20/10/2020 – A Dark Night

I woke up feeling nauseous… And no, I’m not pregnant or anything like that. I couldn’t place it. It was the first day of me going to school physically in about seven months. It opened the previous day but I had nothing to do there so I went in the following day. I was excited and giddy but it had an undertone I couldn’t place

Of course, I had been following the #EndSARS protests from home and I couldn’t understand how I couldn’t detach myself. I could not be present at the protest grounds as I was not around but I prayed everyday for God to intervene

I got back from school at afternoon and that was when I heard of the curfew. I was ranting to one of my housemates how things are about to get bad, how this is how the government intends to perpetrate evil. I got home and I still couldn’t shake off the feeling. I called my family to ensure they were home. My dad was still out and I just wouldn’t stop ringing his phone. I texted my friend, Farida and said how I was sad and felt helpless. She said to me “I’m sorry Ozioma. I’m so sorry Nigeria failed all of us”. With tears in my eyes I couldn’t shake off the defeat I felt in my heart.

I checked up on more friends. On a video call with Sore, my friend, again tears filled my eyes. I got off and prayed some more. By then, my dad was home. I still couldn’t shake it off even when I knew my family and friends were indoors. I had seen pictures of people calmly seated at the Lekki Toll Gate and I just wouldn’t be at rest. I muttered prayers for them and forced myself to shut down. I turned off my lights at some minutes past 7pm and forced myself to sleep (its never an issue for me but it took me some unusual tossing before I slept off). I scarcely even sleep early and definitely not at that time.

Only to wake to up at about 1:30am and my phone was filled with messages from my friends, even my non-Nigerian friends checking to see if I was okay because of how attached to this movement I have been. My Nigerian housemate was rolling and crying when I passed by her room to the bathroom to relief myself. It was she who told me what at happened with the #LekkiMassacre and I kept saying “Oh my God no no…”

Tears filled my eyes and I now understood the burden I had had all day… why my heart was overwhelmed… why I couldn’t get anything done. Peaceful protesters were rounded up in Lagos and shot like animals just because we dared to demand to not be killed! It is a case of its either you are killed or you are killed! Even in our silence, the Nigerian youth are daily killed by the hands of brutal policemen! The rot is so deep. They get their protection from the politicians and so a policeman can look you in the eye and say “I will kill you and nothing will happen” And he wouldn’t be lying! NOTHING WILL HAPPEN!

I’m so sick of the system. I feel trapped. No matter where I travel to, my home is still Nigeria. Even if all my family is out, my friends and classmates and church members and neighbors… All the people I have known from my childhood cannot evacuate at the same time. NOBODY IS SAFE UNTIL WE ARE ALL SAFE!

Sigh. A couple of my readers on here have reached out and I don’t even have excuse, 2020 has been a LOT. Thank you all. I really appreciate and I’m sorry this is the first thing I come up with after months of being away on here. But tonight my heart is so broken. From when I woke up till now, the nausea has continued, I have been shaking physically and no, its not that cold and the tears won’t stop running. I have cried and prayed in tongues because that’s the only way I know to unburden and calm myself. Thank you to my friend, Temi who called to pray with me when I was crying and shaken. Its all I know to do know about this matter… That and writing… which is what I am doing now. Sigh

Guys, prior to now, I used to feel funny when I feel so burdened for Nigeria. I have had people say, “You’re not in the country. Why can’t you just unlook?” But tonight, I have come to a realization that they burden I have for Nigeria was given to me by God. And its for a reason! I don’t know the way God would sort out the many different problems that we have in Nigeria but I know as the scriptures say that “If the people who are called by God’s name would humble themselves and pray and turn from their wicked ways, God will hear from heaven and will heal our land!”

That’s my hope.
So I won’t stop praying and I won’t fight off the burden God has given for my homeland
I won’t stop posting (Goodness I have never tweeted/RTed as much as I have this month in my whole life!)
I won’t stop praying for God’s justice and mercy. For His healing rain upon Nigeria!
I won’t stop

Please if you pray, join me in prayers for Nigeria. Also, help post and RT posts of the #EndSARS movement or speak up anyway you can. Our government has shut us off but the world has to know what is going on. Perhaps, the international disgrace or shame would make them reconsider. Guys, an end just has to come to the needless grief people face. Parents have to stop burying their children! An end has to come to an era when children do not know their fathers and mothers because of police brutality. I know its always darkest before dawn and so, I’m hopeful even though our country seems hopeless. My heart is so heavy and my head hurts and I have an exam in the morning. I am about to mail my professor and ask if I can take it at a later date. I am not sure I can get myself to attempt it.

But in all this, I am hopeful. I have seen the strength and beauty and resilience in the hearts of Nigerian youths in this past few days and I am hopeful!

In my lifetime, Nigeria will see better days.

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