I want to let you know that this little piece has really given me a lot of headache thinking about how to really start writing it. I don’t know if this is perfect but this is my final decision. I have to start this way, maybe it is unprofessional but what do I care if my aim is achieved and you the reader finally get to see my points.
Yahaya Bello is a household name in one of the Middle Belt State of Nigeria, Kogi State to be precise. Bello, to the Igalas, the majority of the state is the synonym to Obo-ilo (which literally means bitter leaf soup). No one really knows how they come about the name but it does makes sense thinking about how they rhythms and maybe due to the bitter and hard living conditions he is left Kogi people with.
Who is Bello? Bello happens to be the youngest, nonchalant, uncultured and a kindergarten governor of the people of Kogi State. I won’t tell you how he became the governor of Kogi state. If you want to know click on this link http://www.google.com/YahayaBello
After the unfortunate death of the rightful winner of the governorship election, Adu-oja(which literally mean slave of the people), a name which he acquire for himself through his selfless service for his people or perhaps to the people of the state, the stubborn, uncultured young man was named a replacement for the vacant position.
LET ME PRAISE MYSELF FIRST
Let me praise myself a little. My friends used to call me Okocha before Ronaldo and Messi made their name to stardom, since then I was called either of them by name. Maybe I was the best on the field in my own world outside La-liga and the English premier league.
You will be surprise to hear this but it’s true. I’m a good artist too; a glance at my room will leave your mouth agape. This no doubt earned me the title of “Leonardo da Kogi”. Not only that but also I was a good singer, the Lionel Richie of my hood.
Before I forget, I was the love doctor to all my friends back then in school. They were no issues concerning love that I wouldn’t be asked about. Most of the tactics which I taught them works miraculously. Instead of calling me Shakespeare, they resorted to Sha Rukh Khan, the Bollywood king of romance. Maybe there was no spear in me they could shake, which was why they didn’t call me Shakespeare.
A VOICE FOR THE VOICELESS
Now let’s talk about how Bello, Kogi and his governance concern me. My name you already know. My father used to tell us right from childhood that we were Kogites but I never believed until his death when we had to relocate due to troubles from his people that our mum was too young to take care of us alone in the far away from home northern Nigeria.
Before his death, none of his children knew he had a house in the state. It was a secret he hid from every one of us except our mum. We moved into the house after burial and it was like starting all over again.
Oh I forgot to tell you about my first experience in the state. I will say it was the most unfortunate thing to have occurred to me. Before leaving the north for my state, I was full of enthusiasm that I was going to a state equipped with basic amenities, but when I finally left Abuja behind and entered Ohono, the first Village or Community I could remember easily to be where I noticed I was in Kogi state, my heart melted in shame. The first entrance of the state was nothing to write home about.
Also, entering into the state capital will leave your eyes wet with tears of disappointment. Believe you me; your heart will boil in anger to see such a welcoming disgrace. Big Lorries, and trucks parked at every corner of the road and leathers and dirty clothes littered everywhere.
Let me stop here before the former Governors read this and actually think I am saying they did nothing. You all tried. Weldone sair!
After some months later, my mum got a job at one of the general Hospital. She was a nurse. This is where Bello came in. She worked under both Ibrahim Idris and Wada and we were very contented not really rich.
After the exit of Wada, Obo-ilo began to act up. Screening without ends and that became the beginning of our nightmares. Bello himself was not aware of his doings. He was like a kid holding a pencil and a drawing book in his hand, painting and drawing as he wishes without dimensions.
Mum began borrowing to pay for our school fees as the nature of her job wouldn’t permit her to start any business.
Last night I overheard the person she had been collecting money from asking for her money. Bello, please pay our fathers and mother so that no one would disgrace them because if they do we may forgive you but we will ask God to pay you back accordingly.
We can’t eat good food
We can’t wear better clothes
We can’t afford our school fees
She works in the clinic but we can’t afford medical fees
PLEASE PAY OUR PARENTS!!!
BELLO IF YOU READ THIS IT’S JUST A LITERATURE… IF THERE WAS ANY INSULT IT WAS TO BLEND THE WRITE UP NOT TO TARNISH YOUR IMAGE… WELDONE SAIR!
Yesterday, I could barely sleep, and then I thought maybe you were awake as well and I kept thinking about you till its dawn.
Whether I live through this or I don’t, I wish the memory of you stays intact. Whether there is life after death or not, all I wished and prayed for was for those stories about you to remain intact. You were afraid of losing me so much that you gave your own life to save mine! So I heard; if I ever meet the one who created you I will but only ask this once, I don’t want both life and death! Just your voice, the warmth of your hands to be felt by me is a prayer answered. Many a person pray for paradise, but all I pray for is a world where I could be with you till eternity. With that, I have no other desires.
Whether death or life, I don’t care as far as we can be together someday.
I never knew my mother or felt what motherhood was to a child, so each time I look at her pictures on the wall I begin to think of her based on her looks and appearance. Her full hair, small eyes and long eyelashes as though they were fixed made me think of her as an elegant woman. Many of her pictures, she looks so very serious as though she were forced to snap them but believe you me, she was still beautiful.
The only picture which I kept beside my bed was the one she took on her hospital bed, pregnant. She was carrying me in her belly; smiling and rubbing her stomach as if caressing my big head. I kept it there so it would be the first and last thing I see every day before and after waking up from sleep.
If not for God I would have worship her. Each time I do things that were so weird; my dad would always come closer to my ear and shout HADIAT. That makes me feel cold every time.
Hadiat was my mother’s name and I was named after her even though I was a male. Hadi was the male equivalent of Hadiat.
When I used to be a kid, maybe because my dad refused to marry another woman early, I used to miss my mum so much that I always wept to bed, most especially when I watch family movies. That scene when mum’s kisses their kids goodnight was like an arrow in my heart.
My dad refused to marry until recently when I was leaving home for good to the university. He married one young lady in her mid twenties. I always imagine what kind of name I was going to call her; Auntie, sis or mummy. I can’t call her mum or any of such. I can’t be in my twenties and be calling someone in her twenties mum! It’s awkward to me.
Anyway that’s not part of why I decided to write this little piece. I noticed my dad’s love for me wasn’t mine but that of his wife. All the things he is done for me were just because he saw his wife in me, the way I do things and all that. He has said that many times that I could not even count.
You know it sorrowful to remind a man about his pains that’s why I didn’t ask him to confirm the stories I have heard about my mum and how she died from him over this few years; recently I broke the silence. Mum died while giving birth to me. she was just 22 years old.
“the doctor ask her to choose between her life and the baby and she choose yours” he said with cloud of tears all over his eyes. I wasn’t happy about her decision when I was told by the doctor but by then it was already too late he added.
I became shocked as chill ran through my vein. Mum today is my birthday and also the same day you left this lonely world. I ask God to protect you for me wherever you are because am living just to meet you one day….
FROM YOUR SON el-HADI (CALIFORNIA).