…As victim goes into hiding
By Aderemi Ayomide
The story is a pathetic one; the type capable of dissolving a stone heart in a twinkle of an eye. It evokes fear, pity and humanity against humanity.
Recently, in the Northern part of Nigeria, a region bedeviled by the deadly Boko Haram activities, John Moa escaped death but not without a bitter story to tell.
His mother, Edna, who hailed from Enugu State – Eastern Nigeria, had been horribly hacked to death by members of the dreaded sect. Her death opened a gateway of sorrow, tears and anguish to all members of the family.
Narrating his ordeal to Daily Sun on October 14, 2010, he said that his mother, had sometime in October 2009, travelled to Borno State on that fateful day, but unknown to her that death was lurking around. Luck ran against the innocent woman, as the insurgents struck, targeting innocent and unsuspecting souls, and in the process, sent her packing from the face of the earth
The faceless group, which has been unleashing mayhem on innocent Nigerians, kicks against Western education for reasons not clearly explained. They had abruptly dispatched thousands of lives to their early graves, left many with varying degrees of injuries and destroyed properties worth billions of Naira
As if the killing of John’s mother was not enough, his father, Mr. Benjamin Moa, a Sierra-Leonean, in 2010, joined the terrorist group. And that was the beginning of another tortuous journey for the Moas, especially John. Panic and uncertainty of who becomes the next member or victim the sect hanged dangerously in the air.
John told this reporter that the moment he discovered that his father had been initiated into the illicit movement, he could no longer sleep with his two eyes closed. He vividly recurred how he kept vigil all through the nights on three different occasions when some strange and rough-looking men came to visit his father in Kano.
His father’s enlistment brought about constant harassment on John, even while he was still battling to come to terms with his mother’s murder. The poor boy’s peace and safety was finally stolen when his father began to threaten to kill him for his refusal to belong to the group.
However, the 21-year-old victim, who spoke in disconsolate tone, said he had enjoyed total tranquility at their Gwarzo home in Gwarzo Local Government Area of Kano State untill his mother was violently snatched away from the family. The woman’s death, unarguably dealt the Moas a devastating blow. According to the distraught son, his mother’s demise was a rude shock to him.
Reeling out his travails to this reporter, he lamented that he became frustrated and hapless when the Nigerian Police couldn’t act on the matter after he had allegedly reported his father’s questionable association and death threat to the same authority.
In his words: “My life is no longer safe. My father desperately wants me to join the Boko Haram. Initially, I thought he was joking, but when he repeated it on many occasions with all emphasis, I knew there was trouble. We began to live like cat and rat; this was after he had done everything possible to persuade me to join the sect.
“He felt the only way to revenge his wife’s death was to join the same group and kill others. For the fact that I knew Boko Haram represents evil, I didn’t see any sense in my father’s decision.
“When he heard that I had reported him to the police, he threatened to kill me. He vowed to kill me rather than waiting and watching me exposing him to the authorities to come after him.
“I ran away from home when he was away. He had told one of his friends that he would kill me when he returned that night. I’m running away from this country because it is obvious that the Nigerian government cannot guarantee my protection anymore in the face of this my challenge.”