Amid the sum and scheme of one’s life…
Of certain, wilt there be splendid delight and the peaks of hope
And without a doubt, challenges and the valleys of despair
Have punctuated the course of humanity since its inception.
Thus, ’tis the aggregate of the individual’s courses within their apportioned time
That eventually makes the entirety of the life here spent, on this terrestrial terrain,
With each phase, bearing its own particular purpose and impact on living and existence.
Thus, it is incumbent on each, to nonetheless, learn from the challenges arising
But certainly accentuate the positive while cherishing the treasured moments.
For each aspect, lends uniqueness to the cumulative measure, each life lives,
An acceptance of which, may thus aid the progression of the pilgrimage indeed.
Yemil Benjoy (c) – This 29th December of 2019
Handcuffed while black while waiting…
As such, #BoycottStarbucks
Whereas as a despondent citizen, whose level of trepidation can never in any imaginable dimension approximate the utter despair experienced by the parents of the abducted Dapchi girls and the overwhelming hopelessness thrust upon the parents of the girls still missing, I still verily lament the evolution of the repugnance that has ensnared the nation, steals our daughters[i] and kills our sons[ii] with callous impunity;
And whereas, I refuse to cower powerlessly in the domain of lassitude, the uncertainty amid the swirling disparate official news accounts conjoined with these loathsome incidents confounds reason;
And whereas, I am extremely thankful that many of the Dapchi girls have been reunited with their families and communities, it is nonetheless extremely perturbing that six of the girls have not been released;
And whereas, those six captured Dapchi girls were classified in an official press statement as “yet unaccounted for[iii]”, reports otherwise infer, that five of the girls are apparently deceased[iv], as mournfully bewailed by a father of an innocent girl, whose young life, was reported as tragically truncated prior to the commencement of her prime[v];
And whereas, there are reverberating news accounts that another young innocent girl, Miss Leah Sharibu[vi] remains pugnaciously and illegitimately detained, allegedly because she expressed her inalienable right of religious freedom and refused to renounce her Christian faith[vii] [viii], which acts constitute unambiguous religious persecution and moreover which religious affiliation in the purported secular and democratic society of the nation is guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended (1999 Constitution);
And whereas, an iota of incontrovertible truth that exits in the midst of, the dense fog of imprecision, attending this national misfortune and further barricades the obstructed view of verifiable facts, is that, the name Leah Sharibu, is not imprinted on the official list of Dapchi girls released[ix];
And whereas, the 1999 Constitution, guarantees all Nigerian citizens irrespective of their faith, the assurance of religious freedom, supposedly Miss Sharibu’s liberty, under the tyrannical boot of oppression, in brazen contravention of the said 1999 Constitution, appears illegitimately predicated on the proposed specious extraction of a coerced renunciation of her religion;
And whereas, the incongruous accounts in governmental proclamations regarding the status of Ms. Sharibu’s release have bewildered confusion and amplified the terrifying foreboding in segments of the nation[x] [xi],
And whereas, irrespective of the religious persuasion of any citizen captured and held in continued unconscionable detention by any group, solely because the civilian vehemently refuses to repudiate their faith, the nation’s condemnation should always be swift and compelling in the quest for justice for any Nigerian;
And whereas, to the consternation of a nonplussed nation, the insurrectionists erroneously appear to establish governmental policy by supposedly prohibiting the Dapchi girls who were returned from resuming their education, as fearfully conveyed by a released girl[xii];
And whereas the unresolved Chibok debacle[xiii] subsists in the nation’s collective consciousness, the recurrence of such malevolence mystified the fatigued populace and transcended the peaceful aspirations of the country;
And whereas, some of the Chibok girls were traded like chattel and married against their will[xiv] and remain forcefully estranged from their families, with no persuasive governmental argument that such abomination shall not reappear, a drained nation quivers in persistent fear;
And whereas, when in unbridled defiance, our virtuous treasure is apprehended and ignominiously traded, back and forth, on the gangway of shackled liberty, the country still paradoxically presumes that our liberty is assured as it nonetheless totters in the figment of freedom;
And whereas, the Nigerian government is obligated to faithfully protect the nation’s citizens, anticipate risk and danger, prevent treacherous harm from taking permanent abode within the country’s geographic territory and decisively obliterate such evil, and when it is unable to conclusively discharge these responsibilities, should in utmost good faith engage national and international assistance to categorically terminate a national scourge;
And whereas, the Nigerian democracy, established on the immutable principle of the accountability of an elected government to its sovereign, the Nigerian people, who fortified by the promise of the 1999 Constitution and for the sake of the nation, make bold to adamantly inquire the following:
- Which news accounts, the official press statements or other reports, should the nation believe and rely upon during turbulent times like these?
- What are the answers to accusations that the nation after the Chibok predicament, failed to take necessary precautions and categorical measures to avert this abominable occurrence[xv]? What are the responses to further allegations that no help was immediately forthcoming despite the pleas relayed to authorities on the fateful day of the Dapchi kidnapping[xvi]?
- What has the government done since the Dapchi calamity to address the horrendous underpinnings of the kidnappings or prevent another incident? What has been done to protect all schools in the nation, particularly the high-risk schools?
- Is it true that as reported, the release of more of the Dapchi girls was because unlike the Chibok girls, most the Dapchi girls were Muslim[xvii]? What has the Nigerian government done to address this sordid development and assuage the fear of the citizens? What does this development portend for other religious groups in Nigeria?
- Where is Leah Sharibu, the reported sole retained captive of the Dapchi abduction? When will she be released? How did the negotiations pertaining to her extrication fail? What did the government do when it determined that, one Dapchi girl, a Christian, would be retained in abhorrent internment because of her religion while others were released? Has the government demanded and received assurances that she will not be dehumanized in captivity as a result of her faith?
- Is the 1999 Constitution guaranteeing religious freedom to all citizens still the supreme law of the land or does it now assume a fragmented scaffolding that has been surreptitiously supplanted? If it is still the supreme law, how can the unconstitutional detention of any Nigerian remain unchallenged?
- Where are the five other Dapchi girls classified as unaccounted for? Are they alive or not? If they are dead, should the nation not collectively mourn our shared loss?
- Where amidst these calamities is the unrelenting quest for justice for Nigeria or is it absolutely vanquished alongside the fatalities of this declared war?
Yet, although the flurried news accounts attendant with the abductions are somewhat divergent, the irrefutable fact is that, an evident undercurrent of the nefarious conspiracy, scheming to undermine the national structure and fragile cohesion stands wholly unmasked in the public square of our beleaguered democracy tolling a discordant bell of disarray. What has been done to eliminate this unabashed national threat?
The profound skepticism, of the citizenry regarding the government, ensuing from the cascading confusion of the official accounts pertaining to incidents of such national upheaval, is indicated. In addition, the inexorable dread, attached to the maelstrom of killings and kidnappings, gradually permeating the fabric of the nation, is warranted. These murders and abductions constitute ammunition in the arsenal of calculated tactical bombardments on the country wherein girls are targeted, enslaved, transacted for defilement and money and become causalities, dead or alive, in the continuing unfathomable quagmire besieging the nation. The sons of the nation abhorrently have not been spared from the wrath of the ignoble agenda as many have been killed[xviii] in the fury of the sinister vortex. A nation steadily losing its youth, with no explicit course for rectification, manifestly embraces a consuming identity crisis and verges perfidiously towards annihilation. Where lies our lasting refuge?
The discomfiting inference from the Leah Sharibu case, also equally alarming, is that eventually citizens of certain religious persuasions in Nigeria may endure the brunt of this open and propagating warfare. Furthermore, this existential threat to the country, somewhat cohabiting within the national territory, is blatantly maneuvering the nation towards a foreseeable cataclysmic conclusion. The obvious aggregate of these dastardly machinations is an internal conflagration of deadly and divisive ramifications. The repercussions are far too daunting to excuse staring in idle contemplation or abet ignorance of the incoming fusillades of destruction because the vociferous admonition of history shall also judge and condemn the community of silent detachment.
Thus, even amid a tenuous framework of democratic accountability, it is insufficient for citizens to simply lie impotent, capsized and wrought with grief during an ominous tide or sit immobile in desperate apathy, with weary hands, clasped overhead and thereafter, wailing in desolation simply rend the tattered national fabric bloodstained with lifeless bodies and the corpses of stagnant hope. To the contrary, fueled by moral courage and civic obligation, let it be audaciously proclaimed in our national chronicles, that for the greater purpose of principled humanity, some did defend the nation’s democracy and raised their spirits and voices to confront the escalating subversion and awaken the consciousness of the elected, who are sworn to serve and protect, towards decisive action.
A nation’s hope and an authentic democracy, cannot in isolation achieve the sheer magnitude of their essence. Rather, they require the resolute commitment and tenacious participation of the citizenry, lest both fade into oblivion beyond a disintegrating illusion of the mirage and are irretrievably lost forever. Therefore, to assure an enduring just republic, reverse the despicable currents of the treacherous conflict and ensure that the labour of our heroes past shall never be in vain; the populace galvanized by the words of the national anthem, as one nation, hopefully bound in freedom, and as true compatriots, Nigeria’s call must ardently obey, in the quest for peace and liberty, which now both, appearing precariously distorted, still yet, stridently sound the clarion call of distress.
Dr. Yemisi Solanke Koya, Esq.
Dated this 4th day of April, 2018.
Although this is a fictional narrative, sadly it is to convey what an abducted girl in captivity may write:
Do you know that my sister and I were among some of the girls kidnapped from our beds at our school in Chibok and now Dapchi, Nigeria? I now live in a constant state of terror, not knowing what will happen to me next. I am completely devastated that my life as I knew it is over and live in horror that I may never see my family again. I detest what my life has become. I am helpless and unable to protect myself or my fellow captives. My younger sister was also taken that ill-fated day and I have not seen her since then. As her older sister, I shudder to think that she is also going through what I am suffering. I weep for her. I weep for myself. I weep for all the captives. I weep for my parents and over the abhorrent situation that we have been thrust into. I am worried about my parents. Have you spoken to them?
My best friend was killed on the first day of our abduction. They caught her as she was trying to run back to freedom. She died from the beating. I still hear her screaming. Since she died, I have been very scared to run away because I don’t want to die trying to escape but I don’t want to live as a slave. Which is the viable abyss? The two options are hell on earth.
I once had a dream to become a doctor so that I could help my community deal with diseases and take care of the sick. Did I dream in vain because I am Nigerian girl living in Chibok? Will that dream ever be revived? In captivity, we know no peace. We have no privacy, little to eat or drink. We no longer sleep in beds. There are no bathrooms, we have no soap and are no longer able to bath daily. Guns are pointed at our faces and at our heads. We are constantly threatened with death and bodily harm. We have forgotten the sound of laughter and they make us do the most unspeakable things. Please save us from this insanity.
At school, in one of my classes we read the Oath of Office of the Nigerian President. I recall that it includes the following:
“ I do solemnly swear and affirm … that in all circumstances, I will do right to all manner of people, according to law, without fear or favour, … and that I will devote myself to the service and well-being of the people of Nigeria. So help me God”.
If that is the case, why am I here? Why have we not been rescued after several weeks? Why was my school not protected? Why have we been raped? Why are we being sold like valueless commodities on the ignominious market square of slave trade. Will we ever be rescued? We are powerless and exist at the mercy of our captors and slave masters and need to be rescued. Please do not forget us.
I must stop now because I hear someone coming…
Fictional story to be continued.
Amid the darkness of the gloom
Nothing but despair abounds
In the wilderness of the arid
Drought of feigned existence,
Where no hope subsists,
Do the Chibok and now Dapchi girls find
The extreme disillusionment
Of persistent hopelessness,
That more time evading and counting
All hope, has but evaporated into
The disintegrating dust of time,
To where existence is meaningless,
And has the ironical value of the unrelenting
Real and abiding grief of total bondage and servitude.
Will nobody aid them still…
Updated March 11, 2018
“Heehee… I don’t know which party my wife belongs but eh… she belongs to
MY kitchen and MY living room and the OTHER room…”
The gravity of unfortunate utterances, sometimes
Echoes the enormity of cataclysmic regression, tragically
Rippling beyond the demeaning configuration of syntax
And sadly reverberating in fervent crescendo through the
Globalization of dissemination of instantaneous news,
Inauspiciously portends the oblique reality of the unfulfilled
Odyssey towards full recognition of all human rights.
Thus, a president’s commentaries, otherwise considered as
Conveying the solemnity of the advancement in optimism
By allaying fears, and elevating aspirations of a disconsolate populace,
Rather, diminish a gender, by electing to emasculate any vacillating
Progress, declared in accord with sacrosanct inalienable rights,
Further fragmenting the essence of meager hope, lying prostrate
In the forlorn vestiges residing within certain aspects of a nation.
As such, the sardonic words of the Nigerian President…
Paradoxically spoken to his female counterpart, miserably
Communicated to his citizens and the world, no respect,
But censoriously categorized the nation’s First Lady, by description,
To the ignominious equivalency of a belonging, a mere chattel,
Devoid of independence and human dignity, assigned by others, for
Their use to rooms, in which she neither owns nor has any property value.
Alas, the bell for social justice loudly tolls; to engage in concerted effort
The quest for reclamation of any tangible progress previously gained, and to
Negate the irreverent milestone propagated by the untoward vituperation
Which in derisive posture, attempts to devalue the essence of humanity and
Self-determination, freely bestowed on all, but is injudiciously circumscribed
By reprehensible might and circumstance; lest the downward degradation
Resonate in permanent habitation to the lasting detriment of all humanity.
Dr. Yemisi Solanke Koya Esq., Golden Poet ©
Hold not to the regret of yesterday
Rather in steadfast measure,
Cling to the promise of tomorrow.
For what futility of purpose does it serve,
To descend immobile, into the abyss of remorse
Yearning for what was lost or has not been,
More despair, in the company of bleakness.
Shake off the miserable melancholy and reverse
That energy into earnest utility, and towards
The unbridled optimism within the sphere of hope.
Yemil Benjoy ©
Sadly, the life expectancy of the black man
May be a few seconds to a few minutes
After he encounters the unbridled callousness of some police officers
Who somehow believe that the execution, in their uniform, of the black man
Without affording that life, the benefit of the right to a fair trail or
To be adjudged guilty, let alone the right to live,
Before the immediate imposition of a death sentence,
Is theirs in wanton disregard to deliver, rather than to protect,
Like the white life afforded all benefits in similar or worse circumstances.
Question me not … black man, do not ask me why I want to arrest you
How dare you speak to me, who do you think you are, do not breathe,
Do not talk, you better not look me in the eyes
Be careful, your life is my hands and I will snuff it out
And will probably get away with killing you …
Alas in a few fleeting moments…
The tragic truth is that the black life ends…
While the very hapless existence of the populace is exacerbated, and
Continues to be enormously plagued by the consequences of inept
Governance, which the longsuffering citizens of an otherwise blessed country,
In this century confront and without remission endure, amid the overwrought plight
Of the absence of constant electricity and illusive dribble of portable water
Alongside with the demise of salaries for the long-forsaken government workers,
Necessities, most ordinary, for simple human existence within the shores of a “Giant”,
Compounded now, by the foreboding and alarming escalation of the cost of food
Resulting in the intensified pestilence of hunger insidiously ravaging the erstwhile
Promising fabric of a society, seemingly a distant memory, of a forgotten mirage.
And as the beleaguered hope of competent and available healthcare for all
Unfortunately eludes the weary grasp of most of the distressed citizenry…
Then in intemperate, ever conspicuous and excruciatingly painful irony
The chief executive of the nation, a public servant, sworn to serve, not only
Takes inopportune refuge from all that is ailing the country in a foreign land,
No less, than the former colonial power, from which the inalienable right for
Independent government was wrestled from decades ago, to seek treatment
For a simple malady, while his citizens are relegated to the gamble of imposed fate.
Thus, by the very blatant official acquiescence, it signifies in obvious measure his
Unreserved lack of confidence in the regime over which he presides, and confirms in
Tragic and regrettable dimension, the vacuous hope, residing within the bemoaned land.
Forsooth, which Nigerian citizen has the ability to deploy the national treasury,
The property of the people, for their personal use, to travel at full expense of the
Demoralized masses, in fleets of jets and with the ubiquitous “per-diem” entourage,
While the burdensome cloak of lamentation detrimentally covers his forlorn people,
Even to the point of an early shroud and untimely grave, due to the atrocious lack of
Access to life-saving and sadly often the most rudimentary of medical care. As the
People languish under the onerous and looming fear of such grievous impediment
And the laboured wails of the public crescendo in desperation, accountability in the utmost,
Is demanded from the highest office with a real commitment to stay within the land towards
Faithfully implementing the remedy for what assails the domain, as glaring example, for
Any that assumes office in the true service of the well-being of the Nigerian people.
By Dr. Yemisi Solanke Koya, Esq. ©