A LETTER TO MY MOTHER: AFTER FOURTEEN YEARS

 

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Dear mum,

You are my gold, silver and diamond. The definition of my beginning; my path to life and the tender potter that shaped me; you meant the world to me – you are irreplaceable and I want you to know that you still occupy a special and huge part of my life. You remain the best part of me. Loving you, even in your absence, is something that comes naturally. I do not know when I started loving you, maybe – when I was in you; when I dropped my first tears or maybe before I was formed – but what I am sure of is this: I will love you for another thousand years.

The memories of the days we spent together praying: the nights we went to church and holy festivals you took me to, are still fresh.

I can vividly remember the days we had to sleep in church because of the high level of insecurity in Jos. Mum, do you still remember the days that thieves often come to our house, carting away our food stuffs and eating the remnants of the meat from your daily sales?
I want to say thank you for the night you held me strong while we were coming back from the market – while a man tried yanking me from your grip.

INSECURITY
Fourteen years after your departure, the beautiful place called Jos with its rocks, rivers and cold weather has been the front for bloody conflict. Ethnic and religious rivalry has resulted to the mass destruction of lives and properties.

I do not know how secured your place is, but I can assume that there are no bomb blast in churches and mosques; in markets and motor parks; schools and homes. Has it ever crossed your mind, while you were here, that over two hundred (200) girls can be kidnapped by some insane folks? Is it logical for people to be massacred everyday?

Humanity is loosing it. The rate at which terrorism is spreading on earth is scary. Even in places where such things are thought to be impossible, this evil act has found a fertile ground and is growing speedily.

Your dear son is in a troubled world. Each day, as I take this filthy breath, my life and that of all the good people all over the world is being threatened by suicide bombers, ritual killers, terrorists, armed robbers and cruel and bad governance. Am I safe?
I want you to tell me that I am safe. Can you please send a message to somebody, telling him/her that Africa’s time for positive change is running out?

POVERTY
In the year 1999, when the earnings from your business could no longer foot my school fees, you had to withdraw and enroll me in a new school. The fee was increased to two thousand naira (#2000) per term and the fees for my new school was six hundred naira (#600).

You desired the best for me. You had big dreams for your son, but the claws and jaws of poverty kept you from fulfilling it. I can remember without doubt, how lack and poverty had its tent in our house, but with diligent hard work and fervent prayers we had our daily bread and paid our dues. It is very unfortunate that after all the stress, suffering, turbulent years, tears and pains, you never saw the light at the at of the tunnel.

Mum, I have sad news for you. Do you know that about 30 million children are out of school in Africa? Are you aware that the cost of education is on a historical journey to the moon? Do you know that millions of Nigerians go to bed without food everyday? This is the cruel reality of the hell millions smile in, everyday.

Hundreds of widows and orphans are made from inhumane act of some few individuals. Thousands are now refugees in their hometown. Corruption is becoming a legal and acceptable norm. Evil men in high places, deciding the future of our children. Public funds are disappearing like ghost and appearing in ‘who knows where’.

INEQUALITY
Nepotism, ethnocentrism and mass oppression of the poor and voiceless are now normal, accepted and common trends here. The rich are getting richer and the poor are dying. Millions of girls are forced into child-marriage every year: thousands of boys a indoctrinated into child-soldiery and nobody is saying anything.
Mum, I’m sorry for the unexpected horrible things I have said, but they are the shy expression of the horrible reality here.

You thought me how to triumph and not to survive, but who will teach the Chibok Girls how to triumph over the bars and chains of human wickedness? Who will assure the brothers of the over 40 boys massacred while in school that they can triumph over illiteracy? Will this unjust society rise to its responsibility and save all from the messy mud of survival? Too much questions! I’m sorry.

PERSONAL
I miss you mum. I wish you are still here. Maybe you could have inspired me to do something good for the society: maybe you could have mentored someone into the fight for the oppressed.

I still consider it a disaster that a curable infection could take your life.

It is still an avoidable disaster that millions are loosing their lives yearly to curable infections. Is it not a display of acute lack of vision and poor planning that after fourteen years, preventable and curable diseases still snatch our loved ones from us? I wish I can get answers from you now.

Huh! I apologize, if I am writing out of point. I just want you to know how cruel and unbearable the situation here is getting. I wish a Messiah will come hastily from over there and heal the land, but the earth’s Messiah is somewhere here on earth sleeping.

Should you find any of the persons that have lost their lives as a result of our inhumane acts, tell them we are sorry and firmly wish that the cruel unforseen but avoidable sad events that ended their quest for a better and united world never occurred. Amidst them you will find the poor and the rich: the weak and the strong: wise men and foolish folks: you will find all manner of souls. If there’s any iota of tears in your eyes – cry to show how remorseful we are: if you still have the strength – plead for our forgiveness, and if you still have the character, kneel on our behalf. Tell them how repentant we are and how the grief of their demise has taken a big toll on us. Above all, we wish them peace.

Don’t forget to tell them that the situation here is not getting any better. No one here is ready for peace. Love for self, not humanity, is the treasure mankind craves to preserve forever. Who will save us from this self inflected cancer? They should stand by heaven’s gate expecting their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters and relatives; as well as their friends and enemies. I am beginning to sound hopeless. No I can not be hopeless.

I and anyone who is still waiting on God, believe strongly that he will raise from among us, men and women that will save us from our persecutors. We have the faith that our fatherland shall not be a heap of ruins. Even in the face of terror and disaster, we stand firm, because we are strong believers in the triumph of Africa over all her adversities.

I am still holding on firmly, to the dream of a better world. A perfect world is impossible. A better world, that is what is possible; because in it, every individual can find a perfect sphere satisfying their personal taste – with the love for humanity leading the stage. Having spoken of the ill fate that is fast engulfing earth, I still consider it a rare and great privilege to be part of a world that defines the sense in creativity and expresses the potential heights God has given mankind to explore.

Africa, the best place to start life: Nigeria, a blessed gift: Idoma, the best tongue to identify with and you mother – the best thing that has ever happened to me. Should I be given another chance for another life after this, I will lovingly choose you over and over again – a million times.

I have missed you a lot, but in it I have found the strength to soar beyond sadness and loneliness. Your absence is undeniable, but the part of you that forms me, has been a good companion through the years. After crying for years, each time I think about you, I reconciled with reality and fed on the legacies with which you brought me up.

May the love you showered on me, speak for you wherever you are. May the sleepless nights you had, never be in vain. May the hard times beneath the scorching sun and the heavy rain be worth it. May peace and love shelter you,wherever you are.
I Love you.

From your son
LINSON

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