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It happened to me!

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How do one start this story? A story so personal, thought provoking, it sends down shivers and forces out tears from my eyes.

It was about 6:15 pm on one of the days in August 1987. I was almost seventeen, full of struggle to uplift myself academically after Higher School Certificate course. I was walking home from Orlu town. I suddenly looked back and saw a funny looking van trailing me. I was afraid. I ran for about 5 minutes and stopped because I could not continue. The van moved some meters ahead of me and packed. It was entirely covered. I noticed it had a small door at the back and another at the driver’s side, from where a man came out and stood waiting for me. The van was practically a mobile prison house designed for kidnapping people and there I was: a young disabled girl alone on the road. I had only one option, which was to summon courage and face whatever situation. The man fiercely walked to me and bombarded me with questions: “Who are you? Don’t you know you are not supposed to walk about? I looked straight into his eyes and asked: why? He answered: “because you are a girl, more so you are a disabled woman, our target”. I asked him “why target, how? He grew angry and said to me “you are supposed to have been in my cage” referring to the van “but you are still standing here exchanging words with me, you small rat of a woman, so you have not been told that women with hunchback should not walk alone and you have the guts of walking about, even going to school? I muttered, Sir, is it w-w-wrong to be-e-e a woman o-o-or my fault tha-that I was disabled? Ple-e-ease take me –e-e like your sister in the house and don’t kill me, pl-e-e-ea-se! I wanted to hold his cloth while begging but I was afraid of touching him. I was looking into his eyes. He ran into his van and zoomed of, leaving me blind by so much dust raised as a result of his reckless driving on the dusty village road.

There I stood shaking and full of thought: Thought of my mother who has earlier received threats that she would soon loose her pet baby to ritual killers because the baby was disabled and has female parts.
Thought of the kind of life I could live if the situation pushed my mother into secluding me in the village hut!
Thought of future of a woman without social security or empowerment in a male dominated environment!
Thought of future life of un-empowered disabled woman without a companion not because she doesn’t desire to but because no man would want to marry her because of her disability!
Thought of appropriate words to convince my mother not to put me in seclusion if I should tell her of my encounter. That thought sent shivers to my nerves, I knew she will definitely not allow me out again.

Yes, I took a decision which was so difficult and risky especially in an insecure world like mine and my situation– I did not tell her nor anyone in the family of my experience until last year. Till now I could not tell her this story, yes she may not withstand the shock. I got home, went straight to bed (so to say) spent the horrible night, week, month all alone in thoughts and horror. Yes it happened to me, it is real!

Comments

Nusrat Ara's picture

You are a courageous women

You are a courageous women and no less than other.
Continue to believe in yourslef.

Love

Nusrat

Celine's picture

Thank you

Thank you Nusrat. I really do and will continue to keep up.
Celine

busayo's picture

I am so proud of you

I am so proud of you Celine. I am a Nigerian and i know the implication of what you faced. Thank God for His
Divine intervention and your boldness. This terrible things happen everyday in this nation, No security for the citizen at
all. It was just this month that a child was kidnapped in Ile-ife by a man who have killed two women in a year, used them for ritual. He was arrested on one occasion only to be freed later by the police. This time arround he was not that lucky,the people decided to do jungle justice for him because they know if they handed him over to the police again, they will still free him. They decided to burn him to ashes. That is the kind of country we are, i just pray that God would continue to protect us.
Our lives does not matter at all to our leaders. CONGRAT Celine.

Busayo Obisakin
Women inspiration Development center
Ile-Ife, Nigeria
busobisaki@yahoo.com
womeninspirationcenter@gmail.com
http://womeninspirationce.wix.com/widcng

Celine's picture

Thanks Busayo

Thank you Busayo. It was not my power but the grace of God which is sufficient in my situation. Cases of kidnapping is so rampant these days in Nigeria. In my office - the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, we receive such complaints on a daily basis. What do you expect from an acute capitalist society where power and money are yardsticks to measure affluence? The "have - nots' want to measure up with the "haves" so as to gain recognition and respect in the society. Society does not frown at illegal means or fraudulent ways but respect the individual because he/ she has made it. Talking about police? The police collaborates with the high and mighty to deny justice to the oppressed. Nigerian police take the lead in infringement of human rights through their extra-judicial killings, which is on a large scale. Most times innocent victims are killed just for nothing. It is embarrassing.

jodelight's picture

courageous woman

Celine,

Your courage, and your life story are a testament. You are a bold, strong woman. You stared one of your oppressor's in the face, and did not back down. I am so moved by your power. Thank you for sharing this with the PulseWire community.

Hugs,
Jody

Celine's picture

Yes, testimony indeed, but I

Yes, testimony indeed, but I think I was protected by a FORCE, which will not allow any harm until I accomplish my life mission. From that time till the present, I have touched lives in so many ways, which should not have been if I was eliminated then. Today I stand firm to protect the interest of the marginalized group and defend the oppressed people. Of course I keep on growing and keep on getting stronger and more courageous. Check out this site please: http:dfd.agrojournal.net
My hugs to you Judy,
Celine

Greengirl's picture

Great Courage

Hello Celine. My name is Olanike, a global citizen and a Nigerian. Your story reveals so much courage. With God on our side as women and with such courage, the hurdles of discrimination and marginalization against us will be summounted.

Celine's picture

Thank you

Hi Olanike,
Thank you for commenting.
I agree with you that with God on our side we will overcome. We daily face the hurdles of marginalization, discrimination, segregation, oppression and all that in our various lives as women in Africa. We will fight our battle ourselves and will be totally free someday.
Celine.

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