#Opinion: MY COUNTRY FAILED ME by Franklin Missa


Jos a city in the north-central region of my country.
The city of Jos has been known as a multicultural and multi-religion city, a lot of foreigners, and locals troops to the city for a better lifestyle and greener pastures, all thanks to the tin found in the hills of the plateau and I also to its weather. 
Jos has been known as a quiet and beautiful city, the flowers and structures make it hard for one to believe it is a Nigerian city. The weather is more temperate than tropical weather.
Haven studied geology and mining from the prestigious University of Nigeria Nsukka, my father was employed by a foreign mining company owned by the Greek. 
We live in the lantan area district of Jos, it's a Christian dominated area. We live in the same house as the pa Chidi arua. Pa Arua is the father of the Chidi arua, an average height man from the Niger Delta part of Nigeria, he works as a motorist to one of the mining companies, his wife a nurse, works in a clinic owned by the whites in the Sabon gari area. The family has only one son, Chidi who is a year younger than me.  We are the only southern tenants in a typical Nigerian civil servant tenant house dominated by northerners thou mostly Christians. I grow up to know Chidi as a brother rather than a mate. We play together and attend the same primary school. The house is fun to be in and every family respects the other's choices and opinions. 
Mallam Shehu and Ibrahim are the only two Muslim living in a house of 12 different families.  Ibrahim a student of Animal science in uniJos is the only bachelor in the house thou he is occupying a flat, a young light skin Fulani boy with his many mistresses always trooping in and out of the compound. Jos looks like a perfect place on earth and I have taken it as my only home. 

In the year 2002, I was just 9yrs and Chidi 8yrs, Jos was put under the tension following the introduction of Sharia law in neighboring cities and states. The tension sowed higher and distrust starts setting in between the Christian and Muslim faithful, One heated afternoon after returning from school, I was playing with Chidi  in front of the house and pa Arua was busy with his newspaper outside, we heard a loud noise in the street, we were tensed, the Muslim boys are rioting over the indecent dressing of Christian girls of UniJos. They are tearing down all posters and properties and killing any Christian they could lay hand on. It was a bloody afternoon as some of the boys made it to our compound. 
They met pa Arua in front of the house and shouted "Allah alkubah!!" as they cut his head off from his body.
 In our presence Pa Arua was killed, I ran inside with Chidi, I hide Chidi inside the cupboard and lock it while I climb the wardrobe for safety, my heart pounding, as a boy, I have stood to experience beheading, yes beheading of a close pa in presence of his 8yr old son. Chidi was sobbing in the cupboard, I was praying to God for the bastards not to see us. 

In few more minutes, the siren started wailing, the police and military are arresting them, normalcy starts returning. I was still weeping with Chidi when my Dad was dropped in the compound by his company's truck, the neighbors about to brief him when he took me and Chidi to my mum's Akara joint in the next street, we reached there, we couldn't see my mum, we only saw her slippers and One of her wrapper. Akara scatted all over the place. We started weeping, for once I saw my dad crying like a kid. We returned home to see Ma Arua weeping, it was a sobber night. The world was silent on us, we wept till dawn, Chidi was traumatized by the horrific incident. I was hoping my mom will later return home, the government declared a curfew from dawn to morning. That night, tears were our food, we wept uncontrollably. 

In the morning, we went to the mortuary where police have deposited the corpse of all the victim, we couldn't see my mum's corpse. In a month's time, we were done with all the signing and statements for releasing of pa Arua's remain, we set to the south for the burials and never returned to Jos. 

Till today, I have not seen my mom again. 
Our country has disappointed us. We turned to prey in our own country. 
My country failed me. 


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