi kept his distance from Emmanuel. However, about 3 weeks later, he started to threaten Emmanuel, claiming that his (Emmanuel’s) parents humiliated him by reporting him to the principal and he was going to pay for their actions. One day, on his way back from school, Emmanuel was confronted by Ezeonyi in a lonely path. Ezeonyi immediately pounced on him but he managed to break free from his grip. As soon as he did, he darted into the road but unfortunately, he ran into a moving car. He died on his way to the hospital.

The news of Emmanuel’s death was received with shock throughout the school. It was news that was going to change the Ekanem’s family forever. Ekanem was distraught at the news of his son’s death. Emmanuel was his last child and only son. He had two other daughters but Emma was his favourite. Nobody understood why he ran into the street from the bus—nobody except Ezeonyi of course. After Emma’s burial, Ekanem resorted to drinking. He started late nights and would often come home reeking liquor. Uduak Ekanem, was in great agony, she had just lost her son and now, she was losing her husband. Just when she was hoping things were going to get better, it got worse. Ekanem and Uduak began to get into quarrels and most times, Ekanem would storm out and wouldn’t come back till the next day. On one of those nights, Ekanem came home drunk as always, Uduak tried to question him but unlike other nights, where he’d just scream at her and storm off, he did something different. He grabbed her by the throat, pushed her to the chair and started throwing punches to her face. It took the timely intervention of neighbours to save her that night. Months later and there were no signs that things were going to improve in her marriage. She decided to move out with her kids.

Dora was 15 when she lost her brother and her parents separated. It was a tough year for her, as she watched helplessly most nights as her once loving father beat her mother. Everything changed when her brother, Emma died. Thankfully, her academic performances were only slightly affected by all the tribulations. However, her sister, Idara didn’t have it so good, as she failed her second term and barely made it past the pass mark in her third term to earn a promotion. Dora felt hurt by her father’s actions. It was so bad she developed a constant fear for men. Soon however, the fear changed to hatred and by the time she was 23 years of age, she made a promise never to treat any man with regard or respect.

It goes on and on. You might think your actions or those statements you make which you often do casually or with intent to hurt, have no ripple effects but you’re wrong. Before you say anything to anybody, before you do anything to anybody, place yourself in their shoes. I’ve had friends who have changed from nice to rude people as a result of a bitter experience they had in the past. Every action produces a reaction. Before you take that action, you might want to stop and think, lest you destroy a generation.

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