As the sun rose on the horizon, it became clear what had happened.
This is a true life story that happened years back when Boko Haram was still a threat to the entire nation (NIGERIA). Rumor had it that, some barracks have been attacked by Boko Haram.
We had just finished praying that fateful night and were about going to bed when I heard people screaming and running. Mummy had travelled two days back for an interview she had in the State capital. While daddy was already in the North-East for a peace keeping mission. I was left to take care of my siblings.
Our neighbor rushed to our house screaming my name while she bang the door. I rushed out and she said loudly "Carry your siblings and run!!!"
I stood there staring at her confused.
She shouted "no stand there dey look me like mumu. I say go wake those children make una run comot!!".
I was still confused but then I had to obey because everyone was running by this time. And perhaps I don't even know where to run to or why people were running. But then I must run!!
I entered the room. Told everyone to put on their shoes and follow me. I carried my school bag and packed some clothes in it.I quickly picked up my bible and dashed out holding my sisters on both hands.
My neighbor was heavily pregnant while her husband had gone for a road duty. She had a daughter who was barely 3 years old with two other children with the eldest to be 10 years. She was struggling with them because they had slept off before the whole incident happened. You know how difficult it can be to wake children from sleep. She told her Son to holds his sisters had and run. The boy asked: " Mummy where should we run to"?
She screamed "Idiot!! will you run to the parade ground! I will come and meet you there.
Her last child was seriously crying. I wished I could help her out. But then, I have my siblings to deal with.
I told her children to follow me. we started running towards the direction most people were running to.
On arrival at the parade ground, I saw a lot of people there. A lot of things were happening at the same time. The place was so noisy and crowded. I was trying to find out what is happening. But who is the right person to ask?
All I heard where murmurs of Boko Haram. Boko Haram? I asked myself. Where? How? When?
Soldiers where parading all around, you could see Amour Tanks moving here and there. Everything feels like we were acting a movie.
My youngest sister was already sleepy. I had to carry her while we went in search for my neighbor. I finally saw her. She asked if we were fine? I said yes and asked her what was happening.
She explained that Boko Haram have come to attack the Barracks. Where are they now? I asked her. She told me that she don't know as well. How did you get to know? I asked her
My neighbor replied angrily "Abeg leave me. No dey ask me stupid questions". I kept quiet. I made a bed with the wrapper I had for my sister to sleep.
I sat quietly at the parade ground while dealing with the cold and breeze. You could hear chatter from woman as everyone was talking about the incident. A little boy had injured himself and was crying just in front of me. His cry was so disturbing. How can I blame him? He's just a child who is in pains. His mom was trying to make him stop crying, but all her efforts was in vain.
The thought of my parents came to my mind. I wanted calling them but then, I discovered I was not with my phone. Jesus! don't tell me I left it at home? I said sadly.
While thinking of what to do next, I heard a woman telling another woman that " My children no go kill me oo. Imagine watin Joshua do. As we dey try pack things run, this boy go dey pack food wey dey inside pot. Nah so my pikin like food reach? "
I didn't know when I burst into laughter. The other woman was laughing as well "Abeg leave the boy, nah so children dey" she said.
The noise was down at this point as most people were already sleeping.
My neighbor woke me up the next day. "Carry una things and your sisters make we dey go house" she said. What just happened?
I can't even tell how I slept off. When I stood up, I saw everyone packing their things and some soldiers talking to some people. I tapped my siblings and asked them to wake-up.
While going back home, I asked her "Mummy nick, watin happen?"
Mummy nick: Don't mind these people. They made me sleep in the cold for no reason.
How it all started
Our Barrack was not fenced as of the time this incident took place. There were a lot of entrance aside the main gate. Soldiers were placed around those entrances to guard the Barrack from intruders.
This fateful night, a woman ran from one of those entrance towards a security post screaming BOKO HARAM! BOKO HARAM!!. The soldiers held her and tried calming her down but she was still screaming. When people around there heard her shouting, they started shouting as well and running. That was how the news spread like a wild fire and chaos began.
Me: So was it truly Boko haram?
Mummy Nick: Boko Haram Keh? Soldiers went into the bush just to realize that, it was Fulani herdsmen that were migrating with their families and cattle's.
Me: This fulani people self. Why must they migrate at night? It's not her fault shaa. If I was the one, I would have shouted same.
Mummy Nick: My dear we thank God shaa
Me: Thank God oo.
When I heard peoples experience that night, I couldn't help but laugh.
One was of a woman that took her money and documents and hid under a stone. She said she did that incase she survive, she will have what to fall back to.