***It had been five great years. Five years of enrolling for Kaduna State College of Nursing and Midwery, Kafanchan and graduating with an outstanding result. It had been five years of falling head over heels with Umar and planning our future together. These five years had been the best years of my life and I couldn’t wait to spend the rest of my life with Umar. As I sat beside him on our wedding day, my heart juddered in my chest as I watched as the wedding guests danced in merriment. Dressed in a green lace and neck adorned with silver pieces of jewelry, I grinned at Umar and imagined our lives together. Making Nigeria a better place. Fostering love and unity amongst the people. Raising children that will grow to become great leaders and patriotic citizens. ‘You look beautiful,’ Umar whispered as he stared at me with bright eyes. I was about to respond to his comment and reveal that he was the most handsome man I’d ever set my eyes on…I wanted to let him know how much I loved and cared for him…when loud screams were heard. Fear engulfed my face as I spotted men, dressed in black and armed with rifles, breaking into the wedding venue. I could remember the staccato sound that was heard as bullets sprayed the air. I could picture the sight of Umar, falling down in pain as blood gushed from his chest. And then, everything turned black…. Waking up on a hospital bed, I caught sight of patients, withering in pain. I remembered my husband in a pool of blood and wondered if he had breathed his last. I thought of my parents and hoped that they had survived the massacre. As I thought about the nation, I wondered if there was still hope…hope that the people will live in peace and unity. My mind was clogged in thoughts when sleep overcame me. (This is a fictional story, created to reflect upon the lives of people that were killed and injured as a result of the violence in the northwest. These people had dreams and aspirations. They had the right to fulfill their dreams as they live in a safe society. These dreams have been truncated by unexpected crisis such as banditry, ethnic wars, and terrorism. Aisha represents one of the many people that have been a victim of the Kaduna violence). A new wave of violence has struck the northwest as armed assailants have attacked communities in southern Kaduna. The sporadic attacks in Kaduna have killed dozens of people, leaving others injured. A human rights group, Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW), revealed that: “At least 27 people were killed within a 24-hour period between 19 and 20 July in attacks by armed assailants of Fulani ethnicity on communities in southern Kaduna state.” CSW further said: “The attacks are a part of a campaign of violence targeting communities in southern Kaduna which has been ongoing since January 2020, and is characterised by murder, looting, rape, abductions for ransom and forced displacement.” At around 10:30 pm on July 19, Fulani assailants, who were armed with machetes and guns, attacked a home in Kukum Daji village. They broke into a wedding reception and killed over 15 people. They also injured about 30 people. Reports suggest that most of the victims were young people. CNN reports that hundreds of women in the region have started a demonstration to protest against the increasing number of attacks. These women marched to the King’s palace, dressed in black or semi-nude, to protest against the killing of their own. The leader of the women explained that the government is not helping to curb the attacks by Fulani herdsmen. Local reports reveal that the assailants also attacked Malugum, Manchok, and Kagoro. These are few of the recent news on the electronic and print media regarding the crisis in Kaduna state. This is one of the many attacks that have struck the northwest. The alarming increase in the banditry involving the Fulani assailants and counter-attacks from various other tribes in the state have been very disturbing. It has been difficult for both the state and federal governments to manage the situation.
Its a windy Friday night and I’m snuggled in bed with a cold cup of Ice Tea, Pringles -Texas BBQ because that’s the best flavour