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Remember the agonies in wars Remember the agonies in wars
by Ovi Magazine Guest
2023-03-05 08:09:35
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Remember the agonies in wars
By Taiye Olaniyi

It was around 8 am on a Tuesday morning far back in 1996 or thereabout,
Son of Man was already seated in the office at Moloney street Obalende Lagos.
Cleaners were still cleaning when this young man barged into my office.

He was in his late 30s and looked every inch scruffy the way James Hadley Chase usually described what Lagosians refer to as Area boys.

Slightly afraid of what his mission could be, I still surmounted courage and got him seated while he introduced himself as Michael Buchanan a Liberian once in the Marketing Department of the Firestone Rubber Company in Liberia but a refugee at the Refugee Camp, at Oru in Ogun State.

I sought assistance downstairs and I was directed to you, in particular, are you Taaye?

I nodded and he went on to narrate his ordeals how he met his wife hacked to death and their lovely daughter's hands amputated before reaching home from office during Charles Taylor's regime in Liberia.

According to him," like play, like play our youthful exuberance got us entangled in war syndrome, and my family and those of other millions are paying for what a few guys started for whatever reasons."

"My brother" when you hear Wwaa don't let it cast a spell of War, pick race, it’s a wind that blows no one any good, painful, and inhuman no matter for what reason it started.

I breathed a breath of pain and started recalling what Larry Tory another refugee had earlier shown me in the" Essays of War" he compiled and was seeking assistance from UNICEF and also from the Son of Man to help publish.

Daniel Lansana too was one other very intelligent guy also a refugee but of Sierra Leonian extraction who also narrated how the faction of Yormie Johnson murdered about 7 Hare Krishna members, a few of their materials he kept with me when later he became my children's lesson teacher.

He thought had left Nigeria but still keeps in touch when around.

Hmmm, the ordeals of the 3 Liberian refugees brought back to my memory our helplessness though in mere mental speculation what the raging Nigerian Civil War of the late 60s could mete to us as children.

At a Colloquium during NAFEST in Imo State around 2005 where I was privileged to deliver a paper on "Postage Stamp as a Medium of Cultural Promotion" in digression I referred to and analysed the Biafran postage stamps in my collection.

The features on the aforementioned postage stamps also generated discussion on how postage stamps help to educate on the blight of Indigence, plights of famine and other gory details that wars can enliven in the lives of the" Dead" and arouse bitterness in the memories of the living.

The Biafra War has brought indelible scars and painful ones for that matter into Nigerian History, especially in the unserious-minded nature of reintegration and full rehabilitation processes of the aggrieved.

The History of the Amalgamation of Nigeria keeps recurring in bitterness. The once jaw-jaw, talky-talky at CONFAB, and now the scatter-scattering nature in everything Nigerian are damn warring as the 2023 change of guard fast approaches.

These and now the unending kidnapping, banditry, the dialogues being suggested, ethnocentric, tribal, and religious dimensions in attacks and reprisal attacks are ingredients that could stew up agonies and miseries from pots of soup every Nigerian seems to lick from.

These in earnest should alarm and thus make our rulers and those of us being ruled or misruled pick our thinking caps, to think and deeply reflect on the deeds and misdeeds of Sergeant Doe, Yormie Johnson and Charles Taylor whose actions once led to the Liberian and Sierra Leone Wars.

The associated pains and drains they inflicted not only on their peoples alone but "humanity" as a whole is to date mind burgling.

As Nigerian rulers and the ruled, would our actions or inactions increase or reduce the tempo of tensions associated with militancy in the South and Boko Haram in the North?

I pray that the true sense of reasoning, love of true and ever-living God, the Creator of every living being everywhere, the love of "Fatherhood of God and brotherhood of man" shall take possession of us all.

Possess those our mere earthly rulers and those of us being ruled as we currently germinate in religious hypocrisy and tribal jingoism to the peril of our same humanity.

We all should note that the present generation of Nigerians including the upcoming ones have no other country to call their home.

Nigeria belongs to all, and we must all remain here to salvage it together.

God Bless Nigeria.


Taiye Olaniyi, a retired Postman of the Nigeria Postal Service, is based in Lagos.

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