“EXPLOSION rocked Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Wednesday, when a car loaded with bomb device exploded at a popular shopping mall close to Barnex Junction, Wuse Central District, leaving 21 people dead.”
That was how the news reported Wednesday’s bomb blast. 21. /tuwenti whan/…ashirin da daya…iri abuo na otu…okan le ogun…21. Very easy…try it. Twenty-one dead. See?
And the ones before them…ninety-seven, 60, two hundred and thirty-four…or thirty-seven. All numbers. Just numbers.
Only they aren’t. They are 21 men, 21 women, 21 babies, 60 children, 234 girls…all human. Just human.
Human enough to eat, and drink, and sleep, and cry; like you. Human enough to feel their hearts thud heavily, one last time before it all turns to smoke; like you would have. Human enough to hiss very sadly and feel sorry for those that had gone before; like me. And human enough to circle their hands over their heads, snap their fingers and say “It is not my portion in Jesus name”; like us. Human enough for all of that, but now, mere numbers. All numbers. Just numbers.
Ijeoma is just one. Just one, one sister, one daughter, one friend, one Ijeoma. To us, one matters. One is all. One is everything. All one. Just one.
The sorrow you will read in the following lines flow raw from the heart of my pal, blackINK whose pen did the writing. Its sorrow is exactly equivalent to the sorrow felt for every one loss to the manic rampage of Boko Haram; its sorrow swells for every one person lost, every one PEOPLE. People, not numbers.
The sun’s gone again
Call it shame or fear
The point’s still the same
Night has yet again come to stay
The wind has left with its warmth
The night’s cold and the stars are alone…
The owl’s wet to the skin
It’s raining heavily tonight
There’s a sadness in earth and sky
There’s a shiver in the owl’s cry…
No message was left
And her goodbye was not heard
If she cried, I hope not for long
We would meet again soon
When the skies would know no night
Tho’ you left so soon
I know you are only asleep
Your dreams we shall all live on
One day we shall all meet again
To yet again part no more
Yesterday if we had known, you would have slept all day
To Ijeoma and all the victims of the Barnex bomb blast
Shamelessly and undeservedly, I share in your sorrow, brother. And like you, I insist that she is not just a number. Goodnight, Ijeoma.
I am @0jukwu_martin on twitter