Nothing is being said anymore. If those who hold power will do nothing, then we may have no choice but to speak for ourselves, fight for ourselves, choose for ourselves.
Was it supposed to be a provocation of the military, a statement to the government or just a mere mockery of lives? December 31st, what was it? Who would explain and who would be bold enough to bring justice if not u, if not me.
The odds were already against us, the pepper was much more expensive, oil was now sold at the rate of butter which we never tasted, and chicken was an obvious luxury so we had decided on fish. We decided it would be ice fish and not the regular dry fish, it was to be eaten with spiced rice (we dare not call it Jollof) but above all, we were grateful. Breakfast would be yam and tapioca. We chose that because it fills the belly faster at a cheaper rate. Breakfast will be eaten some time in between 12pm and 1pm so that lunch could be taken around 7pm (the words breakfast and lunch have lost their meaning anyway). After that, we would head to the ground to play banger pranks and eventually to our worship grounds and centers to vehemently pray about the New Year. We had always questioned the word ‘New’ in ‘New Year’. To us, it was just another day. Not until now.
At first we had taught it was the regular fireworks until the entire barracks turned out to be a chaos. The fear that gripped us seemed almost worse than the explosion in itself. We heard that people lost relatives, mothers, children and able men. What we however lost was a chance to eat the much anticipated meal, we lost a mother and we lost hope. For a while. Our friends lost limbs, some lost their sight and some lost courage. We have asked ‘why us?’ but then why anybody?
We have been told that there was a promise to bring them to book but have they even discovered who ‘they’ are? Do they want to discover? Or are they?
Stripped of our bread and our pride, we hold on to the weapons we have. Our Vote, Our Will. For us, Next year might just be a ‘New Year’