Today I learn I experienced love, not that I have not seen love or understood love or witness love or being loved, but today the love is so deep. I was in Maiduguri when the insurgence in town started, am not in the town when the crisis escalated I visited the town and I experience the 6:00pm to 6:00am curfew, it an adjustment in lifestyle. I do read about the killings, bombings that happen in the town, I do speak with people there on phone until when the ban the use of mobile phone, I do receive calls from people I know, they risk there life to travel to Damaturu in Yobe state to call me (crying). They make sure they ask how am I doing hope am safe and am doing good in the peaceful sate of the caliphate (Sokoto), this morning a call woke me up from sleep, it was a strange number, I picked only for the caller to introduce himself as Jibo a next door neighbor in Maiduguri who regardless of the curfew in town was up early to go to Post Office are of Maiduguri from Old GRA to call me, after his call I cover myself with the blanket because I am not ready to get up, yet another unknown number called it was my brother he has to cover more distance than Jibo to call me. Both of them ask a question “hope you are ok, hope your safe”? this question still rings in my head as I write this, I can’t hold back tears from my eyes, this pure act of love, people risking their life to get up so early to call me in a peaceful town.
Borno state “the home of peace” as the slogan says has in recent time witness crisis and violence that has touched the life of all, I am writing this with a heavy heart (crying). I remember a city full of happy people who love one another regardless of religion or ethnicity. I remember a city so calm and quite where people go about their day to day life without fear of gun short or bomb explosion, who will have ever taught that Borno state of all state will experience such violence.
I schooled in Maiduguri at FGCM, a school that bring together students from all over Nigeria I made friends with people who hail from Borno to Lagos, to Cross Rivers, to Delta, to Oyo, Taraba to mention but a few states. I remember the famous Monday market which stood in the heart of the town, a market that brings traders and buyers from within and outside the nation, I remember the famous Sanda Kyarimi park a park that is full during festive period either Christmas or Sallah, Christians and Muslims goes to the park regardless of the celebration at the moment be it Christmas or Sallah. I remember the famous Jagol market we people go and buy electronics of all kind, the Baga fish market, the custom market, I remember Polo filed (thou the game of Polo is hardly played there, football has taken over, with driving lessons taught there), Wulari Police barrack market where you get roosted birds and fara (grasshoppers) what an ancient city of the Kaneem Borno empire an empire that existed more than 100 years ago. A town I loved.
God I come to you with your word, you said anything we ask in the name of your son you will grant it on to us, I ask that you restore peace back to Borno state, you said thousands will fall on our side they will not come near to us, you said we shall only observe with our eyes. God you are the father of or Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, you honour your words more than your name, you said the battle is not ours but yours, so we hand over the battle to you, (unto us a son is born and a child is given he shall be called ………………. Immanuel “God with us”) as we are ready to celebrate salvation of mind in the birth of your son we ask that father you glorify yourself, we ask that you restore peace back to maid, not for our sake but for your name to be lifted high, for your kingdom to come and your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
I ask who ever read this to join me in prayers and also share to as many as possible. Borno the home of peace.
written by Ibrahim Gana Malgwi