A Letter To Mr President
Dear President Muhammadu Buhari,
From the news, I see you and your family are in perfect health and doing just fine.
First of all, let me introduce myself as a Mother and a Teacher even though I am much more, but because I will be highlighting issues as they affect these areas, which concern you. I will stop at the two.
Permit me to cut further pleasantries and go straight to the point.
On this particular morning, we had to interrupt our planned program for the day to mourn our brothers and sisters who lost their lives to ‘avoidable’ errors.
Should I call it an error or do I better term it a form of ‘laid-back’ attitude towards a certain group of people? Whatever it is, that isn’t my main point.
Let me start as a mother who has carried children in her womb each for a period of nine months. Mr. President, those were not months of laughter and joy, those were times my whole body system changed to accommodate another life. Times when my meals changed to what you don’t even want to know. Then the day came, and this child was birthed. Mr. President, the pain was unbearable. It’s not what my fingers can type. I groaned, I looked everywhere for tears but couldn’t find. I screamed. They begged me to be calm, I couldn’t. I prayed. I was in that state for twelve whole hours till the appointed time came. Strength was going, but somehow, I managed to push my baby out!!!
The pains didn’t end there Sir Buhari, I nursed this child with blisters on my nipples. They said I should allow her to suck like that because that was the only way it could get healed. Or was it the stitches? Mr. President, I was in PAIN for weeks. And so I hope you’ll understand my pain when I write to imagine what my fellow mothers are passing through at this time. Mothers who went through the same or even worse experiences as I did to be told the child they went through ‘that’ for was killed!
The morning I read the news of the latest killings in Jos, I shivered. I imagined mothers who lost their children in that attack and how they felt at the point. I imagined being given such news.
Mr. President, I am getting confused.
The fact that human beings are being equated to animals.
Do we say One Cow = Three human lives?
Since when did we Nigerians lose the value for life?
As a teacher, permit me to write:
Somehow, I navigate the roads, traffic, and early morning chaos to get to my place of work. I’m all tired when the day hasn’t gone half way. With a number of things on my mind waiting to be sorted out, I’m met with these beauties. They run and hug me! Take my bags and books and cart away to drop off in my class.
On arrival into class, we talk. They tell me of mummy, daddy, issues at home, latest news…. We all talk and they help me forget how rigorous my morning was. The children make me forget. Mr. President, the innocent children unknown to them, cure me of a form of morning depression!!!
And so I have a right to imagine that I wake up on another day, all depressed and not able to seek medical care because I am a teacher and have little to sustain me through the month. I know I have antidepressants in human forms waiting in school. Only to get a bit closer to the gate to hear, “no school”, because the community was invaded and people killed!!!!
I’m told of the children that once ran to me being amongst the butchered ones that night. NOOOOOOO!!!! Mr. President!!!! They are my sanity! They are the reason I wake up daily and choose to joggle the traffic in my state of mind.
This is me Mr. President who has not witnessed this sort of pain! How much more my fellow teachers!!!
We elected you Mr. President. We sat on the road that day, I took my baby along, we sat on culverts, we argued, we beat our chests for you, and patiently waited to place our thumbprints. We believed you would salvage our society!
You cannot let us down! No!! Mr. President, you need to do something.
Just yesterday, I stared at the picture of the girl who had returned from boarding school only to be told her new home was an IDP camp. She took it and got there to hug daddy. But daddy was no more. The pain she felt Mr. President cannot be typed.
Do you see our tears? Can you please try to understand?
Have forgotten so soon, when you said you will “Crush Boko Haram”? or was your statement incomplete? Did you mean you will “Reinstate a higher Sect?”
A woman I hold in very high esteem once said, “the more the killings, the closer they get to us”
I will stop here.
Hoping you act fast.
Your Pained Citizen,