No day goes by without me sincerely regretting ever coming back to Nigeria, especially to Edo State. I wish I could turn it back and I would in a heartbeat. It has been a horrific, terrifying and dehumanizing experience. The worse of all I took my wife through it all. She didn't have to know these about Nigerians. But she did and I can never change that. She promised never to step her feet into Nigeria again and I will respect that.
It is my state and I was born there. I spent about 17 years of my life in the now Edo State. However, the worse treatments of my life and the worse human experiences I have received have been melted to me by the people of Edo State.
If the Americans or the Europeans have done 10% to me what Edo State have done to me, I would have thought they were racist and hated black people and I would have hated them forever. Rather sadly, I feel more comfortable when I am among Europeans and Americans. I am at peace. When I am leaving Nigeria, people ask me where are you going? And I say, I am going back home. Because outside Nigeria is home. It is where I feel peace and I am happy and treated like a human.
It has been a nightmare in Edo State and every day I wake up hoping it will be over, but it doesn't. I have run a marathon but I knew already before getting to the finish line I will still have to run another one without resting first. The strength is not the same as when I started the first marathon. Now I must reach down and gather more strength. People even like to remind me that I am not that young anymore to be working 16 hours daily. Most people look or shall I say gaze at me, as if they think what is wrong with this man? he should leave us alone. And they don't do anything. Should I leave them alone?
Edo State has been terrible, dreadful and sometimes sickening. I have seen things happen there I never thought were humanly possible. I wonder where humanity went while I was away. Never knew things could get this bad. Even the wild west was tamed compare to this. I remind myself often that this is real, don't get used to it. if you do, you wouldn't fit into a normal society when you get back home. Luckily my wife was always to keep me sane.
I tried to gather some strength from wherever and whoever, because I cannot give up. I see the children, despite none of them is mine, and I see the future, and it is not so bright. I know if I abandon them that will be one more person who abandoned them and the future will even be worse.
I see the hungry, yes the hungry and I tried to understand how can people be hungry while we can put cassava stick in the ground and 12 months later we have food. The Europeans wished they had such opportunities. No greenhouses and no irrigation. For this I came to fight and for this I am still fighting. There must be food for everyone.
I see Edo State children scattered all over the world. trying to look cool and pretending to be making it because that is what the home front expect from them. It saddened me to see the prostitutes, the scam artist, the hooligans all from Edo State. then I see the future, for these ones It doesn’t look bright either. From these ones I try to gather some strength.
I see all the jobless and homeless youths and I know how easy it is to provide job for them. Every day, I try and yet cannot do that much to alleviate their suffering because my resources are low. I am not a government and don't have a mega church.
So what now? The struggle continues. I will fight on so the last day of my life on earth when I am conscious of it, I can look back and say I did my best and I will be satisfied with it.